Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Join the Drive to End Hunger!


America's Winter Escapes Sweepstakes
Introducing RealPad by AARP
You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad


AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App



Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 


AARP Games - Play Now!


Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

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


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.



Heart Disease


Most Popular


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


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points