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Review
. 2005 May;81(5):1232S-1239S.
doi: 10.1093/ajcn/81.5.1232.

Osteoporosis: The Role of Micronutrients

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Review

Osteoporosis: The Role of Micronutrients

Jeri W Nieves. Am J Clin Nutr. .

Abstract

Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat. Adequate nutrition plays a major role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis; the micronutrients of greatest importance are calcium and vitamin D. Calcium has been shown to have beneficial effects on bone mass at all ages, although the results are not always consistent. Higher doses than the current US recommendation (600 IU) of vitamin D in the elderly (age > or = 65 y) may actually be required for optimal bone health (800-1000 IU/d). The elderly can clearly benefit from increased vitamin D intakes; however, the potential importance of vitamin D in peak bone mass is just being investigated. Vitamin D has been related to falls, with supplementation reducing the number of falls. There are clear fracture benefits demonstrated in randomized clinical trials of calcium and vitamin D supplementation. The other micronutrient needs for optimizing bone health can be easily met by a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables to ensure adequate intakes for magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and other potentially important nutrients. Healthcare professionals need to be aware of the importance of adequate calcium and vitamin D intakes (easily monitored by serum 25(OH)D) for optimal bone health, as well as the prevention of falls and fractures. In addition, a healthy diet that includes 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables should optimize the intake of micronutrients required for bone health.

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