All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction and should not take the place of health care or services you may need. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Osteoporosis: Prevention through Nutrition

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes your bones to weaken and thus more likely to break. Osteoporosis is most common in older women, with as many of 50 percent of women age 50 or older suffering a broken bone due to the disease. Men can also develop osteoporosis. About a quarter of men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to the disease.

Since osteoporosis causes bones to weaken, it is important to strengthen your bones from an early age. It is important to get enough calcium and Vitamin D. You must also get regular exercise and avoid smoking. These measures will help keep your bones strong.

The Institute of Medicine just published updated guidelines in November, 2010 for Calcium and Vitamin D intake. They published a brief report that has a detailed table of the dietary reference intakes that contains the estimated average requirement and recommended daily allowances that is broken down by age groups. Check out this publication at Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D.

The best way to get calcium is through a diet that contains many calcium-rich foods. Some foods that are a good source of calcium are milk, sardines, fortified oatmeal, cheddar cheese, orange juice, tofu, and yogurt.

Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, then your body will not absorb enough calcium. When your body doesn't receive enough calcium, then your body will use the calcium reserves in your bones and that is what causes them to weaken. There are three ways to get vitamin D: exposure to sunlight (which forms vitamin D in your body), from your diet and through taking supplements. Experts recommend a daily intake of vitamin D between 400 and 600 IU (International Units). Some vitamin D-rich foods include egg yolks, fortified milk, saltwater fish, and liver. Vitamin D can also be obtained through supplements.

For more information on calcium and vitamin D, check out these links:

Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

Calcium Supplements: What to Look for (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

General osteoporosis information:

Osteoporosis (American College of Rheumatology)

Bone Health for Life: Easy-to-Read Information for Patients and Families (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

No comments:

Post a Comment