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Do medications and calcium supplement help prevent osteoporosis?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Maybe. In the Framingham study, done to examine heart health, one side study showed exercises that strengthen muscles above and below the joint, vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium helped stop the progression of osteoarthritis. Now here is a caveat: They may sound a bit similar, but osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are two different diseases. While calcium is extremely important for building and keeping strong bones, which staves off osteoporosis, there’s not such strong evidence that extra calcium prevents osteoarthritis or even relieves osteoarthritis symptoms. That being said, inflammatory arthritis accelerates bone loss and strong bones keep you active, which can help relieve symptoms, so getting enough calcium in your diet is crucial. We think you need 600 mg daily from food and supplements. Good food sources include low-fat dairy products (skim milk, no-fat cheese, no-fat yogurt), spinach, and tofu, to name a few. If you need to get the rest from supplements, take it with magnesium. Your pipes will thank us.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.