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Eating to Prevent Osteoporosis

Early, Continuous Prevention is Key


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  • green leaved vegetables, beets, lentils and beans, seeds and nuts, especially almonds and sesame, potatoes are good non dairy sources of calcium and can be absorbed better than supplements or dairy foods which are problematic for some people. the greater the variety in your diet, the more likely it is that you are getting the range of nutrients that will help calcium be assimilated. just enjoy real, unprocessed food in its natural state and that will reflect in the state of your health and wellbeing.
  • Almost all of these tips boil down to just get more cow milk. This causes more problems than it solves. And cow milk is unhealthy, this is recognized by the physicians committee for responsible medicine. Don't you have any tips that don't involve drinking some other mammals milk, or eating products made from it?
  • One more out for sugar, some studies show it decreases phosphorous and causes calcium to leach from bones.

  • I second the RAW milk! Research that states that meat leaches calcium is based on isolated powdered proteins from soy, eggs and/or milk...not high quality grass-fed or organic meat products which are full of good CLA and naturally occurring vitamin A and D needed to utilize calcium effectively. When eating meat, I try to only buy the highest quality, and eat a 2-4 oz portion.

    Another problem to consider is that many people in the US are buying non-fat and low-fat milk. But the fact is that whole milk contains the animal fat with all the vitamin A and D needed for proper assimilation of protein and calcium.

    I know all this conflicting research is confusing. But logic tells me that natural foods, with as little processing as possible, including meat and dairy, along with a good dose of veggies, make a lot more sense then supplements and drugs.
  • I would like to see an article which addresses those who HAVE osteoporosis. Because I am a breast cancer survivor, I must take an estrogen blocker, which has the side effect of weakening bone. In the past year, my DEXA scan showed I have lost a lot of ground and my score was -2.4. My oncologist is very concerned about this rate and prescribed Fosamax, 1500 units of calcium a day, and continuing with weight bearing exercise and free weights. Unfortunately, I can't set my nutrition tracker that high, so every day I get the message that I am going over in calcium.

    Also, just to add a note to the milk controversy here, the best way to consume milk is RAW! The form of fat found is raw milk is healthier for your body and allows better absorption of calcium. (Sources: Nina Planck, "Real Food", and Michael Pollan, "The Omnivore's Dilemma.")
  • Calcium is great and if you are deficient you need to make sure you are getting more, but what about the other minerals that make up our bones? Many people are magnesium deficient and don't even know it. A magnesium deficiency makes it hard for your body to utilize the calcium properly.
    Good food sources of magnesium are nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat bran. There are some great supplements, too. I use Natural Calm.
  • From what I've read, animal protein actually LEECHES calcium from your bones! Our bodies need a lot of calcium in order to digest animal protein, MORE than the calcium that is actually in milk! So every time you drink a glass of milk, you're actually LOSING calcium from your bones just by drinking it! That's why up until recently, Americans were the few suffering from Osteoporosis-- because we are one of the only countries that regularly consumes milk past childhood.

    Ever notice how milk commercials say "calcium, like the kind found in milk, has been linked to bone health?" The research was done on calcium, NOT milk!! You can get plenty of easily absorbed calcium from leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans!

    Sorry to get on my "soap box" there-- I used to be a big milk drinker until I learned about this stuff! It was hard to quit, but I am so much healthier now!
  • I have been doing a little looking on the Internet about eating a low-fat dairy diet. Studies have shown to significantly reduce belly fat and increase metabolism and muscle. Just google low fat dairy diet. I have a friend who went from a size 14 to a size 2 in nine months utilizing this principle. She is over 50 and kept her intake from 1200 to 1500 a day. She looks amazing. I have been doing it for about two weeks and see a difference already, plus, I find that I'm not hungry! Go figure! I have Dannon low fat yogurt with frozen blueberries. That gives you a bunch of calcium! And both my friend and I love 1% Lactaid milk. Yummy. With a little string cheese at 20% -- it's easy! Almost have to force myself to eat.
    I am willing to try this out, but sadly what they are asking me to do is not calorie-efficient for my lifestyle change. But then I guess that's what makes it a life style change right?
    lately i've been reading about lots of studies that show the animal protein in dairy products actually leeches calcium from your bones, and that there is NO connection between consuming lots of dairy and preventing osteoporosis. just sayin'.
  • I just finished reading the article as well as reading other comments and I have to agree the article was a bit 'slanted' with its recommendations as to how to get your calcium. Its not a bad article but I felt like there could of been a little more content.

