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Importance of Calcium & Vitamin D in Preventing Osteoporosis

written by: Rafael • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 9/30/2010

Osteoporosis is affecting more than 28 million people in the US alone. It may lead to bone fragility and dangerous fractures. Learn how you prevent it using nutritional supplements.

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    What is Osteoporosis?

     Osteoporosis is defined as the loss of bone mass. This condition is silent, meaning that its starts well before its main symptoms (bone fragility and fractures) start to manifest. Osteoporosis affects both women and men but is more prevalent in women. Osteoporosis can be prevented by starting early with nutritional supplements.

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    Nutritional Supplements for Osteoporosis

     A healthy lifestyle, which includes a balanced diet and exercise, is key to preventing osteoporosis and many other health issues. However, fighting osteoporosis early includes taking certain vitamins and minerals that will delay the onset of osteoporosis.

    Calcium, a Key Component of Bones

    The bone mass loss observed in osteoporosis is usually an imbalance of the process of calcium deposition and extraction to/from bones. It is important to increase the intake of calcium to prevent the onset of this disease. Of course you can do this by eating a Calcium rich diet but some times you need to add calcium as a nutritional supplements to get the amount needed to prevent osteoporosis. According to Harvinder S. Sandhu, MD, Associate Professor of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, the form of Calcium you need to take is important as well the level of intake. Dr. Sandhu recommends taking chelated forms of calcium (calcium citrate, calcium lactate, or calcium gluconate) in amounts from 1000 mg to 1500 mg per day.

    Magnesium, another key mineral

    Magnesium helps to increase bone density and prevent the onset of osteoporosis. The US diet is usually deficient in Magnesium. The recommended amount of magnesium is 300mg to 500mg daily (chelated forms). Also, a 2:1 calcium-to-magnesium ratio should be followed since both mineral works together to prevent osteoporosis.

    Vitamins

    Vitamins D and K are very important to prevent osteoporosis. These two essential vitamins regulate calcium absorption, bone formation and density. According to Dr. Harvinder Sandhu, adults under the age of 50 should get 400-800 IU of vitamin D per day, and adults over the age of 50 should get 800-1,000 IU while the recommended level of vitamin K is 150mcg a day.

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    Osteoporosis can be prevented. It should be started early on life while young since it is a silent disease. Nutritional supplements such as minerals (Calcium and magnesium) and vitamins (D and K) are essential for this purpose.

    Sources:

    Osteoporosis: Calcium and Magnesium

    Osteoporosis: Vitamin D and Vitamin K