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Throughout life, old bone is removed and new bone is added to your skeleton. During childhood and adolescence, new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. As a result, bones become heavier, larger, and denser. Peak bone mass is reached around age 30. From that point, more bone is lost than replaced. If not treated, bone loss may lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is more likely to occur if full bone mass was not achieved during your bone-building years.
Bone density also plays a role in bone health. Bone density is determined by the amount of minerals within the bone framework. These include calcium, phosphorus, and others. As the mineral content of a bone (especially calcium) decreases, the bone weakens. Getting enough calcium,vitamin D, and regular exercise can keep bones strong throughout life.
Last reviewedSeptember 2011by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.