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Osteoporosis Health Center

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Milk Helps Keep Men's Bones Strong

Researcher Says Few of Us Drink Enough Milk

Bone-Breaking Disease

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones, increasing the risk of sudden and unexpected fractures. Women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis.

Many times, osteoporosis is not discovered until weakened bones cause potentially debilitating fractures, usually in the back or hips.

Until about age 30, a person normally builds more bone than he or she loses. During the aging process, bone breakdown begins to outpace bone buildup, resulting in a gradual loss of bone mass. Once this loss of bone reaches a certain point, a person has osteoporosis.

5 Steps to Saving Your Bones

  • Exercise. Exercise makes bones and muscles stronger and helps prevent bone loss. It also helps you stay active and mobile. Weight-bearing exercises, done at least three to four times a week, are best for preventing osteoporosis. Walking, jogging, playing tennis, and dancing are all good weight-bearing exercises.
  • Eat foods high in calcium. Getting enough calcium throughout your life helps to build and keep strong bones. The U.S. recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults with a low to average risk of developing osteoporosis is 1,000 milligrams. For those at high risk of developing osteoporosis, such as postmenopausal women, the RDA increases to 1,500 milligrams. Excellent sources of calcium are milk and dairy products (low-fat versions are recommended), canned fish with bones like salmon and sardines, dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, and broccoli, calcium-fortified orange juice, and breads made with calcium-fortified flour.
  • Calcium. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are good forms of calcium supplements. Be careful not to get more than 2,000 milligrams of calcium a day very often. That amount can increase your chance of developing kidney problems.
  • Vitamin D. Your body uses vitamin D to absorb calcium. Being in the sun for 20 minutes every day helps most people's bodies make enough vitamin D. You can also get vitamin D from eggs, fatty fish like salmon, cereal, and milk fortified with vitamin D, as well as from supplements. People aged 51 to 70 should get 400 international units each day and those over age 70 should get 600 international units. More than 2,000 international units of vitamin D each day is not recommended because it may harm your kidney and even lower bone mass.
  • Alcohol. Too much alcohol can damage your bones and increase your risk of falling and breaking a bone.
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