Calcium and Vitamin D
Adequate intake of both calcium and vitamin D is crucial at all ages to maintain and promote good bone health. Calcium is an essential mineral involved in bone formation, remodeling and strengthening whereas vitamin D plays an important role in calcium breakdown and absorption. Consuming appropriate levels of calcium and vitamin D can promote bone healing and decrease risk of developing osteoporosis and fracture.
Daily Recommended Doses of Calcium:
- Postmenopausal women and men age 70+: 1,200 mg per day
- Men age 50-70: 1,000 mg per day
- Premenopausal women and men under 50 years old: 1,000 mg per day
- Maximum daily dietary + supplemental calcium intake: 2,000 mg per day
Daily Recommended Doses of Vitamin D:
- Postmenopausal women and men age 70+ : 800 international units (20 micrograms) per day
- Premenopausal women and men under age 70: 600 international units (15 micrograms) per day
Calcium Rich Foods/Drinks:
- milk, including non-dairy milks (almond, soy,oat)
- dietary calcium calculator link
Vitamin D Rich Foods/Drinks:
- salmon, tuna fish
- dietary vitamin D calculator link
More information: Bone Sense PDF link for vitamin D and calcium
Aerobic exercise combined with balance training and strengthening is important in preserving independence and decreasing the risk of fall and future fractures. Weight bearing exercises not only increase muscle mass but also increase bone density as well. A physical therapist or qualified group fitness instructor can aid in ensuring proper form and safety while exercising.
Weight bearing exercises consist of light weight lifting, weight machines, elastic band exercises, body weight exercises such as heel raises, single leg stance, stair climbing, assisted mini squats.
Weight-bearing exercise: 30 minutes on most days of the week. Can be divided into several sessions per day.
Strengthening exercise: 2-3 times per week
Balance and postural exercises: daily
For more information on exercise for osteoporosis view link here.
The Effect of Smoking & Alcohol on Bone Health
While there are many risk factors for poor bone quality and development of osteopenia and osteoporosis, research shows that smoking can adversely affect bone health. Smoking releases free radicals which interfere with the bodies absorption of calcium which can lead to poor bone density and ultimately weaker bones. Nicotine restricts oxygen rich blood flow to bones which is needed for fracture and muscle healing. Additionally, smoking and nicotine inhibit the production of osteoblasts (cells that are responsible for building new bone) and alter the breakdown of estrogen leading to poor bone healing and increased bone breakdown. Smoking cessation, including cessation of nicotine products is recommended to improve bone health.
Long term alcohol consumption can lead to an imbalance in bone turnover and remodeling resulting in decreased bone density. It is recommended that women consume no more than one drink per day and men consume no more than two drinks per day to maintain healthy bones.