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What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis literally means porus bones. It is a disease characterized by low bone density or mass (reduced amount of bone tissue) and fragile bones (weakened bone structure) leading to increased susceptibility to fractures, particulary of the hip, spine, and wrist.


Certain people are more likely to develop this disease than others. Female Thin and/or small frame Advanced age Family history of osteoporosis Post menopause

Anorexia nervosa or bulimia Diet low in calcium Use of certain medications Low testosterone levels in men An inactive lifestyle Cigarette smoking Excessive use of alcohol Being white or Yellow


goal of osteoporosis treatment is the prevention of bone fractures by stopping bone loss and by increasing bone density and strength. Although early detection and timely treatment of osteoporosis can substantially decrease the risk of future fracture, none of the available treatments for osteoporosis are complete cures. In other words, it is difficult to completely rebuild bone that has been weakened by osteoporosis. Therefore, prevention of osteoporosis is as important as treatment.

Life style changes including: quitting cigrette smoking , curtailing alcohol intake, exercising regularly, consuming a balanced diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D;


strong and healthy bones requires an adequate dietary intake of calcium and exercise beginning in childhood and adolescence for both sexes. Most importantly, however, a high dietary calcium intake or taking calcium supplements alone is not sufficient in treating osteoporosis, and should not be viewed as an alternative to or substituted for more potent prescription osteoporosis medications. In the first several years after menopause, rapid bone loss can occur even if calcium supplements are taken.


following calcium intake has been recommended by The National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on Osteoporosis for all people, with or without osteoporosis:

= 800 mg/day for children ages 1 to 10 =1000 mg/day for men, premenopausal women, and postmenopausal women also taking estrogen =1200 mg/day for teenagers and young adults ages 11 to 24 =1500 mg/day for post menopausal women not taking estrogen =1200mg to 1500 mg/day for pregnant and nursing mothers
The total daily intake of calcium should not exceed 2000 mg.

An adequate calcium intake and adequate body stores of vitamin D are important foundations for maintaining bone density and strength. However, vitamin D and calcium alone are not sufficient treatment for osteoporosis. They are given in conjunction with other treatments. Vitamin D is important in several respects: = Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium from the intestines. = A lack of vitamin D causes calciumdepleted bone (osteomalacia), which further weakens the bones and increases the risk of fractures. = Vitamin D, along with adequate calcium (1200 mg of elemental calcium), has been shown in some studies to increase bone density and decrease fractures in older postmenopausal, but not in premenopausal or perimenopausal women.


foods contain calcium, but dairy products are the most significant source. Milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheeses, and buttermilk contain an efficiently absorbed form of calcium. For children aged 1-2 years, whole milk (4% fat) is recommended. The fat content of dairy products is a concern for adults and children over the age of 2. You can easily reduce the fat content while maintaining the calcium content by selecting low-fat (2% or 1%) or skim milk and other diary products.

The calcium is not contained in the "fat portion" of milk, so removing the fat will not affect the calcium content. In fact, when you replace the fat portion that has been removed with an equal part of skimmed milk, you are actually increasing the calcium content. Therefore, one cup of skim or non-fat milk will have more calcium than one cup of whole milk because almost the entire cup of skim milk is the made up of the calcium-containing portion! Other dairy products such as yogurt, most cheeses, and buttermilk are excellent sources of calcium and are available in low-fat or fat-free versions.

Milk is also a good source of phosphorus and magnesium, which help the body absorb and use the calcium more effectively. Vitamin D is essential for efficient utilization of calcium. Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and bok choy or Chinese cabbage are good sources of calcium. Other sources of calcium are salmon and sardines canned with their soft bones. Shellfish, almonds, Brazil nuts, and dried beans are also sources of calcium. It is difficult, however, to eat adequate quantities of these foods to achieve optimal calcium intake. Calcium is added to several food products, such as breads and orange juice, to make them a significant source of calcium for persons who do not eat a lot of dairy products.


plain Yogurt, fruit Milk, low fat or nonfat Milk, whole Cheese, including American, ricotta, cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese Milk shakes Eggnog

Salmon Tofu Rhubarb Sardines Collard greens Spinach Turnip greens White beans Baked beans Broccoli Peas Sesame seeds Bok choy Almonds