Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Commented

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Health Discovery

Got (Enough) Milk?

If you're over 50, you probably lack a key mineral

En español | People over age 50 don't get enough calcium through the foods they eat to prevent osteoporosis, according to a new study.

The authors say older people who eat less have fewer opportunities to pack away sufficient quantities of calcium-dense foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and leafy green vegetables.

Sign up for AARP's Health Newsletter.

glass of milk - get more calcium to prevent osteoporosis

Consume more milk — more calcium — to prevent osteoporosis. — Photo by Michael Wildsmith/Getty Images

Stephen Walsh, the lead author, says appetites tend to diminish as people age, so people 50 and older need to make a conscious effort to eat more foods with calcium — and make up the shortfall with supplements. A typical older adult, for example, may get 300 mg of calcium a day from non-dairy sources (such as salad greens or salmon) and then have a glass of milk or a yogurt for a total of 600 mg. But that isn't enough calcium, he warns.

"You need about twice as much as that to keep your bones strong, especially if you're a woman whose need for this nutrient increases after menopause," says Walsh, a biostatistician and an associate professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing.

Ideally, people should get their calcium through food. Last year a large study found that calcium supplements may raise the risk of heart attack, and research in 2007 found postmenopausal women who got most of their daily calcium from food had healthier bones than those who took supplements.

Kimberly O'Brien, professor of human nutrition at Cornell University, who was not involved in this latest study, says the research shows that women are more likely than men to take calcium supplements.

"These findings demonstrate the need for increased awareness among older Americans about calcium and other nutrients that are required for bone health," she says.

The research was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Also of interest: Your essential guide to vitamins. >>

Joan Rattner Heilman frequently writes for the AARP Bulletin.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Health Blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives, nutrition and losing weight. Do