Osteoporosis and Osteopenia: Nutrients For Strong Bones

total health,osteoporosis bone,osteoporosis calcium,osteoporosis prevention,osteoporosis causes,osteoporosis diet,osteoporosis health,osteopenia,osteoporosis drugsOsteoporosis drugs are one of the most prescribed drugs in America, and, it is estimated, approximately 44 million Americans either have osteopenia (thinning bones that lead to osteoporosis) or osteoporosis (weakening of the bones or brittle bones). However, osteoporosis is not a part of natural aging, and there are things you can do to prevent it. One of the most important things is getting the right nutrients, and there are eight important nutrients you need to build strong bones. To include them in your osteoporosis diet, here’s the list:

Nutrient Why It Helps Sources
B Vitamins In the B vitamin category there are three important B vitamins. They are vitamin B6, B9(folic acid), and B12. These B vitamins lower the levels of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood, and high homocysteine levels have been linked to an increased risk of bone fractures and cardiovascular disease. If you want to make sure you are getting enough B vitamins in your diet, the best way to accomplish this is to chose a daily multi-vitamin that offers 100 percent of the recommended Daily Value. Citrus Fruits
Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Green Beans
Leafy Green Vegetables
Whole Grains
Boron Boron helps to maintain calcium balance, and although currently it’s not considered an essential trace mineral, it is likely to become one. Several studies have indicated people who consumed boron show “changes in postmenopausal women consistent with the prevention of calcium loss and bone demineralization.” However, people can also be allergic to it. If you’re interested in learning more, read Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Almonds
Peanut Butter
Calcium Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our bodies, and everyone knows you can’t have strong teeth or bones without it. For some time doctors have recommended supplemental calcium; however, today, most doctors are recommending you consume no more than 1,200 mg of calcium between diet and supplementation. The most absorbable form of calcium supplement is calcium citrate. The elderly usually consume less calcium in their diet, and, to make matters worse, as you age, your ability to absorb calcium is less efficient. Vitamin C and exercise are both known to help in the absorption of calcium, whereas stress reduces its absorption. Almonds
Dairy Products
Dried Figs
Salmon with bones
Sesame Seeds
Soy Milk
Magnesium Although magnesium is often know as the “anti-stress” mineral, studies have shown people with the densest bones eat a magnesium-rich diet regularly. Magnesium is also needed to operate in concert with potassium and calcium, and because it can increase the absorption of calcium, it helps to prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones. Additionally, because calcium supplements often cause constipation, magnesium can help because it functions as a mild laxative. Dairy Products
Leafy Green Vegetables
Whole Grains
Potassium Potassium helps with muscle contractions and regulates blood pressure. It is also considered vital to cardiovascular and nerve function, and, without it, calcium absorption would not occur. Alcohol, coffee, and sugar reduce levels of potassium, and, in addition, potassium is lost from cooked or processed foods. So, that’s another reason to make sure you eat fresh fruits and vegetables. When you perspire, you also lose potassium, so, you should make sure you replace lost potassium by drinking orange juice or tomato juice. Similar to magnesium, potassium is another mineral found in people with dense bones. Acorn Squash
Lima Beans
Orange or Tomato Juice
Sunflower Seeds
Vitamin C Vitamin C not only offers antioxidant benefits but also is one of the best ways to make sure calcium is absorbed. If you take vitamin C, within two hours after taking the supplement, take your calcium supplements. Additionally, magnesium also requires an acidic stomach for best absorption. Because vitamin C offers so many benefits, many doctors suggest small amounts—less than 250 mg—are beneficial. Bell Peppers
Citrus Fruits
Vitamin D Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone) is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because you can get it from the sun. Vitamin D is important because without it your body cannot absorb calcium, and, many Americans, particularly older Americans, are deficient in it because as you age absorption D, as well as other vitamins and minerals, is reduced. Some doctors object to fortified vitamin D products because they are concerned about toxicity and believe it may be contributing to atherosclerosis. If you decide you want to get your vitamin D from the sun, you need just 15 minutes a day. Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Fortified Milk
Fortified Orange Juice
Fortified Soy Milk
Oily Fish, such as Salmon
   and Sardines
 Vitamin K This fat-soluble vitamin is important to blood clotting; however, it also builds bones, slows bone loss, and heals fractures. In fact, one study showed people who had high vitamin K diets where less likely to suffer hip breaks than people eating low vitamin K diets. Because vitamin K helps blood to clot, you should consult your doctor before taking any supplement other than a multi-vitamin. Additionally, acidophilus based products, such as yogurt or milk may help with vitamin K production, whereas aspirin, air pollution, rancid oils, frozen foods, excessive sugar, and X-rays destroy it.   Blackstrap Molasses
Canola Oil
Egg Yolks
Dark Leafy Greens
Olive Oil

As you can tell, a well-rounded osteoporosis diet is one of the best ways to ensure you are getting the proper nutrients. Besides diet, you can do other things to have good bone health. Exercise regularly, and when choosing an exercise routine, include strength training (weight lifting or resistance training) and weight-bearing exercises (walking, jogging, or tennis). These are the best types of exercises for osteoporosis prevention. Supplements are another option if your diet is less than optimal, but remember supplements do not offer the same benefits as wholesome foods.


  1. Thanks for this chart. I’ve been reading all about vitamin D for the past few months, but I wasn’t aware of the others (B vitamins, boron, etc.) One source of info I’ve found especially helpful is the osteoporosis/osteopenia is the womentowomen.com site — lots of great articles written from a holistic perspective. Here’s one I especially liked: http://www.womentowomen.com/bonehealth/osteoporosis.aspx#boneloss

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