Conversation about bone health, especially in women came up with one of the guys from the lunchtime crew.
Our bones are changing all the time, old bone is broken down and new bone is made. Minerals are incorporated into our bone during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. While it’s important to build strong and healthy bones during that time we can take steps to protect our bone health during later adulthood as well.
When we are younger our bodies make new bone faster than is breaks down old bone, be the time we hit 30 most of us reached peak bone mass. After that bone remodelling continues but we lose a bit more bone mas than we gain.
There are pharmacological therapies available for people who are a high risk of osteoporosis. I want to focus on what lifestyle changes we can make to help with it.
What can affect bone health?
- Calcium in our diets – low calcium in the diet can lead to weak bones
- Physical inactivity can lead to higher risk of osteoporosis
- Tabacco and to alcohol contributes to weak bones
- Women are at greater risk of osteoporosis because they have less bone tissue than man
- If someone is extremely thin or have a small body frame because they may have less bone mass
- Our age – bones become weaker as we age
- Family history – especially if there is a family history of fractures
- Eating disorders – the bones may be not getting the necessary nutrients
- Certain medications – long term use of corticosteroids
- Hormone levels – in women bone loss increases at menopause because of low estrogen levels
- Avoid low calorie diets
What can we do to keep our bones healthy?
- Make sure you include plenty of calcium in your diet, best way is to get it from foods (dairy products, green leafy vegetables lightly steamed, sardines with bones, soy products). Be careful with calcium supplements, taken to much could lead to calcium build up in your blood vessels and to difficulties with absorption of iron and zinc
- Make sure your vitamin D3 levels are sufficient, check with your GP
- Perform strength training and weight bearing exercise, or just start moving if you don’t like lifting
- Make sure to consume enough protein, around 50% of our bones is made from protein. It looks like higher protein intake may be associated with higher bone density.
- Don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol
- Make sure to consume foods containing zinc and magnesium (green leafy veg, pumpkin seeds)
There you go, a few lifestyle changes you can incorporate tomorrow to have strong and healthy bones. Lift weights and eat your veggies.
All the best