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Nutrition for osteoporosis

Nutrition for osteoporosis

You can't do without calcium and vitamin D

The body tries to keep the calcium content in the blood constant and when there is an undersupply of calcium, it depletes the bones. This is why it is so important to supply the body with sufficient calcium in cases of osteopenia or osteoporosis. The recommended daily calcium requirement of 1,000 mg for adults (1,500 mg for osteoporosis according to the German Osteological Association) should be distributed over several doses per day. Dietary fibres make absorption through the intestines difficult; small amounts of fat, milk or vitamin C make it easier.

But without enough vitamin D, the body cannot metabolise calcium properly. Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption from the intestine, reduces calcium excretion via the kidneys, activates osteoblasts (the cells that build bone) and hardens bones by storing calcium.
For daily supply, the DVO Guideline 2017 recommends 800 IU of vitamin D. A good supply of vitamin D is also a prerequisite for successful treatment with bisphosphonates.

The body absorbs vitamin D mainly through sunlight. Especially in winter, you should therefore focus on a good vitamin D supply and check it regularly.

Good to know: Pay attention to the amount of calcium (Ca) or vitamin D actually contained in tablets. For example, a Taxofit D3 tablet contains only 400 mg of Ca and 2.5 micrograms of vitamin D (100 I.U.), whereas an Osteoplus effervescent tablet from the pharmacy contains 1,000 mg of Ca and 25 micrograms (1,000 I.U.) of vitamin D.

The right diet

The right diet can also counteract the development of possible osteoporosis or support therapy.

A good osteoporosis diet - that means eating what the body needs to build and maintain strong bones. A good source of calcium is milk and dairy products, which also contain a lot of protein. For example, 1,000 mg of calcium is equivalent to four glasses of milk. But calcium-rich mineral water, sesame seeds and nuts, dried fruits such as figs or dates, and green vegetables such as kale and sugar snap peas also help to supply the body with the calcium it needs.

Tip: Eat Parmesan cheese! This hard cheese has 1,107 mg calcium / 100 g (37% fat).

Since minerals such as calcium are preserved when heated, a diet rich in green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, leeks, fennel, chard or kale can help ensure a good supply of calcium. At the same time, avoid foods containing phosphates such as sausage, cola, convenience foods and baked goods. This is because phosphates block the absorption of calcium in the intestine.

Recipe tips for calcium-rich meals by Heike Henkel

Both for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, nutrition plays an important role in strengthening the bones. If the body receives too little calcium, it mobilises the mineral from the bones, which results in a decrease in stability in the bones. Therefore, prevent it and make sure you eat a healthy and varied diet.


Breakfast: Fruity porridge (1 serving)

Nutritional value per serving:
145 kcal
9 g fat
11 g carbohydrates
4 g protein
6 g dietary fibre
8.4 g sugar
80.6 mg calcium


Snack: Berry smoothie

Nutritional value per serving:
245 kcal
8 g fat
34 g carbohydrates
8 g protein
5 g dietary fibre
26.8 g sugar
293.2 mg Calcium
0.2 μg (8.0 IU) vitamin D


Lunch: Vegan Bolognese (4 servings)

Nutritional value per serving:
495 kcal
8.25 g fat
75,5 g carbohydrates
26,25 g protein
19 g dietary fibre
14.1 g sugar
148.7 mg calcium
1.53μg (61.2 IU) vitamin D

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