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Understanding Osteoporosis Medications (cont.)

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Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or jogging, riding stationary bicycles, using rowing machines, or lifting weights, helps promote bone strength. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is important for bone development, as well as for some of the medications for prevention or treatment to work to their fullest capacity. Vitamin D is also gained from short exposure to sunlight each day (5 minutes without sunscreen, or 1 hour with sunscreen). Unfortunately, vitamin D and calcium supplements, by themselves, are not able to prevent most cases of osteoporosis.

In addition to exercise and diet, various drugs, vitamins, and minerals are used to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Avoiding excessive alcohol ingestion and quitting smoking are also very important.

Dietary phytoestrogens found in soy products and legumes are not potent enough to justify their use as a treatment for osteoporosis, but they may be useful in delaying or preventing osteoporosis as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a calcium-rich diet and exercise.

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