The Facts:

  • 25 million people currently have osteoporosis and 26 million others are at risk.
  • 20 million of these are women (4 out of 5 people)
  • Half of all women over the age of 50 will experience a fracture at some point in their remaining lifetime.
  • 2 million men in the United States have osteoporosis, and another 3 million are at risk.
  • By virtue of aging, everyone is at risk-Caucasian and Asian women are most at risk.
  • We reach our peak bone mass at the age of 35, and then slowly lose bone thereafter.
  • Men reach a higher bone mass than women and develop osteoporosis a decade later than women.
  • Women may lose 30% of bone mass during the first 5 years after menopause if they do not use hormone replacement therapy and decrease risk factors.
  • Potential for a future bone fracture with osteoporosis risk factors is similar to high blood pressure in causing a stroke, or high cholesterol causing a heart attack.

Risk factors for Osteoporosis:

  • Family history
  • Lifelong low calcium intake (less than 2-3 servings / day)
  • Caffeine intake
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use: more than 2 drinks / day
  • Steroid use
  • Anticonvulsant medications
  • Thyroid problems
  • Hypogonadism in men, or low testosterone levels
  • Lack of regular weight bearing exercise
  • Those with eating disorders
  • Slim, small bone framed or tall women, or below normal body weight
  • Over the age of 65
  • History of being treated for breast, ovarian, uterine, testicular or prostate cancer

Calcium / Vit. D requirements:

  • Females 11-24 yrs old need 1,200 mg daily
  • Pregnant women need 1,200 mg daily
  • Women and Men between 25 to 50 yrs old need 1,000 mg daily
  • Women and Men over 50 yrs old need a minimum of 1,200 to 1,500mg daily
  • DO NOT EXCEED 2,000 mg per day of calcium.
  • Vitamin D is also required to help your body absorb and utilize the calcium you take in daily. To fulfill this requirement, you need 15 minutes of daily sun exposure (without sunscreen) or 400 IU of a vitamin D supplement daily. People 51 to 70 years old should get at least 600 IU daily.

How do you prevent Osteoporosis?

Modify any risk factors you have identified whenever possible.

  • Stop smoking.
  • Stop or decrease caffeine intake.
  • Stops or decrease Alcohol intake.
  • Increase weight bearing exercises: walking, jogging, dancing, weight lifting, water jogging aerobics.
  • Prevent falls: wear good fitting shoes, clear walkways at home, well lit stairs, and non-slip rugs.
  • Eat a calcium rich diet and add supplements when needed.

Suggestions for increasing your Calcium intake:

  • Food Serving Size Calcium content
  • Skim Milk 1 cup 296 mg
  • Skim Milk Powder 1/3 cup (dry) 293 mg
  • Skim Milk Yogurt 1 cup 272 mg
  • Skim Milk Hard Cheese 100 grams 400 to 1,200 mg
  • Canned Sardines (with bones) 100 grams 400 mg
  • Canned Salmon (with bones) 6 oz. 334 mg
  • Collards 1 cup 290 mg
  • Spinach 1 cup 212 mg
  • Broccoli 1 cup 98 mg
  • Calcium enriched Orange Juice 8 oz. 350 mg
  • Dried Apricots 1 cup 87 mg
  • Dried Peaches 1 cup 77 mg
  • Raisins 1 cup 90 mg
  • Stewed Rhubarb 1 cup 211 mg
  • Canned Baked Beans 1 cup 138 mg
  • Sunflower seeds 1/2 cup 87 mg
  • Tofu 3 oz. 114 mg

Questions? Call
UIS Campus Health Service (217)206-6676