Sven Wombwell
Article by: Sven Wombwell
Estimated 12 minutes read

As you age, the bone density for men and women begins to decrease. Normal bone density for men is essential in keeping a healthy, strong body as you age.

To increase bone density, you should practice a strength training routine, eat a healthy diet rich in Vitamin D and calcium, and avoid alcohol and tobacco.

Read on to learn more about how to increase bone density in men.

Digital composite of highlighted arm of man measuring biceps with measuring tape bone density concept

What is Bone Density?

Bones are made up of collagen and calcium phosphate. They store calcium and phosphorus and release them into the bloodstream, which travels to other body parts. These minerals are vital for nerve and muscle function and are critical aspects of every cell in the body.

How much Vitamin D and calcium you consume in your diet affects the amount of calcium you have stored in your bones. Bones support and protect our organs and give our body shape.

Ossification is the process of bone formation, which begins in the womb and continues until about age 25. Once you are done growing, your growth plates, or cartilage cells, change into hard, mineralized bone. But, bone building continues throughout our lives. Bones are made up of living tissue that is constantly reshaping and renewing. 

The adult skeleton is completely replaced about every 10 years. Our bodies reach a peak bone mass in our early 20's, then our bone density begins to decrease as we age. Your genes and the environment affect your overall bone health, but several external factors can affect bone loss including physical activity and diet. 

How Does Low Bone Density Affect Your Health?

Bone mineral density (BMD) is a way to test your bone health. It measures the calcium and other minerals in your bones. Bones with more of these minerals are denser and stronger. People with low bone mass (osteopenia) are more likely to develop osteoporosis and experience weak, brittle bones. These people are at a higher risk of fracture.

Healthcare professionals measure your bone density using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) which uses radiation to measure the minerals in a specific part of your bone. Typically, these measurements are done in the hip and spine, which are the bones most often to break as a person ages. 

There are a couple of other bone density tests that a doctor may perform, as well, such as the quantitative ultrasound (QUS), which is performed on the heel. Another test is the peripheral DXA, which measures bone density using a portable device that measures the bone mineral density in either the wrist or the heel. DXA tests are the most reliable test for measuring your risk of osteoporosis. 

Men over 50 will get their bone mineral test result as a T-score. A healthy T-score is usually -1 or higher. Lower numbers represent weaker bones and a higher risk of a fracture. 

Although women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis after menopause, men who are 65 and older do develop osteoporosis, and the number of men with low bone density has increased in recent years.

How to Increase Bone Density in Men

There are several ways to increase your bone density. The most important aspects to focus on are improving bone strength through physical activity and maintaining healthy bones through a balanced diet. 

#1 Healthy Diet 

Vegetables are full of vitamin C and other minerals that are essential for strong bones. Green and yellow vegetables are excellent for increased bone mineralization. Vegetables are high in vitamin C, which has antioxidant effects that may protect bones from damage. Vitamin C also stimulates the production of bone-forming cells. 

Increasing your daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grain cereals, and dairy products is important to maintaining a healthy body and strong bones. It is important to eat some of each of the 5 food groups each day. 

You should make sure you get enough protein throughout the day to promote and maintain muscle mass. You can get this protein from lentils, peas, beans, fortified soy, seafood, dairy, and lean meats. Certain medications may lower your ability to absorb vitamin B12, so it is important to speak to your healthcare provider about supplements to meet your daily needs. 

You also need to make sure that you eat the right amount of calories for your height and age. Your healthcare provider can advise you on this number, or there are several resources online to calculate the number of calories you should be eating in a day.

Another part of a healthy diet is to make sure you stay hydrated. This aids digestion and absorption of nutrients. 

You should also reduce consumption of saturated and trans fat. Salty and processed foods are also not good for your body. Drinks and foods with added sugar are not a part of a healthy diet and should be consumed in moderation.

#2 Exercising increases bone density

Physical activity is important for maintaining healthy bones. If you do not use your bones, they aren't as strong. Weight-bearing exercises are one of the best types to promote new bone formation. These types of exercises include walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines, stair climbing, and gardening. 

These exercises improve blood flow and cardiovascular health while helping to slow bone loss while targeting the bones in the legs, hips, and lower spine. Weight-bearing exercises can improve bone strength and bone size. These exercises may also reduce inflammation.

One issue that older adults suffer from is a quick turnover of bone renewal, which can lead to more brittle bones. Exercise can reduce the markers for bone turnover.

Strength training and resistance exercises are also important for bone health. They increase bone and muscle mass and may help protect against bone loss in young adults. Strength training, such as weight lifting,  is especially helpful for increasing bone density in the hip. 

#3 Managing Your Weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is also vital to bone health. Underweight individuals have a higher risk of developing bone disease. Underweight people often have deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamin D and protein that may lead to low bone mineral density. 

People who have eating disorders or are on low-calorie diets may also experience low bone density. Restricting calories can deprive your body of the essential fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals it needs for optimal bone health. 

However, people with more weight are often associated with higher bone density. But, obesity may put additional stress on the bones. Obesity can alter bone-regulating hormones, cause inflammation and oxidative stress, and alter bone cell metabolism

Cycling rapidly between periods of weight loss and gaining weight may also affect your bone density. A person who loses weight quickly may also lose bone density, but gaining back the weight does not automatically guarantee the restoration of bone density. This may lead to weaker bones.

