Rehabilitation Assoc. Of Long Island

Osteoporosis Activity and Diet Recommendations:


Weight-bearing exercises like walking, climbing, bicycling, and aerobics are one of the most effective measures you can take to prevent or slow osteoporosis. Note that swimming, while an excellent exercise, isn't useful for treating osteoporosis because you don't put any pressure on your bones, which is what helps strengthen them.

Diet is also very important in preventing and controlling osteoporosis. Your doctor will probably recommend you increase your calcium intake, either through supplements or diet. You may also want to ask your doctor about your vitamin D intake, since it works with calcium to increase bone density.

Dairy products are a well-known source of calcium, but it can also be found in leafy green vegetables, sardines, and salmon. Other nutrients important to bone-building include vitamin K-1 and boron. K-1 is a form of vitamin K found only in plants,

especially broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and green tea. Boron is found in many fruits and vegetables.

Other minerals and vitamins important for maintaining bone density include the following:

•           Fluoride

•           Magnesium

•           Manganese

•           Zinc


Things to avoid in your diet:

For those with osteoporosis, certain foods and beverages are best kept to a minimum:

•           Soft drinks: Not recommended, since their ingredients routinely include caffeine, plus high levels of sugar and phosphates, which contribute to calcium loss. (Colas, Dr. Pepper)

•           Alcohol: Elimination is best, but at the very least, limit your consumption.


•           Antacids: Avoid the kinds that contain aluminum salts, which block calcium absorption. Use those that include calcium carbonate.


Quality of Life

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, call us to talk about what activities are best suited for your condition. In general, you'll want to avoid situations that are more likely to cause a bone break, especially if your DEXA score is negative 2.50 or less.



•           Calcium. For a good source of supplemental calcium, take Rolaids or Tums. These over-the-counter antacids contain about 200 mg of calcium per tablet. But stay away from calcium supplements containing bone meal, dolomite, or oyster shells. They may contain lead, a toxic heavy metal. Sometimes calcium carbonate can cause bloating and constipation, so consider trying calcium citrate preparations. 

•           Vitamin D. In one study, 348 postmenopausal women took either a placebo or a vitamin D supplement (400 IU/day). All the women consumed about the same amount of calcium. After two years, the placebo group had lost bone mass, but the vitamin D group had stronger bones. 

Studies have shown that calcium and Vitamin D supplementation can slow bone loss by up to 25%. 


Self-Care Measures

 The best treatment for osteoporosis is prevention. And the best prevention seems to be a combination of diet, dietary supplements, and exercise. The following self-care measures may reduce osteoporosis, or prevent it from developing in the first place. Eat foods high in calcium. The National Institutes of Health and the American Medical Association recommend 1,500 mg of calcium per day for postmenopausal women, slightly less for other adults. Start with high-calcium foods, such as yogurt (350 mg/serving), milk (300 mg), spinach (245 mg), cheeses (200 mg to 275 mg), beans (150 mg to 200 mg), and tofu (150 mg).

Take a calcium supplement. Calcium supplements repeatedly have been shown to slow bone loss in postmenopausal women. The suggested dose is 1,000 mg (1 gram) per day. Vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium also help your body use calcium. It's recommended that you get half as much magnesium as calcium, so if you're getting 1,000 mg of calcium per day, balance it with 500 mg of magnesium. Calcium and vitamin D work together to keep your blood level of calcium normal.

Calcium supplements are available in many forms. Chewable antacids are not the best way to get calcium since your body does not absorb most of the calcium contained in them. Calcium carbonate tablets are a better form of the supplement, and calcium citrate may be even better tolerated.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. They're high in several nutrients that play important supporting roles in bone health, including magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, and boron.

Exercise regularly. Every authority on osteoporosis recommends regular weight-bearing exercise, including walking, dancing, aerobics, and even gardening. (Note that swimming, while a very beneficial exercise for many people, is not recommended for the treatment of osteoporosis, as it offers no weight-bearing potential.) In one study, 42 sedentary women over age 60 remained inactive, while 42 others took daily 20- to 50-minute walks. After a year, the sedentary group had more severe osteoporosis, but the walkers showed very little bone loss. Exercise has been shown to increase bone mass to a modest degree, and to prevent further loss of bone mass.

Spend some time in the sun. When sunlight strikes your skin, your body makes vitamin D, which is crucial to strong bones. Without it, your bones can't absorb calcium. You can also get vitamin D from a few foods, notably tuna and vitamin D-fortified milk and dairy products.

Eat more beans. Doctors often prescribe estrogen to menopausal women, in part to prevent osteoporosis. But there's a natural way to get estrogen: beans, especially soybeans and soybean products, such as tofu, contain plant estrogen (phytoestrogens). Naturopaths and nutrition experts recommend phytoestrogens to prevent bone loss.

If you smoke, quit. Smoking accelerates osteoporosis.

Keep your home safe. For those at risk for falls and diagnosed with osteoporosis, a safe environment is important. Keep your home well lit, and eliminate any unnecessary obstacles and dangerous cables or wires that you might trip over. If possible, get someone else to do tasks that would require you to apply pressure with or on your joints and bones. When you go out for a walk, watch the road for cracks and potholes.


Call us at (516) 364 3382 to make an appointment with Dr. Gaudino to learn more about how you can

treat and prevent Osteoporosis naturally. We take on most insurance plans.

We look forward to helping you.