Osteopenia Supplements. Boost Your Bone Health With Supplements.

Updated: 10/20/23

Do you suffer from osteopenia? Are you in the early stages of bone loss and looking for a solution to improve your overall health? You’ve come to the right place. Osteopenia—or low bone mass density—occurs when mineral levels in the bones decrease, making them weak and vulnerable to breaking or fracturing easily. Fortunately, there is a range of treatments that can be used to help prevent further damage and even reverse some of its effects, particularly with the use of dietary supplements. In this post, we will explore some great resources for treating your osteopenia by discussing natural supplements that strengthen bones as well as different lifestyle changes you can make that will support healthy bones!

What is Osteopenia?

Similar to osteoporosis, osteopenia is when the body doesn’t make new bone mass as quickly as it absorbs it. Osteopenia is not as severe, but physicians consider osteopenia the halfway point between healthy bones and osteoporosis. Patients’ bones are the most dense at age 30 and osteopenia usually occurs after 50. The leading cause of osteopenia is aging, which is why it is commonly seen in older people. However, if an individual has strong bones from a young age, it may reduce the risk.

The causes are virtually the same as osteoporosis and symptoms are similar, but they are not as intense. Family history and diet lacking vitamins and minerals can cause osteopenia and eventually osteoporosis. Women are characteristically more likely to develop osteopenia and osteoporosis since their bones are less dense. In addition, women typically consume less calcium. Thankfully, there are methods patients can take to help prevent osteopenia from forming in the body and there are also ways to manage the symptoms.

Symptoms of Osteopenia

Loss of Bone Density

The characteristic sign of osteopenia is loss of bone density. Although it’s not as severe as in osteoporosis, reduced bone density can still have serious impacts. By about age 30, the bones should be at their densest point and if they aren’t, it may signify potential bone loss conditions in the future. Osteoporosis can be hard to detect, but osteopenia is even harder because it does not usually cause any symptoms. When it does cause symptoms, patients may feel bone pain, tenderness and weakness in areas where it fractures. However, patients may actually experience fractures without feeling any pain.

Frequent Fractures and Breaks

Osteopenia is a condition that occurs when your bones start to lose mass and density, making them weaker and more fragile. The first symptom of osteopenia is often the occurrence of frequent fractures and breaks, especially in the hips, wrists, and spine. Even minor injuries can result in serious fractures and breaks, which can greatly impact your quality of life.

Pain and Discomfort

As your bones start to weaken, you may begin to experience pain and discomfort, especially in the hips, thighs, and lower back. This pain can be constant or intermittent, and may worsen with physical activity. In some cases, you may also experience pinched nerves or herniated discs, which can cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected areas.

Loss of Height

Another symptom of osteopenia is a gradual loss of height. This occurs as a result of vertebral fractures or breaks in the spine, which can cause the vertebrae to collapse or compress. Over time, the loss of height can become more pronounced as more vertebrae are affected, leading to a stooped posture and a higher risk of falls.

Weakening Grip Strength

Osteopenia can also cause a weakening of grip strength, which can make everyday tasks such as opening jars, carrying bags, or holding on to handrails more difficult. This is because weakened bones can no longer support the muscles and tendons that control hand movements, resulting in a weaker grip.

Change in Bowel and Bladder Habits

In rare cases, severe osteopenia or osteoporosis can lead to a change in bowel and bladder habits. This occurs when weakened bones in the spine cause nerve damage or compression, leading to a loss of control over bowel and bladder function. This symptom is usually a sign of a more severe underlying condition and requires immediate medical attention.

Can You Increase Bone Density If You Have Osteopenia?

Osteopenia is a condition where your bones are weak but not as weak as those in osteoporosis. Though not as serious as osteoporosis, it is still something that needs attention and care. Most times, people do not notice they have osteopenia until they get a fracture or have a bone density scan. Fortunately, there are ways to increase bone density if you have osteopenia.

Risk Factors for Osteopenia

Lack of Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health. Calcium helps build and maintain bones, while vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. If you’re not getting enough of these nutrients, your bones may suffer. Aim to get at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 600 to 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day. You can get these nutrients through your diet by consuming dairy products, leafy greens, and fatty fish, or through supplements if you’re not getting enough through your diet.


