Strategy #1: Move your bod. Exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise such as walking, tennis, dancing, rope-jumping, basketball, and backpacking, helps build strong bones. Swimming is not considered a weight-bearing exercise because of the zero-gravity environment of water.
Strategy #2: Do kinder gentler exercises. Free the neck! Power to the pelvis, Liberate the vertebrae 31! Doing yoga and other gentle exercises help make you limber and stronger. However, headstands and shoulderstands should not be done if you already have osteoporesis.
Strategy #3: Avoid calcium vampires. Calcium vampires are substances that suck the calcium out of your bones. In other words, they stimulate the body to excrete more calcium than is being put into it. Substances which are calcium vampires are alcohol, caffeine, salt, animal protein, fats, tobacco, distilled water, oxalic acid-rich foods (chard, rhubarb, spinach, and chocolate), and aluminum (absorbed from baking soda, aluminum pots, and from certain deodorants). Phosphorus-rich foods and drinks also impair calcium absorption, the worse offenders being soda drinks, milk and milk products, and many processed foods.
Strategy #4: Avoid the calcium vampire drugs. Many drugs disrupt calcium absorption or metabolism, including antacids, antibiotics, anti-depressants, barbituates, cholesterol-reducing drugs, corticosteroids, diuretics, laxatives, and chemotherapeutic drugs.
Strategy #5: Support stomach acid. An inadequate amount of stomach acid can lead to poor absorption of calcium. To increase stomach acid, eat charcoal-barbequed foods or charcoal supplements, eat more slowly, and don't wash your food down too quickly with a drink.
Strategy #6: Go outside. Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption. You can absorb vitamin D by being exposed to the sun. Get a healthy dose of this sun vitamin (an hour or two), but don't overdo it.
Strategy #7: Fish for fish oil. Fish oil has a healthy dose of vitamin D which helps the body absorb calcium.
Strategy #8: Do the calcium-magnesium team. Calcium and magnesium are a team that work together in your body, so if you take calcium, you should also take magnesium. Pre-menopausal women should take approximately 1,000 mg. of calcium a day, and during menopause they should take about 1,500 mg. The best calcium supplements (in order of preference) are hydroxyapatite, citrate, lactate, gluconate, and carbonate. It is best to avoid taking large doses of calcium at one time; better to take smaller doses more frequently. Also, don't think that megadoses of calcium are better than the above recommendations; too much calcium can create problems because it displaces iron, manganese, and zinc, and it can lead to kidney stones. The dose of magnesium should be at least 50% of the dose of calcium. For additional help, take 1,000 mg. of vitamin C, which helps to create collagenous fibers to which the calcium of the bone is attached.
Strategy #9: Supplemental supplements. Boron, zinc, copper, and manganese are essential for bone integrity. They are all in green leafy vegetables. Boron is of special value; it has been found to stimulate higher estrogen levels and increase bone density. Supplementation of 5 mg. per day is recommended.
Strategy #10: Calcium-rich foods. Sardines, salmon, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, tofu with calcium sulfate, mineral water, and sesame seeds all will supply your body with calcium. If you choose to get your calcium from milk, yogurt, or cheese, it is recommended to consume low-fat or non-fat products because the body will be better able to assimilate their calcium.