Bone health is extremely important for providing structure of the body, protection of internal organs, and creation of new blood cells. Over the last several decades we’ve seen more rapid deterioration in bone health for adults over the age of forty. The 2 major conditions associated with the increase in bone loss are osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Osteopenia is a condition when the bone mineral density is lower than normal. As you reach middle age, the body reabsorbs your existing bone faster than new bone is made causing you to have less bone density. (1)
Bone density loss will happen to everyone over time, but some people will lose their bone density faster than others. Aging is the number 1 factor that contributes to loss of bone density, but there are other factors that can contribute to bone density loss like prescription drugs, poor diet, exposure to radiation and hormonal changes. Women over the age of forty lose bone mass at a higher rate because of hormonal factors caused by menopause.
If you suffer from osteopenia you have a greater risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become more porous and fragile. Osteoporosis is more prevalent in Caucasians and Asians and has been linked to fractures and bone cancer. There are even studies that show a link between bone health, and a person’s morbidity and mortality rate. In other words, the healthier your bones are the lesser chance you will have illnesses and pre-mature death.
You can support your bone health by eating a low acidic diet rich with vitamin D and calcium. Diets that are high in sugar, sodas, excess protein, and alcoholic beverages will rob the body of vital minerals many of which will come from the bone. On the other hand diets that have too little protein will reduce intestinal calcium absorption, therefore increasing parathyroid hormone, which will cause the release of calcium from your bone.(2) To keep good bone health you must have a diet balanced with a moderate amount of protein.
Coniferous vegetables such as organic kale, broccoli, and spinach are good sources of calcium, vitamin D and protein that help promote bone health. Fresh water fish and free-range meats can provide the protein and amino acids needed to rebuild bone tissue. Nutrients derived from meat can also help with the health of your connective tissues, which attach to the bone.
Exercise is another way to maintain your bone health. There are many studies, which note that the use of resistance exercise has been shown to slow and even counter bone loss as we age. Resistance training places force on the muscular and skeletal systems causing them to strengthen over time. Experts recommend that we should have at least 30 minutes of weight bearing exercise 3 times per week to reduce the affects of bone loss.
- Robert P. Heaney & Donald K. Layman; “Amount and Type of Protein Influences Bone Health” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2008, Vol 87, No. 5
The content in this article is for educational purposes and has not been evaluated by the FDA. This content is my view and is not intended to diagnose any symtpoms or diseases. I am a certified practitioner of nutrition practioner. I am not a licensed physician nor are nutritional services licenced by the state. For more information on living a healthy lifestyle visit www.PinnacleFitnessCenter.com