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April 15, 2011, last updated September 20, 2014

By L. Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Men can get osteoporosis, too. Osteoporosis, the bone
disease which can cause porous and brittle bones, affects
some 9 million people in the United States, according to a
2013 report from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.  
Another 48 million suffer from low bone density which
puts them at risk for osteoporosis.

Twice as many women as men suffer from this condition,
which has led some men to mistakenly believe that
osteoporosis is a “woman’s problem”.   Wrong.
Osteoporosis affects up to 20% of all men over the age of
50, the Mayo Clinic reported in a 2001 study led by Dr. L.
J. Melton. These men typically suffered osteoporosis in the
hip, wrist or spine.  

Left untreated, osteoporosis causes tiny breaks in your
bones. Your spine, which is one of the largest skeletal
structures in your body, is particularly vulnerable to
osteoporosis. Tiny breaks in the bones of your upper spine
will render your spine unable to hold the weight of your
head. Over time, you start to bend over more and more.
Some people with osteoporosis walk with a 45 degree
angle to the ground, forcing them to literally look down as
they walk.

What Causes Osteoporosis in Men?

The same factors which lead to osteoporosis in women by
and large cause the condition in men.  Genetic
predisposition to porous bones, lack of weight bearing
exercise, lack of calcium and Vitamin D all are factors that
increase your risk for osteoporosis.

But research has found that some factors put men
especially at risk for osteoporosis.
A 2013 study from Onsekiz Mart University in Turkey
found that men who are exposed to arsenic face higher
rates of osteoporosis and osteopenia. In fact men 54% of
men who have had chronic exposure to arsenic developed

Natural Remedies for Osteoporosis in Men

1.        The Gym, the Gym, Always the Gym.  Men who lift
weights suffer lower rates of osteoporosis.

Weight-training raises bone density. How much weight you
should you lift to help osteoporosis? That depends on your
present bone density. Starting with too high a weight can
place too much stress on your bones which can lead to
fractures, especially if you already have low bone density.

Choose a weight which you can lift comfortably for 5 to 10
reps without straining.

Get Some Sun.  Vitamin D offers natural protection
against osteoporosis and osteopenia.  Most men who live
in the Southern Hemisphere get plenty of sun. But men
who live in the United States, Canada, and Northern
Europe experience chronically low levels of Vitamin D.  

You need about 20 minutes of direct sun a day to maintain
healthy Vitamin D levels. If you live in a dreary climate, try
Vitamin D supplements. So chronic is Vitamin D deficiency
and so critical is Vitamin D to protection against diabetes,
depression, bone disease and other conditions that
doctors in Canada have recommended that all immigrants
from sunny climes get screened for Vitamin D deficiency.

Get More Calcium. Milk does indeed build strong
bones. If you are lactose intolerant, try eating mackerel,
sardines or other bony fish to boost your supply of
calcium. Also, try calcium-enriched cereals for breakfast.

Get More Vitamin K. Very few people are aware of
the health benefits of Vitamin K. But Vitamin K, the vitamin
which keeps you from bleeding to death, is also critical in
helping to prevent hip fractures. People who are deficient
in Vitamin K suffer thinning at the neck of the thigh bones
where it meets the hip. The good news is that boosting
your levels of Vitamin K can help.  

Foods rich in Vitamin K include natto the fermented soy
beans favored in Japan as a breakfast food and gouda
cheese.  Other fermented cheeses have lesser amounts of
Vitamin K.  

More Water Please. There is some evidence that people
who drink water suffer less from brittle bones.

Most people are not aware of the fact that bones contain a
lot of water. In fact, bones are made up of 25% water,
according to a 2010 study led by Dr. Stavros Manolagas
and Dr. A. Michael Parfitt of the University of Arkansas
Medical Science.

As the doctors report "bone contains water, which
represents at least 25% of its wet weight and provides
much of its unique strength and resilience."

Water moves, more or less constantly through special
channels and canals inside your bone's structure, literally
percolating through what appears to the naked eye as
solid bone.  

If you drink 8 glasses of water a day, you are getting
plenty of water for your normal needs. However, if you
exercise or if you live in hotter climates, you'll need to
drink more, beyond your level of thirst to keep your body
and especially your bones hydrated.


Keep Your Testosterone Levels Healthy to Avoid

Being male is one of the chief protectors against
osteoporosis. Men have fewer bone fractures than women,
principally because men greater skeletal strength and more
testosterone, suggested a 2014 study from the Center for
Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine,
Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg in  

Over time, testosterone levels fluctuate and then decline.
There are, however,
foods you can eat to improve blood
testosterone levels.

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