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Health Tip: Prevent Osteoporosis

Calcium, exercise help keep bones strong

(HealthDayNews) -- Osteoporosis, or soft bones, is a major public health threat for 44 million Americans, 68 percent of whom are women.

Characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, it causes bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Fortunately, it can be prevented and treated.

An inadequate supply of calcium over a person's life plays a primary role in causing osteoporosis. Though people of any age and gender are susceptible, older women are particularly at risk.

The solution: be sure to get enough dietary calcium -- from sources such as milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream; dark green, leafy vegetables; sardines and salmon with bones; tofu; almonds; and foods fortified with extra calcium. If you don't get enough the natural way, your doctor may advise that you take a daily calcium supplement.

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