For women over 50, a key component of the YOU: Staying Young program is getting your bone density tested to check for osteoporosis. To see the difference between a spine of someone with osteoporosis and a normal spine, Dr. Oz and Oprah break out the purple medical gloves. An osteoporotic spine (like the one on the right) is brittle, while a normal one (like the one on the right) remains strong and spongy. "It's like a rib," Oprah says.
In bones with osteoporosis, the spinal column will slowly collapse and leave the person with a hump in her back. "That's why people get shorter and shorter and shorter," Dr. Oz says. "They can't get the kind of fullness in life and that's why we don't want to look like that."
To keep from getting osteoporosis, Dr. Oz says there are a few crucial things you can do. First, lifting weights will keep your bones strong. Next, avoid drinking too much alcohol and smoking, especially when you're young. The third is making sure you get enough vitamin D, which Dr. Oz says is his favorite vitamin. While the sun provides a potential bonanza of easy vitamin D, people who live in northern states—anywhere north of Atlanta or Los Angeles—tend to not get enough.
This nationwide deficiency could be a cause of many serious health problems, including autoimmune disease, Dr. Oz says. "We think it might be responsible for a lot of cancers in this country. If you have multiple sclerosis you ought to be taking vitamin D. A lot of the things we link up to how much sun touches our body result from the fact we don't have enough vitamin D."
If you think you might not be getting enough vitamin Despecially vitamin D3from the sun, Dr. Oz says to take supplements.