Harvard Women's Health Watch

Ask the doctor: How can I protect against bone loss?

Q. I have osteoporosis, and my doctor has recommended that I take a bisphosphonate drug. Is there anything else I can do to protect my bones and keep them strong?

A. Bisphosphonate drugs are a good option for treating osteoporosis, because they slow the breakdown of bone. They're one of several drug treatments for the condition, which also include estrogen, raloxifene (Evista), and teriparatide (Forteo). Follow your doctor's advice and stick to your drug regimen, but you don't have to stop there.

Also make sure to get at least 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium each day, preferably from foods such as yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and tofu. Add to it 800 IU of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. Good sources include salmon and vitamin D-fortified milk.

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