You should keep a moderate weight and eat the recommended daily intake of calories for your body size and age. 

#4 Get the Right Amount of Calcium

It is no surprise that calcium is another way of adding bone density. Dairy products are a good source of calcium, but many other fruits and vegetables can provide enough calcium for your daily needs.

Old bone cells are constantly broken down and replaced by new ones. Calcium is essential in the replenishment of bone tissue. Interestingly, calcium absorption rates vary, even if you eat additional calcium-rich foods. It is best to consume meals with 500 mg of calcium or less for the most beneficial absorption rates. 

The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults 51+ should have around 1200 mg of calcium per day. You can get calcium from milk, yogurt, cheese, orange juice, sardines, tofu, breakfast cereals, salmon, kale, broccoli, and many other fruits and vegetables. 

Eating smaller servings of each meal of these foods is more beneficial than eating a lot at one time. 

Yellow pills forming shape to D alphabet on wood background vitamin D concept

#5 Add Vitamin D to Your Diet

Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption. So, you must make sure you get plenty of vitamin D through food and sun exposure. Vitamin D protects older adults from osteoporosis and promotes healthy functioning of the immune system. Foods that provide an excellent source of vitamin D include fatty fish, liver, and cheese. 

Many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency, however, which can cause brittle bones and muscle weakness. These deficiencies are usually found in a routine blood check. People with vitamin D deficiencies often need to take a supplement to get their daily intake.

People with vitamin D deficiency experience mood changes, bone loss, muscle cramps, bone and joint pain, and fatigue. Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by not getting enough sunlight or your body having difficulties absorbing and using vitamin D. 

As you age, the amount of melanin in your skin can also increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency. Medical conditions such as kidney and liver disease, obesity, Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease can also cause difficulties absorbing enough vitamin D.

The typical recommendation is to take 2,000 international units of vitamin D in a daily supplement to maintain optimal levels.

Vitamin D and The Sun

Vitamin D isn't just something you can eat—it's also made by your skin when you catch some rays! However, getting enough sunlight for Vitamin D production isn't always straightforward.

  • Sunlight and Location: Depending on where you live, you might get a lot or a little UVB light from the sun. People in the north or in cloudy, smoggy places often miss out, especially in winter.
  • Time of Year: Seasons matter too. Summer days are great for Vitamin D, but in winter, the sun plays hard to get, and you might need to grab your Vitamin D from foods or supplements.
  • Cultural and Religious Practices: For those who cover up for cultural or religious reasons, it's tricky to get enough sun on the skin. If that's you, it's extra important to check your diet or think about Vitamin D supplements to keep your bones strong.
  • Recommendation: Try to enjoy about 10-30 minutes of midday sun a few times a week. If you have darker skin, you might need a little more. And when the sun just isn't enough, talking to a healthcare provider about Vitamin D supplements is a smart move.

#6 Regulate Your Hormones

The relationship between low testosterone and bone density is closer than you may think. Low testosterone can affect your bone density. The most prominent clinical symptom of testosterone deficiency in men is a decrease in bone density. Testosterone decreases each year in men. Although men don't usually experience a significant decline in testosterone at certain points in their lives, certain conditions can result in men having low T.

Hypogonadism, erectile dysfunction, thyroid conditions, androgen deprivation therapy (for prostate cancer), and other metabolic conditions can cause decreased testosterone, which can lead to lower bone density. Testosterone helps to maintain bone metabolism in men experiencing metabolic conditions that affect your testosterone can lead to a higher risk of bone fractures. 

Studies show that testosterone treatment for older men with low testosterone levels improves sexual function, mood, and bone strength, especially in the spine. However, scientists aren't exactly sure how testosterone treatments help improve bone density. Some theories suggest that it has to do with the conversion of estradiol, a form of estrogen. 

If you are experiencing Low T, check out Male Excel. We make it our mission to provide convenient and safe Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) online. Our daily doses help to replenish your body to optimal hormone levels. These treatments mimic your body's natural hormone production cycle, giving you less risk of side effects. This is the preferred method for TRT that is easily customizable for your body.

Our process is simple and discreet. All you need to do is take an online assessment. Then, at your online consultation with our medical provider, you'll get a customized treatment plan. Then, we'll ship an easy hormone test kit to you, and you'll receive your TRT medication via mail. 

#7 Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Use

Excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact your bone density. Long-term alcohol consumption, especially during your adolescence and young adult years, can affect bone growth and remodeling. It can lead to an increased risk of a fracture and low bone density. Researchers are unclear about the risk of drinking lower doses of alcohol. 

Moderate consumption accompanied by meals rather than binge drinking may have a lower impact on your bone health. 

Smoking can reduce your bone density. The nicotine in cigarettes slows the production of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells). It also decreases your calcium absorption from your diet leading to less bone mineral and more fragile bones. The risk of developing a fracture due to smoking is 40% in men. If you smoke, some of these factors may be partially reversed if you quit. 


Older adults may experience bone density loss as they age. To support healthier bones, it is important to eat a balanced diet, get regular physical activity, get enough vitamin D and calcium, take supplements, make sure your hormones are at optimal levels, and avoid alcohol and tobacco use. 

Certain illnesses or genetic factors may put you at an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone diseases. It is important to consult a medical professional to ensure you get a bone density test to see where you are at and get recommendations for how to increase your bone density.

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