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Do I need calcium supplements for bone health?

Endocrinologist, WebMD Medical Expert
Emory University

Osteoporosis is often a silent disease -- you don't know your bones are weak until you break one.

Start by seeing your doctor. Together, you can discuss your diet and work out a rough estimate of your calcium intake. If you're coming up short, then you either need to improve your diet or take calcium and vitamin D supplements for bone health.

Keep in mind that the numbers may not tell the whole story. Even if it looks like you're getting enough calcium, you might not be absorbing enough of this mineral. That can be due to many factors, such as smoking, using certain medications, and many health conditions. So make sure to have a frank discussion with your doctor about any other factors that might increase your risk of osteoporosis.

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