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If I am post-menopausal, what should I eat to prevent osteoporosis?

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine

Postmenopausal women who have very limited exposure to sunlight and low amounts of vitamin D in their diet are at increased risk for osteoporosis and hip fracture. Doses of vitamin D beyond the recommended daily allowance do not appear to stimulate additional bone mass. One study indicated that 1 mg of additional vitamin K (ten times the US RDA levels) reduced urinary calcium loss by 33% in postmenopausal women.

In one study bone density increased in postmenopausal women who ate foods rich in soy protein, which contain isoflavones (phytoestrogens). Some experts recommend 25 to 45 milligrams of isoflavones a day. Soy powders, soluble in juice or milk, that list amounts of isoflavones per serving are now available in health food stores. Tofu prepared with calcium may be particularly beneficial. Ipriflavone, a synthetic derivative of isoflavones, is currently being investigated for preventing bone loss. Studies are reporting a positive effect on bone density with very mild side effects (mostly gastrointestinal symptoms).

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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.