# Prevent osteoporosis. The body cannot absorb calcium from food or supplements without an adequate intake of vitamin D. If calcium levels in the blood are too low, the body will steal the mineral from the bones and supply the muscles and nerves with the amount they need. Over time, the loss of calcium in the bones can lead to osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become porous and prone to fractures. After menopause, women are particularly at risk for developing this condition. Vitamin D taken along with calcium plays a critical role in maintaining bone density.
In a study of 176 men and 213 women over age 65 done at Tufts University, those who took 500 mg of calcium and 700 IU of vitamin D daily for three years experienced a decrease in bone density loss. Moreover, the incidence of fractures was cut in half. In another study, of 3,270 healthy elderly French women, a daily dietary supplement of 1,200 mg calcium plus 800 IU of vitamin D lowered the incidence of hip fractures by 43% in just two years.
National Women's Health Network Fact Sheet
In the United States, fractures from osteoporosis are an important health
More About Bone Density
Both men and women begin to lose bone at about age 35 and lose
Bone density screening can more accurately predict the risk of fracture
Do You Need Bone Density Screening?
The NWHN disagrees with recommendations to screen all
Currently, "low" bone density is defined as levels significantly less than
Women of color are less likely to need bone density screening than are
How To Increase Bone Density or Slow Bone Loss Without Drugs
* Exercise - weight bearing activity builds bone
How To Prevent Fractures
* "Fall proof" your home
Credit: Women's Health Network