Bone density declines naturally with age. Bones rebuild faster during adolescence, especially as the patient grows during puberty. However bone growth decreases over time. Age is a common risk factor for osteopenia and osteoporosis.


Similarly, women are more likely to develop osteopenia as they age. During the reproductive years the ovaries produce estrogen, but during menopause estrogen production declines. This decline can cause bone loss.


It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health, but did you know that it’s also a risk factor for osteopenia? Nicotine in cigarettes can reduce blood flow to the bones, leading to a decrease in bone mass. Additionally, smoking is known to affect hormones that regulate bone growth and metabolism, contributing to bone loss. If you’re a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do for your bone health.

Family History

Like osteoporosis, osteopenia may be connected to family history and genetics. Having a family history of osteopenia increases a patient’s risk of developing it. Researchers claim that there may be genetic differences that cause some patients to lose bone mass at different rates than others.

Lack of Exercise

Research states that patients who exercise tend to have greater bone mass than those who don’t. But as patients age they begin to lose bone mass naturally. If the patient has compromised bone density, this decline may happen even faster. Exercise can improve bone strength and increase balance and flexibility, which may help protect the bones from fractures. Research suggests that resistance training is especially helpful for those with osteopenia.

Other Risk Factors

There are several other lifestyle factors that may increase a patient’s risk for osteopenia, such as eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Excessive smoking, alcohol consumption and stress may also increase the risk. Other medical conditions include celiac disease, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and hyperparathyroidism. Certain medications may also compromise bone density.

Risk Factors of Osteopenia

Diagnosing Osteopenia

Physical Examinations

One method of diagnosing osteopenia is through physical exams. Doctors will perform various tests to assess your risk factors for osteoporosis, and they will evaluate your posture, muscle strength, and joint movement to help identify areas of weakness. They may also look for fractures or other signs of bone damage. If you have any symptoms or risk factors, your doctor may recommend further testing or treatment.

Blood Tests

Another method for diagnosing osteopenia is through blood tests. These tests are used to check hormone levels and other factors that can contribute to weak bones. Specifically, doctors look for low levels of calcium, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone in the blood. These tests can also help to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing bone loss, such as hyperthyroidism or kidney disease.

Bone Density Tests

One of the most common ways to diagnose osteopenia is through a bone density test, which measures the amount of calcium and other minerals in your bones. This test is quick, non-invasive and painless. It is recommended for individuals over 50 years of age, women who have passed menopause, and anyone who has risk factors for osteoporosis. If the results show that you have low bone density, then further testing may be required.

X-rays and CT Scans

If your bone density test results and physical exam indicate the presence of osteopenia, your doctor may order an X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan to confirm the diagnosis. X-rays can show the degree of bone loss much better than the bone density test alone. CT scans are useful for evaluating areas of bone loss or damage that may not be visible on an X-ray.

Can Osteopenia Be Reversed With Exercise?

Resistance and weight-bearing exercises are the best types of exercises for improving bone density and reversing osteopenia. Resistance exercises include lifting weights, using resistance bands, or doing bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, and pushups. Weight-bearing exercises put stress on the bones, making them stronger. Examples of weight-bearing exercises include walking, running, and hiking. It is important to choose exercises that are appropriate for your current fitness level and health condition. Consult your doctor or a certified personal trainer before starting a new exercise program.

Treatment for Osteopenia


There are several medications available for treating osteopenia, including bisphosphonates, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), and calcitonin. These medications work by slowing down bone loss and increasing bone density. Your doctor can determine which medication is best for you based on your medical history, age, and other factors. It’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and side effects associated with any medication before starting treatment.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Many postmenopausal women choose to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats. HRT can also be useful for preventing osteoporosis and maintaining healthy bones. It is essential to understand that while HRT can be effective, it carries some risks, including an increased risk of stroke, blood clots, breast cancer, and heart disease.


Research states that exercise stimulates bone strength considerably. Physicians often recommend exercise to their patients to help keep the bones strong and support new bone formation. Specifically, female patients are less likely to lose bone density in the hips, lumbar spine and tibia because these bones are in load-bearing areas. But areas like the forearms are more likely to fracture because they contain non-load-bearing bones.

Physicians state that some of the best exercises to prevent and manage bone loss are weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise. Walking, elliptical machines, stair machines and low impact aerobics may also be beneficial. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight to avoid putting too much pressure on the bones and joints.

