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Osteoporosis Health Center

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Understanding Osteoporosis -- Prevention

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How Can I Prevent Osteoporosis?

  • Eat foods rich in calcium, such as nonfat milk, low-fat yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, salmon, tofu, sesame seeds, almonds, and leafy green vegetables.
  • Eat foods that contain plant estrogens, especially tofu and other soy products. Avoid foods that can interfere with the body's absorption of calcium, such as red meats, soft drinks, and excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine.
  • Do weight-bearing exercises for 30 to 45 minutes at least three times a week.
  • Do not smoke. Studies have shown that women who smoke increase their risk of developing osteoporosis and related fractures.
  • Avoid antacids containing aluminum, as they can prevent calcium absorption by binding with phosphorus in the intestines. Some over-the-counter antacids do not contain aluminum and are a good source of calcium.
  • The recommended amount of calcium you should eat ranges from 1,000 to 1,200 mg daily, with 1,200 mg suggested for older men and postmenopausal women. Try to take in this amount through your diet, but use calcium supplements when needed.
  • Medications for osteoporosis can help maintain or build bone and are often recommended for people, especially women, who already have osteoporosis or are at high risk of developing it. Ask your doctor if these are appropriate for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on February 27, 2015
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