Calcium plus exercise for top bones

According to researchers at the University of Arizona, exercise combined with calcium citrate supplementation provides a significant improvement in bone mineral density (BMD) for postmenopausal women. Building BMD is important in avoiding osteoporosis, the gradual loss of bone density that often results in fractures of the hip, spine and wrist.

Fortunately, osteoporosis often can be prevented through adequate calcium intake and exercise throughout life, beginning in childhood when people are young and healthy. Unfortunately, most fail to take those preventive steps.

This study developed a model for good bone health that was applied both to women already on HRT and women not on HRT. The researchers in this study found that weight-bearing and resistance exercises plus adequate calcium intake from food and calcium citrate were effective in improving bone density in women not on HRT as well as in women on HRT.

Getting the right amount of calcium is important at every age and doctors often recommend supplements to ensure adequate intake.

“In this study, the women were getting less than 800 mg of calcium per day in their diet, and taking the calcium citrate supplements ensured a more optimal calcium intake,” said Linda Houtkooper, PhD.

The best treatment for osteoporosis is prevention. With exercises, tailored to strengthen bone loss-vulnerable sites in the body, and regular adequate calcium intake, postmenopausal women have a way to fight osteoporosis.

Source: University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Aug 28, 2003