Did you know that every 8 minutes, someone is admitted to hospital with an osteoporotic fracture? Or that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men over the age of 60 will have an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime? 

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition where bones in our skeleton (there are 206!) become brittle and fragile, leading to a higher risk of broken bones.  Bones are at their strongest around age 30, and have many important functions in the body- helping us move, protecting our organs, produce red and white blood cells and storage of minerals. When osteoporosis occurs, our bones lose minerals (like calcium) faster than the body can replace them. As bones become more and more thin, even little bumps and accidents can cause serious fractures.

 

While any bone in the body can be affected by osteoporosis it is most common in the hip, spine, wrist, ribs, pelvis and upper arm.

 

What Increases Your Risk of Osteoporosis?

  • Smoking
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Not getting enough sunlight
  • Leading an inactive or sedentary lifestyle
  • Eating a diet low in calcium

 

What Nutrients Help you Build Bone Strength?

Calcium: 

A lot of people already know that calcium is important for bone health, however most do not achieve the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of calcium from their diet.  According to the Better Health Channel, the RDI for calcium is 1,000-1,300mg/day. If you aren’t getting enough calcium, you can take a natural supplement. Whatever brand of supplement you choose, I recommend that you make sure that the calcium is made up of microcrystalline hydroxyapatite. Not only does it also contain other natural elements found in healthy bone (like silica, boron, collagen, zinc, manganese and copper), it is also the most easily absorbed by your body.

Epimedium

Is a herb shown to enhance bone strength, by stimulating the cells that are responsible for bone formation.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is required for proper absorption of calcium and phosphorous. It is necessary for the growth and formation of bones.

Magnesium

Is an important mineral for the growth and strength of bone. Correct levels of magnesium ensure that calcium is used properly in the growth of bone tissue.

How to Look After Your Bones

The are simple and easy things you can do with your diet and lifestyle to give your bones their best chance at life-long health. They are:

  • Eat a diet rich in high calcium foods – dairy, almonds, buckwheat, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables and sardines
  • Increase the amount of weight bearing exercise you do each week.
  • Make sure you get some sun exposure on every day (just 10-15min on your face and upper arms – no sunscreen!)
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption

 

There is a lot that can be done to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. For personalised advice on diet and lifestyle modifications, as well as the best supplements to minimise your risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fractures, come and see one of our qualified practitioners today!