Bone Health

What is the most abundant mineral in the body? Calcium!

Daily requirement for calcium is 1000 mg until the age of 50. After the age of 50, this should be increased to 1200 mg per day. It is important to know that menopause causes decreased calcium absorption and increases bone resorption which means there is a breakdown of bone.


Osteoporosis is the most common bone disorder. It compromises bone strength and increases the risk for fractures. Bone loss can begin as early as age 30 and accelerates at menopause.

Risk factors for osteoporosis include low weight, family history, tobacco use, excessive alcohol intake and some medications. Ways to prevent osteoporosis include weight-bearing exercise, no tobacco use, limiting alcohol use and estrogen.

It is important to include calcium in your daily diet. Good sources of calcium include dairy, canned oily fish with bones, tofu, calcium-fortified juice and cereal, broccoli, collard greens and kale. This should include three servings a day (average serving: 300 mg). Keep in mind that the body absorbs 500 mg in a two-hour period.

Calcium supplements can be used, but most people only need 500 mg. This is because too much calcium can increase the risk of kidney stones and possible heart disease. There is no increased risk when calcium is obtained from food sources.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium. The recommended intake of vitamin D is 800 – 2000 units per day. Other sources of vitamin D include UV light, fortified foods and fatty fish. Risk factors for low vitamin D levels are increased in those who have limited sun exposure, dark skin, are obese, or those who have kidney or liver disease.

BMD Testing

Bone mineral density (BMD) testing measures how much calcium or other minerals are in the area of your bone. This test helps your health care provider detect osteoporosis and predict your risk for bone fractures. This test is given to those 65 years or older, at any age if menopausal with medical cause for bone loss, and those experiencing fragility fractures (fractures that occur as a result of performing normal activities).

Depending on the symptoms, your health care provider can determine treatment.

More Information

To learn more about UH Women’s Health Institute, or to speak to a navigator, please call 440-720-3262.

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