A new report issued recently by the U.S. Surgeon General warns that by 2020, one in two Americans over age 50 will be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis or low bone mass unless they start strengthening their bones now with calcium, and vitamin D.
Osteoporosis is a major public health threat that can lead to bone weakness and an increased tendency to fractures. This new report says that 10 million Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis, while another 34 million are at risk for developing osteoporosis. And each year, roughly 1.5 million people suffer a bone fracture related to osteoporosis.
Lack of calcium intake has been singled out as a major public health concern because it is very important to bone health and the average American takes in amounts of calcium that are far below the recommended doses for bone health.
The Surgeon General recommends getting the right amount of calcium from the diet and vitamin D from fortified foods and sun exposure. For people who are not getting enough calcium from the diet and vitamin D from fortified foods and the sun, supplements can be helpful. The average adult under 50 needs about 1000mg of calcium per day and 200 IU of Vitamin D. For adults over 50, calcium needs are 1200mg per day and Vitamin D needs are 400 IU per day.