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Bones and Stones

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Bones are living, growing tissue.

They are made of collagen, hardened by calcium phosphate. Calcium, Vitamin D, and exercise keep them strong.

Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended against Calcium and Vitamin D supplements for post-menopausal women, because calcium supplements can increase risk of kidney stones and heart disease in those women – but not Calcium from foods.

The Institute of Medicine confirms the importance of Calcium and Vitamin D in bone health, and has set recommended daily allowances, according to age and gender.

Where should your Calcium come from? From your diet is safest and best.

Three daily servings of dairy are a good start. Among numerous non-dairy sources, there are figs, sesame seeds, nuts, and kale.

There’s a myth that carbonation can hurt bones. The National Osteoporosis Foundation says it doesn’t. But there are things that can, if they affect your calcium balance: too much alcohol … high dietary protein … caffeine … phosphorous … and sodium. But you can help make up for any calcium lost by taking in enough to meet your body’s needs.

I mentioned exercise:

Don’t forget about lifting weights, and weight-bearing exercise. They are both vital to stimulating new bone formation.