Calcium and Osteoporosis
According to the Surgeon General’s report on bone health,1 to decrease the likelihood of developing osteoporosis it is recommended that people of all ages get the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D. For those individuals who are not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in the diet, calcium supplements may be helpful in the prevention of osteoporosis.
Besides osteoporosis and calcium, another recommendation of the Surgeon General is that people of all ages maintain a healthy weight through increased physical activity. Weight-bearing activities should be included in order to improve strength and the number of steps taken each day should be increased to improve balance and to minimize the risk of falls. The goal is to maintain or increase lean body mass.
Calcium Supplements and Osteoporosis
The National Osteoporosis Foundation’s (NOF) prevention program2 shares the Surgeon General’s view that prevention is the key and “Building strong bones can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis, and a healthy lifestyle can be critically important for keeping bones strong.” NOF has pointed out that “Osteoporosis is largely preventable for most people. Prevention of this disease is very important because, while there are treatments for osteoporosis, there is currently no cure.” The NOF states that calcium supplements can be the first of five steps to osteoporosis prevention.
- Get your daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D.
- Engage in regular weight-bearing exercise.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about bone health.
- Have a bone density test and take medication when appropriate.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet with enough calcium helps maintain good bone health and may reduce their high risk of osteoporosis later in life.
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