Font Size
A
A
A
1
...

Osteoporosis and Calcium

Osteoporosis and Calcium Facts

Calcium is an important nutrient and is needed for many of the body's functions, including blood clotting and the proper function of the heart, muscles, and nerves. Calcium is also critical for the health and strength of bones. Not getting enough calcium can contribute to the development of osteoporosis (porous bones).

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by bones that are thin and fragile and can break (fracture) easily. People with osteoporosis have low bone mass, and low bone mass can result in bone fractures.

Having enough calcium intake in the diet is essential in helping to prevent osteoporosis and helping to prevent the loss of bone mass.

Calcium alone cannot protect a person from bone loss caused by certain medications or diseases, smoking, alcoholism, not enough exercise, or a lack of estrogen. Calcium does help a person maintain healthy bones, though, and it helps children and adolescents grow strong bones. However, only 50%-60% of adults and only 10%-25% of adolescents in the United States get the recommended amount of calcium.

Last Reviewed 11/17/2017

Must Read Articles Related to Osteoporosis and Calcium

Osteoporosis FAQ
Osteoporosis FAQs Osteoporosis (or porous bone) is a disease in which bone loss occurs, so bones become weak and are more likely to break. This FAQ includes information about tre...learn more >>
Osteoporosis in Men
Osteoporosis in Men Osteoporosis (or porous bone) is a disease ...learn more >>
Prevention of Osteoporosis
Prevention of Osteoporosis Osteoporosis (or porous bone) is a disease ...learn more >>

Foods That Help to Prevent Osteoporosis

Many foods can help prevent osteoporosis. A number of scientific studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables leads to stronger bones. Low-fat dairy products are high in calcium, and many are fortified with vitamin D and help strengthen bones. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are high in vitamin D. Canned sardines and salmon (with bones) are high in calcium.


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Osteoporosis (Secondary) »

Osteoporosis, a chronic progressive disease, is the most common metabolic bone disease in the United States.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary