Because osteoporosis has received so much attention in recent years, millions of Americans have swarmed to their doctors for information about how to prevent and treat it. While there is no doubt that osteoporosis can have devastating impacts on the quality of life for older people, the current trend toward over prescribing medications to treat the disease is cause for concern. Millions of doctors in this country are “putting the cart before the horse” by prescribing prescription drugs for their patients without first trying a natural regimen of calcium and vitamin D supplements.

A recent article published in the journal “Nutrients,” describes the results of an interesting osteoporosis study conducted by scientists at the University of Illinois. In the course of the study physicians recommended calcium supplements for individuals who were at risk for osteoporosis instead of immediately offering prescription drugs. The scientists in the study concluded that bone tissue built through pharmaceuticals is not always as strong as tissue built through natural calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Biophosphonates, which are commonly prescribed to treat osteoporosis, may produce higher bone density, but the actual quality of the bone may be compromised. Furthermore, the prescription medications prescribed for osteoporosis have unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects.

As the baby boomers enter their 50s and 60s we will likely see a significant increase in the number of people who are at risk for osteoporosis. The disease causes bones to become weak and fragile which can result in fractures, especially in the hip, spine and wrist. Post-menopausal women have an increased risk because women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone density in the five to seven years following menopause.

For several years, holistic practitioners have supported the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements as a first defense against osteoporosis. Calcium is a mineral that is essential for healthy bones as well as proper function of the heart, muscles and nerves. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.  According to a study conducted by the National Institute on Aging, most Americans are not getting the amounts of calcium they need through their diets.

Don’t let the mainstream media convince you that low bone density is a normal part of aging and that you must take prescription medications to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Take charge of your bone health the natural way by incorporating calcium and Vitamin D supplements into your stay-well strategy.