Just ingesting calcium may not prevent bones from growing thinner during and after menopause. Men are less prone to osteoporosis than women but they should also follow these suggestions.
Dairy products, sardines, salmon, broccoli, spring greens and kale are excellent calcium sources. If your diet doesn't fulfil your needs, take a calcium supplement.
To absorb calcium, you need 400 units of vitamin D daily; about 2 pints/1 litre of milk or 30 to 60 minutes in strong sun will do the job. It's best to avoid calcium supplements containing vitamin D, which can be toxic in high doses.
Discuss hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with your doctor. Apart from preventing osteoporosis, it may reduce your risk of heart disease as well as relieving hot flushes, emotional instability and vaginal dryness.
Weight-bearing exercise - walking, jogging, dancing, tennis - for half an hour three times a week prevents loss of bone mass and may increase it. Before starting an exercise programme, however, check with your doctor; then, if she approves, begin slowly and build up gradually.
Prevent falls and possible broken bones by 'trip-proofing' your home. Stabilise loose rugs by putting them on non-slip rubber 'mats', provide adequate lighting on stairways and install grab bars in the bathroom. It might also be a good idea to invest in a non-slip mat for the bath or shower.