Young People Get Osteoporosis Too 

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Whether your calcium comes from milk or collard greens, one fact is clear, it's a fussy little mineral.  It will not do its work alone.  In order to be absorbed, it must have the cooperation of a number of supportive nutrients.  To maintain adequate levels of calcium in the blood--thereby reducing the chances that the body will steal reserves from bones-- vitamin D and magnesium are necessary.  And calcium maintains a delicate balancing act with the mineral phosphorus; when phosphorus levels are excessive, calcium will be excreted.

Magnesium is one of several minerals that make up bone.  It is also important for many chemical reactions in the body, including conduction of nerve impulses to the heart and other parts of the body.  Research indicates that people whose diets are rich in magnesium have denser bones.  See this page for details about  magnesium-rich foods


Potassium is the latest nutrient with research-proven benefits for bone.  It has been discovered that women whose diet is high in potassium have denser bones in their spine and hip.  Potassium contributes to the proper acid balance in the blood, so the body doesn't need to draw calcium from the skeleton for this purpose.  Potassium is also needed for proper fluid balance in our bodies, for conduction of nerve impulses, and for muscle contractions.  Sources:  oranges, bananas, and vegetables


Vitamin K is required for blood clotting and also contributes to production of collagen, a component of cartilage, connective tissue, and bone.  Vitamin K also contributes to the production of osteocalcin, a protein critical for bone formation. Sources:  broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, spinach, collard greens, strawberries, liver


Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen production, which is the first step in bone formation.  Evidence shows that women whose diet contains more Vitamin C have better bones.  Sources:  bananas, cantaloupe, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes


Vitamin D is just as important as calcium for strong bones.  Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption as well as aids in the biochemical process by which calcium turns into bone.  Sources:  cold saltwater fish, seafood, mushrooms, sunshine


Boron reduces the loss of calcium from bones, also increases the levels of active estrogen in the body.  Sources:  apples, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, cherries, grapes, legumes, nuts, peaches, pears


Zinc regulates the secretion of calcitonin from the thyroid gland and influences bone turnover.  Sources:  brazil nuts, oats, oysters, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, rye, split peas


Copper is essential for the normal growth and development of the skeleton.  Sources:  buckwheat, crab, liver, mushrooms, peanut butter, seeds and nuts, split peas, vegetable oils (sunflower, olive)


Silicon is essential for normal skeleton growth by playing a role in the initial stages of bone development when the protein matrix is constructed.  Sources:  asparagus, cabbage, cucumbers, dandelion greens, lettuce, mustard greens, olives, parsnips, radishes, white onions, whole grains