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Healthy Living

Bones

Bone Up On Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, the progressive thinning of the bones, affects more than 20 million people, most of them over the age of 50. Eight times more common in women than in men, the condition affects as many as half of all women over 45, and 90 percent of those over 75. People with the following sets of characteristics are most at risk:

  • Caucasian or Asian heritage
  • Fair complexion or thin body build
  • Family history of Osteoporosis
  • Premature menopause or absence of menstrual periods
  • History of smoking or alcohol use

The best cure for Osteoporosis is prevention. Here are some suggestions that you can add to your daily living.

  1. Increase your calcium intake – Getting enough calcium is not that difficult. Here are some easy ways to add more calcium to your diet.
    • For breakfast, prepare your hot cereal or cocoa with milk, instead of water.
    • For lunch, fill a melon with cottage cheese or frozen yogurt.
    • For dinner, toss low-fat grated cheese on your salad or baked potato.
    • For a snack, enjoy yogurt. Add fruit, nuts, or granola, if you like.
  2. Keep a closer watch on your diet and vitamins. Vitamin D increases the amount of calcium your body can use. Caffeine and salt may hinder absorption.
  3. Exercise is wonderful prevention for all kinds of ailments. Regular weight-bearing exercise helps stimulate new bone growth and helps build stronger bone reserves for later in life.

(Sources: National Institute of Health and the Dairy Council)

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