of poor nutrition and little exercise can increase your risk of
osteoporosis, but adopting healthy bone habits early can help you
avoid this disease.
Here are some osteoporosis facts
and prevention tips from the Center for Bone Health at Montefiore
Your body stores almost all of its
calcium in the bones, which act as a calcium bank. You deposit calcium
daily and your body withdraws what it needs each day. The amount
of daily calcium you need varies according to your age.
Despite what you may believe, cottage
cheese is a poor source of calcium. A 1-cup serving of cottage cheese
has only 138 milligrams of calcium. A cup of non-fat yogurt has
450 milligrams of calcium. Hard cheeses have varying calcium content.
An ounce of processed American cheese has 130 milligrams of calcium;
parmesan has 335 milligrams of calcium; Swiss cheese, 270 milligrams
Low-fat dairy products often have
more calcium than whole-milk products. Non-fat yogurt has 450 milligrams
per cup, while whole milk yogurt has 274 milligrams per cup. There
is 337 milligrams of calcium in a half-cup serving of ricotta, compared
to 257 milligrams in whole ricotta.
The reason is that non-fat dairy
products often are fortified with dry milk solids. Read labels to
get information about how much calcium is contained in foods.
Some foods and beverages interfere
with calcium absorption. These include heavily salted foods such
as bacon, salami, smoked salmon, prepared soups, salty snacks and
other processed food. You should consume less than 4,000 milligrams
of sodium a day.
Cola has phosphoric acid, which blocks
calcium absorption, and caffeine, which actually depletes calcium.
Excess alcohol consumption damages bones.
Sun is good for your bones. About
15 minutes a day of sunlight without sunscreen will produce all
the vitamin D you need. A minimum of 400 IU of vitamin D each day
is essential for your body to absorb calcium. Ensure your calcium
supplement contains enough vitamin D for those days when the sun
isn't shining or you can't get outside.
Osteoporosis begins in the teen years.
Girls achieve 42 percent of their total bone mass between the ages
of 12 and 18, yet 90 percent of girls don't get enough calcium.
Beginning at age 9, children should get 1,300 milligrams of calcium
per day in their diet.
Exercise helps protect you against
osteoporosis. The best kinds of exercise are weight-bearing activities
such as running, jumping and lifting.
There are various warning signs of
osteoporosis. Many older women have fractured spines but are unaware
of it because they don't feel or hear the bone crack. Height loss,
back pain, a protruding abdomen and a dowager's hump on the back
are all signs that an older women has suffered a fractured spine.
Brittle teeth may also be a sign of osteoporosis.
Early menopause, estrogen-inhibiting
drugs such as Depo-Provera, late puberty, irregular periods, or
other menstrual disorders may put women at higher risk of developing
Some medications reduce bone mass.
These include glucocorticoids used to control asthma and arthritis,
some anti-seizure drugs, certain sleeping pills, some hormones used
to treat endometriosis, and some cancer drugs.
Medical conditions such as kidney
disease, lupus and an overactive thyroid gland also increase the
risk of osteoporosis.
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Reference Source 101