New Guidelines for Osteoporosis Screening & Foods You Can Eat Now for Strong Bones in the Future

BlogHer Original Post

Human skeleton

There are new guidelines for osteoporosis screening that will now include many women under the age of 60.

Will these new guidelines affect you?

The answer is maybe.

Basically, it will be recommended that women who could be at a greater risk for fractures (such as a family history of fractures, history of smoking, history of alcohol abuse, or having a slender frame), now be given osteoporosis screenings (bone density tests) at a much younger age then previously suggested. The important part of this news is that it will require insurance companies to cover the cost of these screening tests -- that they might otherwise have not paid for in younger women.

From WebMD -- New Recommendations for Osteoporosis Screening:

The panel maintained its recommendation that all women age 65 and over should get bone density testing, even if they have no other risk factors for the disease, which causes bone to break down faster than it rebuilds. Over time, bones become weaker and more likely to break under even normal stresses and strains, like minor falls.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, half of all postmenopausal women and about one-quarter of men will break a bone because of osteoporosis in their lifetimes.

Is there anything you can do to lower you chances of developing osteoporosis?

Yes.  Eating foods high in vitamin D and calcium today, could help decrease your chances of bone problems in the future.

Are you and your family getting enough vitamin D and calcium?

Foods high in Vitamin D:

1.  Fish oil, cod liver  -- Vitamin D: 2217IU

2.  Fish, herring, Atlantic, raw -- Vitamin D: 2061IU

3.  Fish, catfish, channel, wild, raw -- Vitamin D: 1053IU

4.  Mollusks, oyster, eastern, wild, raw -- Vitamin D: 941IU

5.  Fish, salmon, sockeye, canned, drained solids with bone -- Vitamin D: 920IU

6.  Fish, salmon, pink, canned, solids with bone and liquid -- Vitamin D: 898IU

7.  Steelhead trout, boiled, canned (Alaska Native)  -- Vitamin D: 760IU

8.  Fish, salmon, pink, canned, drained solids with bone  -- Vitamin D: 685IU

9.  Fish, halibut, Greenland, raw -- Vitamin D: 645IU

10.  Vitasoy USA, Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu -- Vitamin D: 581IU

Foods in addition to diary products that are high in calcium:

1.  Sesame Seeds -- A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 351 mg calcium.

2.  Spinach -- A cup of boiled spinach has 245 mg.

3.  Collard Greens -- A cup of boiled collard greens has 266 mg.

4.  Blackstrap Molasses -- One tablespoon has about 137 mg.

5.  Kelp -- One cup of raw kelp has 136 mg.

6.  Tahini -- Two tablespoons of raw tahini (sesame seed butter) have 126 mg.

7.  Broccoli -- Two cups of boiled broccoli have 124 mg.

8.  Swiss Chard -- One cup of boiled chard has 102 mg.

9.  Kale -- One cup of boiled kale has 94 mg.

10.  Brazil Nuts -- Two ounces of Brazil nuts (12 nuts) have 90 mg.

11.  Celery -- Two cups of raw celery have 81 mg.

12.  Almonds -- One ounce of almonds (23 nuts) has 75 mg.

13.  Papaya -- One medium papaya has 73 mg.

14.  Flax Seeds -- Two tablespoons of flax seeds have 52 mg.

15.  Oranges --One medium orange has 52 mg.

I also did a post back in July about the precursor to osteoporosis called osteopenia -- Gwyneth Paltrow has Osteopenia.

Osteopenia is the  term used for bone density that falls somewhere  between less than normal and osteoporosis. People with osteopenia have a greater chance of developing osteporosis, a bone disease which leads to an increased  risk of fractures.

Paltrow was told by her doctors that her vitamin D levels were extremely low. Because vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium into our bones, a vitamin D deficiency is the likely cause of her early diagnosis of osteopenia.

What do you think about the new screening recommendations? Have you had a bone density test? Are you at a greater risk for osteoporosis? Do you try to eat foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone loss?  Please share your thoughts in comments.

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
Also at


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.