Urgent call to prioritise bone health

With the prevalence of osteoporosis on the rise – more than 4.74 million Australians over 50 years of age (approximately two-thirds of those aged 50 plus) are reportedly living with poor bone health – Osteoporosis Australia is calling for Australians to prioritise their bone health.

The organisation says that one way to prioritise bone health is by learning the risk factors for, and how to best prevent, brittle bones and osteoporosis.

As stated on the Osteoporosis Australia website, Australians “can take action to maintain and improve bone health at every stage of life” through adequate calcium intake, maintaining vitamin D levels and by staying active through regular exercise.


Osteoporosis Australia underscore the importance of adequate calcium intake as this mineral is essential for building and maintaining bone health. In fact, they state that “almost 99% of the body’s calcium is found in the bones”.

They recommend that people try to obtain their calcium from food containing calcium such as low-fat dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt), salmon and sardines, soy-based products fortified with calcium, tofu, broccoli, mustard cabbage, almonds, breakfast cereals that are fortified with calcium, and more.

According to their website, when it’s not possible to obtain enough calcium through diet, they say that a supplement may be required.

“Osteoporosis Australia recommends doses of 500-600mg per day, supplementation in this range is considered safe and effective,” reads their website.

Vitamin D

Adequate vitamin D levels are important for bone health as, according to Osteoporosis Australia, this vitamin supports growth and maintenance of the skeleton and regulates calcium levels in the blood.

Osteoporosis Australia explain that for most Australians the main source of vitamin D is from safe sun exposure. However, they point out that you don’t need a lot of sunlight to obtain adequate vitamin D: “The amount of sun exposure required to produce adequate levels of vitamin D is relatively low.”

While food doesn’t provide you with a lot of vitamin D, there are some foods that contain small amounts of vitamin D such as oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring), liver, egg yolks. Some foods are also fortified with vitamin D.

For those who have low Osteoporosis Australia suggests that a supplement may be required.

“Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate dose for your needs and your pharmacist can also provide general advice on vitamin D supplements,” reads the Osteoporosis Australia website.


Regular, consistent exercise is important for bone health, in particular weight bearing exercise and progressive resistance training.

Osteoporosis Australia states: “The ability of an exercise to build bone (osteogenic capacity) depends on the specific way that stress is applied to the bone during the exercise.”

They recommend:

  • Exercising at least three times per week.
  • Progressing exercise over time.
  • Mixing exercise up – variety is key.
  • Performing HIIT-style exercise – exercising in short, intensive bursts.

Early diagnosis

Osteoporosis Australia also states that early diagnosis of osteoporosis is vital to reducing fracture rates, and their subsequent impacts and costs.

For those worried about their bone health, speak with your healthcare professional.

To learn more about osteoporosis prevention and management, visit: osteoporosis.org.au/