Osteopenia Exercises for Hips

  • Walking: Walking is an excellent low-impact exercise that helps increase bone density, muscle strength, and balance. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day can help you strengthen your hips, legs, and core muscles. Make sure you wear supportive shoes, and walk on even surfaces to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Resistance training: Resistance training is another way to improve bone health. It involves using weights or resistance bands to challenge your muscles. Exercises that target the hips include squats, lunges, hip extensions, and leg presses. Make sure you start with light weights and gradually increase the resistance as you get stronger.
  • Yoga: Yoga is an excellent way to build strength in your hips and improve your overall flexibility. Yoga poses like warrior, triangle, and pigeon pose target your hips and help improve range of motion. They also help improve your balance and reduce the risk of falls.
  • Cycling: Cycling is a low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints and excellent for your cardiovascular health. It’s also an excellent way to strengthen your hips, legs, and core muscles. If cycling outdoors, make sure you wear a helmet and stay safe.
  • Swimming: Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise that targets your hips, legs, and upper body. It strengthens your muscles, improves your cardiovascular health, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. If you’re new to swimming, start slow and build up your endurance gradually.


Diet also plays an important role in bone health. Certain vitamins and minerals promote bone health and it’s important to consume a well-balanced diet to get enough of these nutrients. Dairy, fatty fish, leafy greens, tomato products, potatoes, papayas, oranges and bananas are all good sources. Patients also need protein in their diets to keep the bones strong, but too much protein can have the opposite effect. Salty foods, caffeine, alcohol and legumes may interfere with bone production.

Calcium For Osteopenia

Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for bone health. It is essential for building and maintaining strong bones throughout your life. Without enough calcium, your body will take calcium from your bones, making them weaker and more prone to fractures. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that calcium supplements could help reduce the risk of osteopenia and even reverse the condition in some cases.

Osteopenia to Osteoporosis

Both osteopenia and osteoporosis are conditions that can result from age, heredity, and lifestyle changes. When we’re younger, our bones grow and become stronger. However, as we grow older, bone density decreases, and bones become thinner and weaker. Osteopenia is a decrease in bone mineral density that doesn’t meet the criteria for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, on the other hand, means bone density has decreased to a point where bones are weaker, and fracture risk is high.

Unfortunately, there may be no symptoms of osteopenia, and the first indication of decreased bone density may be a fracture. However, in osteoporosis, advanced loss of bone density may eventually lead to back pain, loss of height, and bending of the upper spine. If you’re over 50 and have a family history of osteoporosis, it’s essential to discuss bone density testing with your healthcare professional.

What Should I Take If I Have Osteopenia?

If you have osteopenia, taking the right supplements can help you maintain healthy bones. Calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K are all essential nutrients that can help keep your bones strong. Collagen supplements can also improve bone density, and probiotics can help keep your gut health in check – which can have a positive impact on your bone health. Remember, always speak to your doctor before taking any new supplements, especially if you are on medication. And don’t forget to combine these supplements with a healthy diet and regular exercise to maximize their benefits.

Supplements for Osteopenia

Patients can often get enough nutrients from including healthy, balanced foods in their diets. However, some patients may also benefit from taking dietary supplements to make sure they a consistent dosage of essential vitamins and nutrients. Supplements are not a definite tool to prevent or cure osteopenia or any other medical condition. Always consult a doctor for approval before starting a supplement regimen.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps bones by allowing the body to absorb calcium and supporting muscles to help prevent injury and bone fractures. Deficiencies can cause conditions like osteoporosis and rickets. Not only is it great for bone health, but it can also help with other conditions related to age, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As a dietary supplement, the recommended dosage for vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is 50 mg a day, unless a doctor recommends a different dosage.

Vitamin K2 

Vitamin K2 is a lesser-known but essential nutrient that plays a vital role in bone health. It is crucial in activating proteins that bind calcium to our bones and improve bone strength. Research has shown that individuals with low vitamin K levels have a higher risk of fractures. Vitamin K2 supplements typically contain 50-100mcg, and while it’s rare to get too much vitamin K from food, supplements should be taken as directed.


