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What is osteoporosis and how can I prevent it?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Normally, your body recycles old bone components to make new ones, and it also deposits new calcium and other minerals into your bone to make them hard and dense. But after you turn 35, your bones stop growing and we gradually lose bone density, which means that the tiny holes in them get larger while the hard substance gets thinner. So your bones become more porous, weaker, and more susceptible to injury and fractures.

If the decrease in bone density is significant enough, it can lead to osteoporosis-a condition that thins and weakens the bones to the point where they can break very easily. In people with osteoporosis, the deterioration of old bone cells outpaces the formation of new bone cells.

If you are getting enough physical activity, controlling blood pressure, and eliminating cigarettes, you're well on your way from keeping osteoporosis at bay.

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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.