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Increasing Calcium in diet for Osteoporosis

(111 Posts)
RedRidingHood Thu 21-Sep-23 15:56:25

I have osteoporosis and as well as bisphosphonates I was prescribed calcium and vitamin D supplements.
I'm reading more and more that there is a risk of the calcium affecting arteries and decided to see if I can get enough in diet alone.
calcium supplementation, but not dietary calcium, positively correlates with abdominal aorta calcification in postmenopausal women

I had a discussion with a specialist nurse at the Royal Osteoporosis Society and she said I would need 1.5g of calcium a day (which is quite a lot), plus you need vitamin D to help absorption.

I am going to try and really boost the calcium in my diet but could do with some tips.
I don't like tofu which is a shame as it's very rich in calcium. Not keen on cheese but can tolerate a little. I eat Greek yoghurt every day and use skimmed milk which is slightly higher in calcium than semi.

Glorianny Sun 01-Oct-23 12:47:06


I wonder how people who are too ill, too old or too unfamilar with modern technology to actively find out what they can do to manage their osteoporosis for themselves do.

Presumably resign themselves to constant bone fractures until they are so disabled that they have to go into a care home.

Perhaps it depends where you live. My osteoporosis has always been well managed. I was given appointments with a specialist nurse after diagnosis to discuss diet and exercise, and given leaflets on both. My drug use was monitored and a holiday advised and I have been called for scans regularly since.
My mother received similar treatment and in her late 80s was given six monthly injections as her drug taking was not reliable. She recovered from a femur fracture through walking and exercising and was operated on for a face fracture. She was still mobile when she had her last fall at 94.

M0nica Sun 01-Oct-23 17:34:36

Where do you live Gloryanny We are planning to relocate!! Currently we live near Oxford and I was sent to the orthopaedic hospital there and, as you have read above, my contact with them has been minimal and help, advice and even an explanation of my problem near to non existent.

Fortunately for me a career as a researcher leaves me well able to find all the information I require, but I am the exception, not the rule, and. as osteoporosis tend to be a disease of elderly women, my local hospitalshould be making much more effort.

Glorianny Sun 01-Oct-23 17:45:40

I'm in the NE but you have to be careful. One excellent NHS trust, but neighbouring ones are not as efficient or as caring. I was talking to someone who has numerous health problems and is pregnant, she recently moved from one trust area to the good one. The standard of the joined up care she is receiving has astounded her.

RedRidingHood Sun 01-Oct-23 18:35:36

My experience has been very similar to yours MOnica.
I asked repeatedly for a dexa scan because I knew I was high risk and yet they put me on steroids.
My Rheumatologist had been reluctant to give me a dexa scan but eventually agreed. When I saw him for the results he had forgotten and his parting words were oh yes you have osteoporosis. I'll prescribe something. That was the full extent of it. I've had to find out more for myself.

TBH I have a long list of health conditions and osteoporosis has never seemed a priority.

M0nica Sun 01-Oct-23 19:26:41

RRH You can do a lot for yourself, just by taking a vitamin D supplement (minimum 1000iu) and upping your calcium intake, ideally more milk or cheese each day.

Glorianny Sun 01-Oct-23 22:52:15

I do wonder if the service is deteriorating like much of the NHS? I had my first scan 25 years ago. I had no symptoms and no broken bones. I'd just gone through the menopause, knew my mum had it and there was a family history of it. I simply asked them to do one.

M0nica Mon 02-Oct-23 07:18:58

In my case I had absolutely no symptoms and ticked none of the vulnerability boxes, but I am part of the UK Biobank sample and it was found when I volunteered for one of their research projects which included a DEXA scan. I must have had osteoporosis for at least 15 years, may be longer, as the fall that probably unknowingly fractured my vertibrae was 13 years ago.

Sorry, RRH I re-realised yours was the OP and you were asking about increasing your calcium. here is a link to a website giving a list of the calcium values of various foods Tinned fish like sardines and pilchards are high in calcium, if you eat the bones, also any member of the cabbage family, oranges and whubarb, to name but a selection.

Glorianny Mon 02-Oct-23 13:28:17

When I broke my wrist, several years after I'd started treatment I remember a nurse telling me they were introducing a programme which would arrange for all women over a certain age who broke a bone to have a scan, bet that's gone now!!!

Quokka Mon 02-Oct-23 14:50:49


Hi you need to take K2 along with D3 . The K2 takes the calcium and puts it in your bones

That’s very true. Research suggest it redirects calcium to bones rather than depositing it eg arteries. It’s no as simple as just adding calcium and D3 to the diet. Collagen is an important constituent of bone too.

Quokka Mon 02-Oct-23 15:00:02

I can recommend the Royal Osteoporosis Society. You can talk to one of their nurses. Found them very supportive myself,