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. The body needs calcium for vascular function, nerve transmission, muscle contraction and hormone signaling. Calcium also keeps the teeth strong. Humans constantly lose calcium through the hair, skin, nails, urine and sweat. The body cannot produce it, so without adequate amounts from food or supplements, it can affect health. As a dietary supplement, take 2,380 mg of calcium citrate powder once or twice a day with food. Consult a doctor for approval first.


Magnesium is important for maintaining blood pressure, regulating heartbeat and blood circulation and keeping the bones strong. The body needs this mineral more than zinc, iron or any other mineral. Studies show that magnesium may be an effective treatment for constipation, acid reflux and heartburn. The recommended dosage for magnesium citrate powder as a dietary supplement is 4,400 mg daily, after consulting a doctor.


Collagen covers the skin, muscles and internal organs, holding everything in place as the body stretches. It helps keep the skin firm and wrinkle-free and supports strong and flexible joints. There are three different types of collagen: types one, two and three. Types one and three are best for skin and bone health and type two is more helpful for the joints. Because collagen production decreases over age, supplements may be a good way to get a healthy dosage to keep the bones and joints strong. As a dietary supplement, the recommended dosage for hydrolyzed bovine collagen powder is 2,500 mg two to four times a day on an empty stomach, or following a physician’s instructions.

Plant-Based Compounds

Finally, various plant-based compounds such as soy isoflavones and phytoestrogens have been shown to have bone-building benefits. A study published in menopause found that women who took a soy isoflavone supplement for two years had significantly improved bone density compared to those who did not take the supplement. Additionally, phytoestrogens found in foods such as flaxseeds and lentils can help regulate estrogen levels, which are important for maintaining strong bones.


Probiotics are ‘good bacteria’ that are found in the gut and have a vital role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. It work by ensuring that the gut has a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria. They also have the added benefit of boosting the immune system. Research has shown that taking probiotics regularly can help reduce inflammation, which is known to cause a wide range of health issues, including osteopenia.


Turmeric is widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce pain and inflammation that accompany osteopenia sufferers. This root from the ginger family also contains curcumin, a potent antioxidant that protects the bones from oxidative damage, aids in repairing damaged bones, and strengthens the overall bone structure. You can add turmeric to your food, drink turmeric tea or even take turmeric supplements, but consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.


The ginger root is another excellent osteopenia supplement. It contains a compound called gingerol, which has been found to prevent bone loss. Gingerol also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce swelling and pain related to osteopenia. Ginger also contains antioxidants, which slow down the oxidative damage that weakens the bones. You can use fresh ginger in cooking, drink ginger tea or take ginger supplements.


Ginseng, a relatively popular osteopenia supplement, is rich in compounds that promote bone growth and strengthen bone structure. Ginsenosides, a group of active compounds found in ginseng, enhance bone formation and regeneration while reducing bone loss. Korean ginseng, in particular, is known to be useful in the prevention of osteopenia due to its high levels of ginsenosides. You can take ginseng supplements to reduce the risk of bone loss.


Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb commonly used in traditional Indian medicine. This herb has been found to prevent and reduce osteopenia due to its high content of withanolides, compounds that promote bone health. These compounds help stimulate the formation of new bones while reducing bone loss. Ashwagandha has also been linked to increased bone density, which helps prevent fractures. You can take ashwagandha supplements, but it’s best to consult with your doctor first.

The Bottom Line

Osteopenia is a halfway point between healthy bones and osteoporosis. Its symptoms are milder and harder to detect, but eventually osteopenia can develop into osteoporosis. It reduces bone density and can increase the risk of bone fractures and other injuries. Sometimes the condition does not produce symptoms but when it does, the patient often feels pain and weakness in the bones where fractures have occurred. However, some patients may suffer damage without even realizing it.

Bone density simply decreases with age and the body becomes less able to replace bone mass. However, there are other factors that may increase the risk, such as family history and genetics, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and lack of exercise. Patients can help prevent and manage the symptoms by exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and consuming a well-balanced diet with enough calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K and magnesium.

Although most patients get enough nutrients from their diets, supplements are another option to get a healthy dosage on a consistent basis. Supplements do not treat or completely prevent osteopenia or any other medical condition, but they aim to benefit overall health. Speak to a doctor before starting a supplement regimen. We only get one set of bones in our lives, so it’s important to take the best care of them!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: BulkSupplements Staff