You will have a much better chance of keeping your bones strong if you start good eating habits young. Eating well, doing weight-bearing activities regularly (like walking or weight training), and taking certain supplements can help you avoid osteoporosis.

Calcium is important. In addition to what women get from their diet, they should take 1,200 to 1,500 mg a day; men should get no more than 1,000 mg to 1,200 mg a day from all sources. Vitamin D is key too. Your body makes it when it is exposed to sunlight, but seniors and dark-skinned people should consider taking 1,00 IU daily - because their bodies may not make as much.

Other vital bone nutrients:

Vitamin C is a building block of collagen - one of those first elements in bone formation. Some research shows that women who take vitamin C supplements have stronger bones. Find it in citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, cantaloupe, peppers, broccoli, and potatoes. Take an additional 200 mg of vitamin C daily, in addition to eating plenty of vitamin C enriched foods.

Magnesium is another mineral that aids in bone formation; bone density is higher in people who get plenty in their diets. It is found in leafy greens, whole grains, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, and potatoes. Try to take half as much magnesioum as you do calcium. READ LABELS! Your calcium tablets may also contain magnesium - many do. DON’T TAKE MAGNESIUM IF YOU HAVE IMPAIRED KIDNEY FUNCTION.

Vitamin K, potassium. You don’t need to take a supplement for this unless your doctor tells you to. K slows bone loss and speeds fracture healing; food sources are leafy greens and healthy oils like olive oil and canola. Potassium can be found in fruits and veggies - bananas and potatoes, for example. People who eat potassium-rich diets tend to have denser bones.


Try soy foods. Soy foods can be helpful, possibly because of their phytoestrogen content. Try two servings daily of whole soy, such as tempeh, deamame, or calcium-fortified soy milk or tofu. Skip supplements such as ipriflavone, which may reduce immunity in some.

Watch salt intake. Socium can increase the amount of calcium you lose in urine. Cut back by limiting processed and fast foods and not adding salt at the table.

Avoid high protein diets. Too much protein has been shown in some studies to increase urinary calcium loss.

Go light on alcohol. Heavy drinking may reduce your body’s ability to absorb calcium - and it can lead to falls. But having one drink a day for women, or two for men, may help build bones.

Using antioxidant supplements during cancer treatment could be a very bad idea, based on a recent report published by the American Cancer Society. Thought the treatments can be toxic, antioxidants may protect not just the healthy cells but also the cancer cells the procedures are trying to kill. Stop taking the supplements a week before a first chemo or radiation session and resume a week after the last one. But do continue to eat your fruits and veggies.

You can safely boost your immune system and health protect healthy cells by taking astragalus, a Chinese root. Mushrooms, such as shiitake, maitake, and reishi stimulate the immune system and may limit or stop the growth of cancer cells. They come in dried, fresh or capsule form.

Milk thistle can protect the liver as it processed the poisons used in chemo.These herbs and mushroom supplements are available at health food stores; follow label directions, and be sure to keep your doctor informed about your use of supplements.