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What should I do to make sure my bones stay strong as a teen?

Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine

It is important that you get plenty of calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong.  Exercise that pounds the bones such as running and weight lifting is also important. Many teens drink a lot of soda instead of milk.  Soda can wash the calcium out of your bones. Smoking can also weaken your bones. 

In addition to having healthy eating habits it is important to get calcium from your diet either through milk products, dark green leafy vegetables, soy, beans or canned fish such as salmon with the bones. 

If you cannot get calcium in your diet, you should consider taking supplements.  Teens require about 1300 mgs a day. Vitamin D is absorbed from the sun through the skin, but if you wear sunscreen you may need a supplement.  Most teens need at least 800 IU’s a day.

Vitamin D, calcium and weight bearing exercise are the keys to healthy bones.

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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.