BALTIMORE (WMAR) - As women of a certain age do, we find ourselves drawn to articles about menopause, and particularly one recently on a government report claiming calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not that beneficial for post-menopausal women.
We wanted to find out a little bit more, because there are so man ads on television purporting the health benefits of these supplements so we spoke with gynecologist Dr. Becky Brightman.
"I think the study drives home the point that we've known for a long time which is that estrogen really plays a role in terms of helping to deposit calcium into the bone," said Dr. Brightman. "So after menopause, women stop making estrogen and as a result they stop making bone and their bone mass really rapidly starts to decline."
So what it you're on a hormone replacement therapy or getting estrogen from another source? Does that calcium and Vitamin D work better?
"Absolutely and the closer a woman is to actually going thorough menopause, the more efficiently she will start to reabsorb the calcium and Vitamin D actually helps the reabsorption of calcium," said Dr. Brightman.
The keys to keeping your bones strong are exercise and a calcium rich diet when you're body is producing estrogen at an early age, so that you're in good shape when menopause hits.
Dr. Brightman says some exercises that help build the upper body are good, anything that involved the use of weights, pushups, yoga so that you can start in a good fighting place.
Calcium really needs to be a part of a young woman's routine, whether or not they get it through three dairy servings.
"Vegetables like broccoli, kale and other green leafy vegetable," Dr. Brightman says are also good in ways to have adequate calcium and help to maximize bone mass before the menopause decline.
Dr. Brightman recommends a baseline bone density test for women over 50 and any woman in menopause. Many insurance plans cover those tests, but coverage varies, so check with your provider and always consult with your doctor.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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