Frank R. LaBarbera, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
Dietary Calcium and Osteoporosis
Adequate calcium intake is important at all ages, not just after menopause, to reduce your risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Your bones continue to grow until around age 35. After that time the bone mass gradually decreases. The decrease can become more rapid after menopause. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D along with regular weight bearing exercise is important in maintaining good bone health. Your goal should be about 1500 milligrams per day.
Dietary sources are generally the best. Dairy products are high in easily absorbable calcium (but watch the fat and cholesterol.) Calcium from fruits and vegetables, although an important part of your diet, is generally not as well absorbed.
If your diet does not provide you with enough calcium there are numerous supplement products available. Choose carefully as calcium absorption can vary greatly from product to product and may have no relationship to cost. If you need to take more than one per day, spread out the dosing to increase absorption. Remember the best way to avoid fractures is to avoid falls. A simple evaluation of your home to eliminate hazards is the most effective way to stay safe.
Frank R. LaBarbera. M.D. 914 686-1600
Copyright © 2002 Frank R. LaBarbera, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. All rights