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:
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.
Don’t smoke. Smoking is toxic to bones. See our smoking cessation program
Drink in moderation. More than two drinks a day on most days is associated with poorer bone health.
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
Produce (serving size 8 ounces) ||
|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)||
|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.
Boning Up on Osteoporosis
Deborah Kado, MD, MS, director of the Osteoporosis Clinic at UC San Diego Health, answers questions about the role of calcium and vitamin D in preventing bone fractures.
Read the full article
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.