Recommendations

Rationale

Notes

Limit dietary factors that promote calcium excretion.

Urinary excretion of calcium increases with large quantities of protein, sugar, salt and phosphates, including carbonated beverages.

The National Academy of Science recommends 80 g of protein/day, but some experts believe that amount is too high and suggest between 45 and 60 g/day.

Reduce consumption of coffee and alcohol.

Coffee and alcohol cause a negative calcium balance (more calcium being lost than taken in), which is associated with an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

Better to avoid alcohol and caffeine altogether, although a glass of wine or caffeinated beverage on occasion is OK.

Eat plenty of calcium-rich foods.
3-5 servings/day

A diet high in calcium helps protect against bone loss. Those following vegetarian diets show lower incidences of osteoporosis, perhaps in part due to lowered intake of protein resulting in decreased bone loss in later life.

Sources include milk and dairy products; tofu; sea vegetables, such as kelp and dulse; and leafy, green vegetables such as collards, kale, parsley, watercress and broccoli, which are also rich in a broad range of vitamins and minerals important to maintaining healthy bones, including vitamin K and boron.

Maintain regular consumption of soy foods.
Between 30-120 g/day soy protein

Naturally occurring isoflavones in soy such as genistein and daidzein, may exert positive bone-building estrogenic benefits.

Soy may be a suitable alternative to synthetic estrogens used to treat osteoporosis in menopausal women.