Health Watch — Father's Day: Bone Density in Men

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

 This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about men’s health issues, in honor of Father’s Day. When you’re celebrating Father’s Day with your father or son, maybe you should enjoy a glass of milk together.

We usually think of osteoporosis as a women’s problem, but it can affect men, and it’s more likely to go undiagnosed in men. Dr. Khashayar Sakhaee, chief of mineral metabolism at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says lifestyle modifications are a good way to avoid weakening bones. Don’t smoke, drink alcohol in moderation, and exercise regularly, along with getting enough calcium. Men aged 30 to 50 should take 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, and 1,200 milligrams starting at age 50. Vitamin D is also essential for maintaining strong bones. Up to age 70, 400 to 800 International Units of vitamin D may be enough, but the dose should increase to 1,000 International Units at age 70.

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June 2008

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