Osteoporosis and Calcium

A recent study posted online by the British Medical Journal and interpreted by the Los Angeles Times proves that more calcium is not always the answer to preventing osteoporosis.

Doctors have debated for years as to whether the recommended dietary intake for women ages 51 and older in the US of 1,200 mg’s/day is really necessary in comparison to the United Kingdom’s recommended dosage of 750 mg’s/day. The conclusion for this Swedish study suggests that increasing your intake beyond 750 mg’s/day doesn’t decrease the likelihood of preventing osteoporosis.

We’ve come a long way when it comes to understanding bone health, but for some reason we continue to forget about the bigger picture. Calcium is important to the health of our bones, but it is not the only way to keep our bones strong and agile.
It’s all about lifestyle choices. Excessive drinking, smoking, and poor diet contribute to brittle bones. As well as, not getting enough exercise. This doesn’t mean that calcium should be forgotten, but it DOES mean that we need to start looking at prevention from a whole health perspective.

Eat more fruits and veggies.

Green leafy veggies like spinach, kale, and broccoli are the best proponent for calcium absorption. Also, potassium found in oranges, bananas, and peppers are a great way to absorb calcium. Make the calcium you do take in count by eating these fruits and veggies.

Incorporate exercise into daily life.

Exercise at a moderate to vigorous level for at least 30 minutes per day, 4 days per week. Bones need to be stressed in order to maintain their strength just like your muscles. Weight bearing activities such as walking, weight lifting, dancing, tennis, and yoga are some of the best exercises for your bones. You don’t have to join a gym to start today. Turn on some music and start grooving!

Don’t smoke and don’t abuse alcohol.

This is an obvious risk factor for most illnesses; you are bringing hazardous, foreign materials into your body that WILL wreak havoc on your hormones and mineral absorption. Please get help from your family, friends, and professionals to get over these addictions before the addictions get the best of you.

Follow these guidelines to a healthier life throughout your lifetime, so when you reach your 50’s and beyond, you are already faring better than the rest.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, fifty percent of all women over 50 years old WILL break a bone due to osteoporosis, and the risk of hip fracture “is equal to the combined risk of getting breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.” These statistics may be daunting, but remember you are not a number, you are an individual. You control how you live your life, and that all starts with eating smart and continuing to move.

On the other hand, don’t rule out calcium altogether, because it’s been proven to help build strong bones. If you don’t get enough, it will decrease the density of your bones. But, again, too much isn’t going to make up for slacking off on the rest of the prevention guidelines outlined above.

A healthy balance of diet, exercise, and calcium will put your best bone forward!

 

 

 

 

Sources:
British Medical Journal: Dietary calcium intake and risk of fracture and osteoporosis: prospective longitudinal cohort study- http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d1473
Los Angeles Times: Loading up on calcium won’t eliminate osteoporosis risk, study says- http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-calcium-20110526,0,408286.story
National Osteoporosis Foundation: What Women Can Do- http://www.nof.org/aboutosteoporosis/whatwomencando/introduction
International Osteoporosis Foundation: Exercise- http://www.iofbonehealth.org/patients-public/about-osteoporosis/prevention/exercise.html
Raw Food Blog: Beautiful on Raw- http://www.beautifulonraw.com/raw-food-blog/raw-food-lifestyle/raw-foods-and-osteoporosis/
Web MD: Osteoporosis Risk Factors: Smoking & Alcohol- http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/guide/osteoporosis-risk-factors-smoking-alcohol-index

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