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Milk consumption and osteoporosis

Question : I HAVE just been confirmed as suffering from osteoporosis. I was shocked when the doctor told me about my condition as I drink a glass of milk every day. Could you please tell me what is the recommended dosage of elemental calcium? Are there any foods I should avoid ?

Answer : THE Nutrition Society of Malaysia recommends a daily calcium intake of 1,000-1,200mg/day for both men and women. While calcium intake is important in dealing with osteoporosis, there are other considerations as well, as in dietary calcium absorption by the body, the type of calcium consumed, and the balance of calcium and other minerals.

Calcium, whether from diet or from a supplement, is absorbed best when taken in divided doses of 500mg or less. This is because the amount of calcium exceeding 500mg will result in decreased absorption.

Opt for calcium citrate or calcium hydroxyapaptite. Both calcium citrate and calcium hydroxyapaptite are the preferred forms of calcium to supplement with, for better absorption and decreased risk of developing kidney stones. Zinc and vitamin D3 are added for synergistic action and enhanced absorption.

Consume whole grains and calcium foods at different times. This is because whole grains contain a substance that binds with calcium and prevents its uptake.

Besides that, avoiding certain foods may be beneficial. For instance, avoid phosphate-containing drinks and foods such as soft drinks and alcohol. Limit your consumption of citrus fruits and tomatoes as these foods may inhibit calcium intake. Avoid yeast products which are high in phosphorus, which competes with calcium for absorption by the body.

Reduce your coffee intake. Caffeine has been linked to calcium loss. In one study, adults given 300mg of caffeine excreted more than the normal amount of calcium in the urine.

 
 

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