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Five Vitamins to Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that occurs when bones become porous and lose their mineral density. When this happens, bones become brittle, fragile and highly likely to fracture. There are many common causes of osteoporosis. It can be a side effect of taking steroidal or anticoagulant medications. These medications can inhibit mineral uptake and utilization. You are also at high risk for osteoporosis if you are a heavy smoker, or drink excessive amounts of coffee or alcohol. Eating a nutritional balanced diet and regular exercise can help prevent osteoporosis. The elderly and special high-risk groups may need to take extra supplementation to be safe. Below are the five most effective supplements for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

1. Calcium

Calcium deficiency is a direct cause of osteoporosis. Though there is plenty of calcium in food sources, deficiency can still occur due to drug, hormonal and other chemical inhibitors that prevent efficient absorption of calcium. You need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day to ensure proper bone development. If you who have impaired digestive function or take calcium-inhibiting medications, you should take an OTC calcium salt, such as Caltrate or BioCalth, to supplement your dietary intake. Postmenopausal women are especially at risk for osteoporosis, so that extra calcium supplementation becomes crucial to prevent the loss of bone mass. Remember, your body cannot handle more than 600 milligrams of calcium per sitting. Any excess of this amount can form deposits in your soft tissue.

2. Vitamin D

Incorporation of calcium into your bone structure requires the presence of vitamin D. Though your body can synthesis its own vitamin D, this process requires the adequate exposure to sunlight and is usually not enough to meet the demand of your body. Because of vitamin D is required for calcium absorption, most fortified and supplement sources of calcium are coupled with vitamin D. Vitamin D is also available as a part of multivitamin pills.

3. Vitamin C

Calcium absorption is more effective in acidic environments. Studies have shown that vitamin C can promote higher calcium uptake. Having lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is the easiest way to ensure vitamin C sufficiency.

4. Phosphates

Phosphorus is the other major mineral component of your bone and teeth structures. Dietary phosphorus ionizes into phosphates and forms the “bone mineral” when combined with calcium. Dietary sources of phosphorus include all fruits and vegetables grown in phosphorus-rich soil. Fortified cereals, dairy and grain products are also excellent sources of this calcium phosphate. OTC phosphates and prescription bisphosphonates are approved for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

5. Estrogen Replacement

Estrogen availability can significantly impact your risk of calcium deficiency and osteoporosis. The cessation of estrogen production in postmenopausal women and women undergoing breast cancer treatment is the main reason why they are highly susceptible to bone deterioration. In addition to taking extra calcium supplements, OTC estrogen analogues offer you extra protection against this disease.

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