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How does sunshine affect the chances of preventing osteoporosis?

ANSWER

Our bodies create vitamin D from sunshine -- 10 to 15 minutes of sun a day is all that is needed. During winter, we spend less time outdoors, and we’re bundled up against the cold. So some experts think the chances of lacking vitamin D is higher in the winter.

But year-round, many of us don’t get the vitamin D we need. The Institute of Medicine recommends:

  • 600 IU (international units) a day for adults through age 70
  • 800 IU a day for adults ages 70 and older

SOURCES:

Shreyasee Amin, MD, rheumatologist, assistant professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Black, D. , May 3, 2007. NEJM

John Schousboe, MD, director, Park Nicollet Clinic Osteoporosis Center, St. Louis Park, Minn.; consultant rheumatologist, American College of Rheumatology.

Mulder, J. , 2006. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Physician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis," "BMD Testing: What the Numbers Mean," "Osteoporosis in Men."

New York State Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program: "Heredity."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health: "Osteoporosis."

WebMD Medical Reference: "Juvenile Osteoporosis."

WebMD Feature: "Exercise for Osteoporosis."

University of Arizona, College of Agriculture: "High Calcium Foods."

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 05, 2018

SOURCES:

Shreyasee Amin, MD, rheumatologist, assistant professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Black, D. , May 3, 2007. NEJM

John Schousboe, MD, director, Park Nicollet Clinic Osteoporosis Center, St. Louis Park, Minn.; consultant rheumatologist, American College of Rheumatology.

Mulder, J. , 2006. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Physician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis," "BMD Testing: What the Numbers Mean," "Osteoporosis in Men."

New York State Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program: "Heredity."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health: "Osteoporosis."

WebMD Medical Reference: "Juvenile Osteoporosis."

WebMD Feature: "Exercise for Osteoporosis."

University of Arizona, College of Agriculture: "High Calcium Foods."

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 05, 2018

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How does vitamin D help prevent osteoporosis?

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