    Dairy is of course good but it's not the begin all and end all. Be careful taking calcium pills. If you've ever had a kidney stone suffice it to say majority of kidney stones are calcium based. I take a 600 mg calcium and 1000 iu of vitamen D3 at night. I get the rest of my calcium during the day with all the 'regular calcium sources'. I also learned along the journey to stay away from things that deplete calcium (or not make it absorb as well) I was a huge raw spinich salad eater - who knew it worked against calcium (cooked spinich does the opposite) Caffine is a huge no no if you're looking to have the calcium from your sources absorbed into your body.

    Aside from calcium is strength exercises. I was told to use weights when I do just about anything in the gym. Good for the muscles and better for the bones. (osteopenia was diagnosed in my hips) so now I do alot of side rotations etc to make sure I keep everything strong.

    Good Luck everyone on your calcium journey! Keep those bones strong!

  • "If you don't like dairy or dairy doesn't like you....well...try these other dairy options." Come on, you can do better than that!!!! I'm allergic to dairy and found this article rather disappointing. If I could have dairy, calcium would be a no brainer. The fact that I can't was the reason I was reading this article at all. What little information I could use was presented like the afterthought of a dairy council advertisement.
  • I like the idea of using cottage cheese and ricotta cheese. A bit of ricotta with cinnamon and raisins, mmm yummy.
  • I am commenting about the article; Eating to Prevent Osteoporosis. After much research on this subject and also under the care of a renowned researcher in Osteoporosis who has been the President of the National Osteoporosis Foundation I think that there are several factors besides diet that need to be addressed when considering how to treat Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.( the precurser to Osteoporosis). Diet alone WILL NOT PREVENT THIS CONDITION as stated in the article.One needs to know what their level of Vit. D is. This is called serum 25 (OH)D
    It is one of several blood tests that physicians use to determine the treatment for the latter conditions.
    Normal values of Vit. D range from 30.0-100.0 NG/ML.depending on lab. values. Vit. D in adequate levels are needed to ABSORB CALCIUM in whatever form you take it.
    My D level was 4NG/ML and so my physician put me on 50,000 international units of Vit D ( 1 pill) every month until my blood levels of D were withing the correct range.)
    Dr. Felicia Cosman( Helen Hayes hospital) also told me to take 2 tums( 1000mg) of Calcium every day and of course try to injest dietary Calcium into to my diet..
    Although the article pointed out what foods were beneficial to supply the body with the essential nutrients that MAY help to keep Osteoporos at bay, at the present time clinical research is going on to find out what diets, drugs, will stop this disease from progressing to bone fracture.This comment is based upon reading medical articles about the causes of Osteoporosis and speaking with Dr. Cosman..
    There are also other factors( risks and medications) that leach Calcium from the bones.Prednisone is one of the drugs that leach calcium from the bones.Dr. Cosman's articles, interviews and videos can be Googled. I am not trying to advocate seeing her as a physician of choice but rather to let you get acquainted with medical facts based on scientific studies that will give you a basis upon which you might make decisions about this condition if you have it.
    I think that anyone who is concerned about either disease should seek out a physician who SPECIALIZES in these illnesses and be guided by what they think.
    Of course it never hurts to do your own research too.
    New drugs are on the market like IV. Reclast and also an injection that is self given every day. Some people can't tolerate drugs like Fosamax so the latter approach may help. As far as the feared side effect (Osteogenesis of the jaw bone )is concerned: All of the oral drugs, injectables and Reclast may cause this side effect. However it is very, very RARE!

    Elizaneth aka Elizabeth RN.

  • I belong to CURVES and they say the two best ways to protect your bones are:
    1. Get enough Calcium......recommended 1,000-1,200 mg a day. They said that some types of calcium (like Calcium Citrate) are absorbed easier by the body than Calcium Carbonate. You also need vitamin D to absorb calcium and that your body can only absord so much at a time so do not take calcium supplements all at once. I have been using the CURVES vitamins to get 600 mg of my daily calcium (1 multivitamin at breakfast, 1 calcium/vitamin D at lunch, 1 calcium/vitamin D at dinner) and getting the rest from the food I eat (milk, yogert, cheese, skinny cow ice cream sandwitches, etc).

    2. Strength Training.....bones get stronger and denser when you make them work. Walking, jogging, tennis, and aerobic exercises all help. However, many people only work the lower half of the body. The CURVES circuit/workout works the entire body...all of the bones and muscles. It is actually said that the CURVES workout STOPS bone density loss and IMPROVES bone density for many people.....lots of the older women at the gym who get tested yearly have said they are living proof that it works this way. I work out at CURVES 4-5 times per week and also walk.

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