Foods and Nutrients That Help and Hurt Bone Health
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- What nutrients do I need, aside from calcium, to keep bones strong?
- Are there foods that damage bone health?
- Are there any medications that reduce bone mass?
Are there foods that damage bone health?Alcohol
Regular consumption of 2-3 ounces a day may cause bone damage even in young adults. Consuming seven drinks per week is associated with an increased risk of low bone density. Heavy drinkers are more prone to bone loss and fractures, says Tejaswini Rao, PhD, RD, a professor of nutrition at State University of New York at Buffalo.Caffeine
One should consume fewer than 400mg of caffeine daily. Excess caffeine increases the loss of calcium in the urine. A 6-ounce cup of coffee has about 100mg caffeine -- although the actual amount will vary depending on brewing time. Tea, soft drinks, and various medications also contain caffeine, says Rao.Sodium
High dietary sodium intake can lead to greater urinary calcium excretion.Vitamin A
Too much vitamin A has been linked to bone loss and an increase in the risk of hip fractures. Scientists believe that excessive amounts of vitamin A trigger an increase in osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. They also believe that too much vitamin A may interfere with vitamin D. Retinol is the form of vitamin A that causes concern. So, while you need vitamin A for proper vision, an excess is detrimental to bones.Protein
Too much protein is associated with an increase in urinary calcium loss; although, so far, according to Teegarden, research has not shown increased protein consumption to be associated with increased risk for fractures.
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