Thursday, 25 June 2015

How to reduce the risk of Osteoporosis

Age-related bone degeneration due to osteoporosis had been accepted as a normal part of ageing in the past.  Elderly folks with stooped backs and brittle bones often suffered from fall and left them incapacitated due to broken bones. It is estimated that around 15% of women and 3% of men over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis.  

Osteoporosis occurs when there is a loss of calcium and other minerals from your bones, undermining the normal bone structure and therefore strength. A reduction in mineral content (also referred to as a loss of bone mineral density) can result in porous, brittle bones that can be easily broken in a fall or merely carrying out everyday activities, such as lifting a heavy object.  As there may be no indication that a loss of bone density is happening until a fracture occurs, Osteoporosis is often called a ‘silent disease’.  While broken bones are a concern, reduced bone mineral density can also lead to significant pain, immobility and ultimately a loss of independence. So what can you do to maximise your bone density and reduce bone mineral losses?

Your Diet

Your diet is one of the most important sources of calcium right from your growth years. Peak bone mass is achieved during your 20s.  Calcium and other minerals from your diet form the foundation of strong healthy bones.  A diet incorporating dark green leafy vegetables, sardines, nuts and seeds, as well as dairy products all offer excellent sources of calcium. You also need to ensure that you are getting sufficient vitamin D through moderate sun exposure, or supplementation, to support calcium absorption.  Regular weight bearing exercises can help promote bone density and help create a solid foundation for skeletal health. 

Bone mineral density begins to wane naturally by mid-30s.  Poor lifestyle choices such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake, as well as the onset of menopause in women can all accelerate this process. At this time diet becomes even more essential to ensure you are obtaining sufficient calcium to keep your bones strong. However, obtaining your daily calcium needs through diet alone is not always achievable. Fortunately, you can help support bone mineral density by utilising a highly absorbable form of calcium.

Calcium and Mineral supplementation

When taking calcium supplementation, it is important to know that you are taking a good form of highly absorbable natural calcium together with all the elements required for bone reconstruction in a protein-mineral complex.  These elements should include the two key minerals required to maintain bone density - calcium and phosphorus, in ideally 2:1 ratio, trace minerals including zinc, boron, chromium, copper and iron. In addition to the bone-building minerals, specific proteins needed to ‘cement’ the minerals together such as collagen and bone amino acids should also be needed. As vitamins K and D play important roles in the regulation of calcium movement into and out of bone, these form an important addition to any bone supporting formula. Last but not least, soy isoflavones help enhance bone reconstruction, particularly in postmenopausal women, making this ideal for
women in particular.

You now know that there is a great deal you can do to support your bones and help prevent osteoporosis, even if your bone mineral density has already started to decline.  So, take action now so you can live a longer, stronger life!

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