How you can help prevent osteoporosis through diet

February 29, 2016

To protect yourself against osteoporosis, follow this guide on the foods to avoid and which supplements to take.

How you can help prevent osteoporosis through diet

Foods and products to avoid

  • Proteins. If proteins account for more than 30 per cent of your daily caloric intake, your bones may suffer. The origin of the proteins also makes a difference. So for instance, the sulphur found in animal protein has the effect of acidifying the blood. Without adequate amounts of alkaline fruits and vegetables, the body corrects the imbalance by building up calcium in the bones.
  • Salty foods.When consumed in excess, salt has the effect of extracting calcium from the bones. Avoid foods such as anchovies or processed products and increase consumption of foods that are rich in calcium and potassium; it counteracts the leaching of calcium by salt.
  • Alcohol. Too much alcohol affects bone health, because it may interfere with the body's use by of calcium and vitamin D. It also stimulates the excretion of magnesium, an essential mineral for bone strength.
  • In men, excess alcohol lowers testosterone levels, which can interfere with bone regeneration.
  • In women, it can disrupt the menstrual cycle and, consequently, encourage osteoporosis. That said, studies indicate that when consumed in moderation, alcohol can increase bone density. In small amounts, it encourages the conversion of testosterone - the hormone that women also produce - into estradiol, a form of oestrogen that helps prevent bone loss.
  • Caffeine. Caffeine facilitates the excretion of calcium in the urine and can interfere with both its absorption and that of vitamin D. To compensate for this, ensure that you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.

Nutritional supplements to consider

  • Calcium. We still don't know how much calcium will prevent bone loss. According to some studies, it takes 550 milligrams a day; according to others, a high intake has no preventive effect. Longer-term studies are needed.
  • Vitamin D. In summer,we usually get enough sunlight to get its dose of vitamin D (about 15 minutes in the sun, without sunscreen), but from October to April, a supplement may be appropriate. If taking medication, check with the doctor whether it will interfere with the absorption of the vitamin.
  • Potassium. Experts advise not to take more than the amount provided in a multivitamin supplement, unless under medical supervision.
  • Magnesium. As a supplement, it comes in various formulations that sometimes also contain calcium and vitamin D. Magnesium chloride and magnesium lactate are the most easily-absorbed forms. The elderly and those suffering from gastrointestinal diseases are most in need of this supplement. Others get enough from their diet.

Discuss the possibility of osteoporosis with your health care provider to ensure that these diet and supplement approaches are right for you.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu