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Osteoporosis: Prevention for Better Bones

Posted by Poonam B on Wed, Jan 16, 2019  
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If you think only a glass of milk can make your bones stronger, then you need to change that thought. The commercials will make an impression that dairy products are the best pals of your bones. Our bones like other tissues in the body degenerate and generate. When you are young and have a healthy diet the bones has optimum density making it strong. As you get older by the age of 30, the bones lose density and makes them weaker. Over the period the bones become fragile and with gross loss of bone density you may have ‘osteoporosis’.

What is osteoporosis?

When the bone density reduces it makes the bone weak and brittle (porosis = porous bones).  So as one ages a simple fall can lead to fracture due to weak bone.

Who is more prone to get osteoporosis?

Women have to pay attention to this because their risk is four times more than that of men’s. You may have seen or heard many aged female with hip fracture or fracture in arm. This is due to the bone-protecting hormone, estrogen diminishes after menopause.

Consider building up your bone density as your retirement fund. You have to invest consistently throughout your young age to gain its benefits when it’s needed.

Osteoblasts are bone making cells which with the help of minerals and vitamins make the bones strong.

Osteoclasts are the cells which break the bone to supply calcium to rest of the body.

Consider osteoblasts as a hero with strength of building bones when you are young but as you age even the hero ages and osteoclasts take over. This results into increase in breakdown of bone.

So if you haven’t invested appropriately in younger years, you are more likely to suffer with osteoporosis when old.

How is osteoporosis diagnosed?

DEXA scan (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry): This tests your bone density. It is an easy and painless procedure. Once you cross the mark of 40 it is wise to do DEXA scan. It wouldn’t hurt, after all!


Facts to remember about osteoporosis

  • It affects 50 percent of women and 20 percent of men over age of 50
  • Smoking and unhealthy diet increase the risk
  • There are usually no symptoms of osteoporosis. You may come to know when there is a fracture after a minor incident.
  • Areas affected are the hip, bones of spine and wrist

What can you do for the bones to stay strong apart from a glass of milk?

A right diet with ample amounts of minerals, vitamins, proteins is suffice to keep the bones healthy and strong.

Following is the list of nutrients with its corresponding food source and daily requirement. Consume them smartly and your bones will thank you.

NUTRIENTS

FOOD SOURCE

DAILY REQUIREMENT

Calcium

Dairy foods, bony sardines, salmon, leafy greens, dried beans

1000-1200 mg

Vitamin D

Salmon, sardines, food products fortified with vitamin D

400-800 IU

Vitamin K

Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, parsley)

90-120 micrograms

Potassium

Bananas, tomatoes, avocados

4700 mg

 

Magnesium

 

leafy greens, beans, nuts, whole grains

 

320 mg

 

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