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Preventing Osteoporosis

How Can I Prevent Osteoporosis?

Reach your peak! Osteoporosis usually develops over the course of several decades and can be prevented or delayed by acquiring peak bone mass during childhood and adolescence, through appropriate diet and exercise. Peak bone mass usually occurs by age 25.

Four lifestyle choices that can help keep you and your bones healthy:

  1. Stay active. Bones become stronger and thicker in response to the forces exerted on them. The impact of running or walking, for example, strengthens our bones. Load-bearing exercise such as weight training can also stave off bone loss.
  2. Don’t smoke. Smoking is toxic to bones.
  3. Drink in moderation. More than two drinks a day on most days is associated with poorer bone health.
  4. Get sufficient calcium and vitamin D. Both are essential to bone health. Calcium gives bones their hardness and strength, and vitamin D, a hormone, helps the body absorb and retain calcium. Several studies have shown that a high proportion of women who suffer hip fractures are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D can be obtained through supplements and is synthesized in the skin during sun exposure.

Recommended Daily Calcium Intake

The daily intake of calcium needed to maintain bone strength increases as you get older.

Women over 50 and men over 70: 1,200 mg of calcium daily

Women and men under 50: 1,000 mg of calcium daily

Examples of calcium-rich foods

Produce (serving size 8 ounces) Dairy
Frozen collard greens 360 mg Milk (8 ounces) 300 mg
Broccoli 60 mg Yogurt (6 ounces) 310 mg
Kale 100 mg Cottage cheese (4 ounces) 105 mg
Soy beans 175 mg Ice cream, vanilla (8 ounces)  85 mg
Bok choy 160 mg American cheese (1 ounce) 195 mg
Figs, dried (2) 65 mg Feta cheese (4 ounces) 140 mg
Orange 55 mg Parmesan cheese (1 tbsp) 55 mg
Seafood (serving size 3 ounces) Fortified Foods
Sardines (canned) 325 mg Almond milk (8 ounces) 450 mg
Salmon (canned) 180 mg Soy milk (8 ounces) 300 mg
Shrimp (canned) 125 mg Rice milk (8 ounces) 300 mg
Orange juice (8 ounces) 300 mg
Tofu (4 ounces) 205 mg

Calcium values and daily intake information provided by the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Preventing A Second Fracture

UC San Diego bone health experts help ensure that anyone who incurs a hip fracture as a result of a fall from a standing height or less will receive:

  • A fracture risk assessment.
  • Treatment (if necessary).
  • Continued care from an orthopedist and osteoporosis specialist.

This service is instrumental in the prevention of secondary and subsequent fractures.

Contact Us

Call 858-657-1636

Our Team

bulletMeet our bone health experts

Bone Health Education

The next bone health education and support group meeting is

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Clinical Research

Our physicians and scientists are actively involved in cutting-edge clinical research and basic science related to osteoporosis and other endocrine disorders.

bulletCurrent and ongoing clinical studies

Boning Up on Osteoporosis

Deborah Kado, MD, MS and Heather Hofflich, DO, answer questions about vitamin D supplements and deficiency.

Osteoporotic Bone