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Osteoporosis Prevention Through Good Nutrition

Good nutrition is important at all ages to keep the bones healthy.  Consuming calcium during childhood can lead to higher bone mass in adulthood.  Calcium and Vitamin D are essential minerals for bone strength.  Calcium and Vitamin D reduce bone loss and decrease the risk of fracturing bones.  Vitamin D aids in the break down and absorption of calcium.  Calcium in the diet comes from milk and other dairy products like hard cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream and yogurt.  Surprisingly, dark green vegetables like spinach, some nuts, breads, soy products, and cereals are also excellent sources of calcium.  Milk is the best dietary source of Vitamin D.  Calcium and Vitamin D supplements can be a good complement to a poor diet low in vitamins.  Be careful, too much can have side effects.  Consult your physician to determine what is best for you. 

Premenopausal women should consume at least 1000mg of calcium daily.  Postmenopausal women who don not take estrogen should consume 1500mg of calcium daily.  Men should consume at least 1000mg of calcium daily.  All adults should consume at least 800 International Units of Vitamin D daily.

There are several reasons that a person's vitamin levels become low and doctors can monitor calcium and vitamin levels on their patients to try to pinpoint  why an individual's levels are low. Simply walking for 30 minutes three times per week can improve bone mass in premenopausal women and help to maintain bone density for women after menopause.  Exercising reduces the risk of hip fracture in older women.  The benefits of exercise are quickly lost if a person stops exercising.  Smoking cigarettes is known to accelerate bone loss.  Women who smoke in adulthood decrease their bone density by menopause.