How can you prevent osteoporosis?
Your diet and lifestyle are two important risk factors you can control to prevent osteoporosis. Replacing lost estrogen with hormone therapy also provides a strong defense against osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
To maintain strong, healthy bones, you need a diet rich in calcium throughout your life. One cup of skim or 1 percent fat milk contains 300 milligrams of calcium.
Besides dairy products, other good sources of calcium are salmon with bones, sardines, kale, broccoli, calcium-fortified juices and breads, dried figs, and calcium supplements. It is best to try to get the calcium from food and drink.
For those who need supplements, remember that the body can only absorb 500 mg of calcium at a time. You should take your calcium supplements in divided doses, since anything more than 500 mg will not be absorbed.
Recommended daily allowance of calcium
|Age and sex||Amount|
|Adults, 19-50 years||1,000 mg|
|Adult men, 51-70 years||1,000 mg|
|Adult women, 51-70 years||1,200 mg|
|Adults, 71 years old and older||1,200 mg|
|Pregnant and breastfeeding teens||1,300 mg|
|Pregnant and breastfeeding adults||1,000 mg|
Vitamin D is also important because it enables the body to absorb calcium. The recommended daily allowances of vitamin D are listed below. Vitamin D can also be obtained from sunlight exposure a few times a week or by drinking fortified milk.
Recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D
|People by age||Amount|
|Infants 0-6 Months||400 mg|
|Infants 6-12 months||400 mg|
|1-3 years old||600 mg|
|4-8 years old||600 mg|
|9-70 years old||800 mg|
|Over 70 years old||800 mg|
|14-50 years old, pregnant/lactating||600 mg|
Talk with your healthcare provider about these numbers. In some cases, you might be told to take more vitamin D. Your provider might also have suggestions about the calcium type; for instance, you might be told to take calcium citrate instead of calcium carbonate. Calcium citrate does not need acid to work, so it may be a better choice for people who take antacids.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce the degree of bone loss. Begin a regular exercise program. Exercises that make your muscles work against gravity (such as walking, jogging, aerobics, and weightlifting) are best for strengthening bones.
Do not drink too much alcohol. Do not have excessive amounts of caffeine. Don’t use tobacco at all.