Focusing on osteoporosis

Dietitian Heather Miller, who holds clinics in Balla, Castlebar and Claremorris, this week talks about osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is when bones become thin and their strength is reduced, making them more likely to break. During childhood and early adulthood they develop their strength and from our mid-thirties onwards start to lose calcium slowly, causing bone thinning. Therefore, it is very important to strengthen bones in the first 30 years of life to stockpile calcium and other minerals, helping to offset the effect of ageing on bone loss, and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. A bone-friendly diet and lifestyle is useful at any age to strengthen bone, or minimise age related bone loss.

Calcium sources:

Fruit yoghurt or calcium enriched soya yoghurt.

Milk (any type ) or calcium enriched soya milk.

Sardines in tomato sauce, pilchards in tomato sauce, small tin canned salmon.

Tofu, peanuts, peas, black beans, baked beans.


Spring greens, spinach, green leafy vegetables.

Dried figs.

Two slices of white or wholemeal bread.

It is also imperative that we get vitamin D, as this increases calcium absorption from our foods into our body, and helps strengthen bones.

Vitamin D rich foods:

Oily fish; cod liver oil supplement; liver; egg yolks; fortified margarines; fortified fruit juices, eg, Tropicana; some fortified breakfast cereals;

vitamin D-enriched milk and dried milk powder.

Finally, exercise is just as important as diet and daily weight-bearing exercise can strengthen lower bones

If you want to make an appointment with Heather Miller call her on 087 172 3664 or email [email protected].

Heather Miller has clinics in: Balla Medical centre, Balla; 24 St Patrick’s Avenue, Castlebar and O’Brien’s Pharmacy, Claremorris.


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