Osteoporosis - The Facts
Osteoporosis is a condition of thin, brittle bones that develops silently over many decades.
Because it is a silent disease, many people don’t even discover they have osteoporosis until they fracture a bone or crack a rib! To maximize your mobility, appearance, independence, and quality of life as you age, take steps to ensure your skeletal health NOW.
1 in 2 women and 1 in 8 men over the age of 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.
Did you know that osteoporosis can result in:
• Bone fractures, usually of the wrist, hip, or spine
• Loss of height
• Unattractive posture
• Excess skin and wrinkling around the chin and neck
• Dowager’s hump
• Anxiety and reduced activity due to frailty
• Reduced mobility
• Loss of independence
• Reduced quality of life
There are two ways to reduce your risk of osteoporosis:
Maximize your peak bone mass.
At about age 30 you achieve your peak bone mass—the greatest bone density you will achieve in your lifetime. By maximizing your peak bone mass, you ensure the greatest protection possible against the natural bone loss that occurs with age. In other words, the more bone you have at 30… the more you will have at 80!
Minimize age-related bone loss.
Until about age 30 you build and store bone efficiently. Then, as part of the aging process, the rate of bone loss begins to exceed the rate of bone building. The good news is that even if you already have osteoporosis you can dramatically slow your rate of bone loss, and in some cases even improve your bone density, by following the recommendations below. It’s never too late to do something about bone loss!
To Maximize Peak Bone Mass and Minimize Age-Related Bone Loss
• Increase your intake of green, leafy vegetables; legumes, nuts, and seeds; whole, fresh foods; and/or select dairy products. These foods are great, natural sources of calcium.
• Avoid excess alcohol and caffeine consumption. These lower the amount of calcium in your body and may reduce bone formation.
• Reduce excessive protein intake.
• Don’t smoke—tobacco use is associated with weak bones.
• Avoid aluminum cookware and aluminum-containing antacids. Aluminum can displace calcium in the body.
• Include regular weight-bearing exercise such as walking, biking, aerobics, or weight-lifting.
• Include vitamins D3 alongside calcium for optimal bone support.
• Proteins and Organic Factors - amino acids and other organic compounds are important elements in healthy bones. These substances are thought to provide secondary support for bone development.
• Macro Minerals - calcium, magnesium and phosphorous are essential for bone mineralization.
• Trace Minerals - trace minerals such as zinc, boron, copper, silicon, manganese are necessary co-factors for the formation of new bone.
• Collagen - bone tissue is comprised of a mixture of minerals and collagen. Collagen fibres twist around each other and provide the interior scaffolding upon which bone minerals are deposited thereby supporting the bone matrix and bone density.
Vitamin D is needed for the maintenance of normal bones. It promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralisation of bone. It is also needed for bone growth and remodelling by osteoblasts (cells that build bone) and osteoclasts (cells that break down bone).
A lack of vitamin D can lead to the destruction of bone and an increased risk of fractures, osteomalacia, osteopenia and osteoporosis. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the preferred form of vitamin D, as it is the form produced naturally in response to sunlight.
Recent research now indicates the importance of supplementing with vitamin K2 for healthy bones. Whereas vitamin D3 is needed for the absorption of calcium, vitamin K2 ensures that the calcium is deposited where it is needed (i.e. the skeleton) rather than where it shouldn’t be, such as the arteries or soft tissues. There are several forms of vitamin K2, and the preferred option is MK-7, which stays in the body for longer than other forms.
Are you at risk of osteoporosis?
• White or Asian ethnicity
• Thin or small bone frame
• Family history of bone loss with age
• Postmenopausal or surgical hysterectomy
• High protein diet
• Low stomach acid or frequent indigestion
• Lack of weight-bearing exercise
• Cigarette smoking
• Excessive intake of caffeine or alcohol
• Advanced age
• Less than optimal intakes of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients needed for new bone formation
• Long-term use of anticonvulsants and bloodthinning medications
• Regular use of aluminum-containing antacids
• Regular use of diuretics such as Lasix, Bumex, Edecrin, and Demadex
• Hyperparathyroidism, Type 1 diabetes, thyrotoxicosis, or Cushing’s syndrome
• Long-term prednisone or cortisone therapy
If you checked three or more of the above statements, talk to your doctor about osteoporosis prevention TODAY! Only your doctor can make a diagnosis. But don’t wait until you have osteoporosis to do something about it…
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