Resulting in many thousands of bone fractures each year, osteoporosis, which is characterized by a loss of bone density, can be prevented. The earlier in life you begin to address the problem, the better your chances of avoiding broken bones and pain later on.
What it is Osteoporosis derived from the Latin for porous bones’, is a progressive condition that diminishes the mass (mineral content) of bones and weakens their structure, making them highly susceptible to fractures. Two out of three fractures in women over the age of 60 are the result of osteoporosis, and it also affects 25% of men over the age of 60. No single measure is sufficient to prevent it, but a combination of supplements and lifestyle changes can be effective in limiting damage.
What causes it The decline in oestrogen after menopause is related to the dramatic rise of osteoporosis in older women. This hormone helps the body to absorb calcium and keeps the bones strong. (Older men experience osteoporosis as well; but because they have denser bones, bone loss is generally less severe.) Lack of regular weight-bearing exercise is another risk factor, as is a diet low in calcium and other nutrients necessary for optimal bone production. Your risk of osteoporosis is also higher if you’re small-boned or underweight; if you have a family history of osteoporosis; or if you’ve taken steroids or anticonvulsant medication for long periods.
How supplements can help The supplements in the chart- taken for at least six months – can help strengthen bones. They are safe to use together and with prescription osteoporosis drugs and oestrogen therapy. Bone-budding combination products may be a convenient and less expensive way to get many of these supplements, but take care if you’re on anticoagulants because many contain vitamin K, which can enhance the blood’s clotting ability.
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
What can else you can do
- Take regular weight-bearing exercise (such as walking or lifting weights), in which the legs or other parts of the body meet resistance.
- Give up smoking. It will help not only your bones but your general health as well.
- Limit your alchol intake to no more than one ot two drinks a day.
- Consider hormone replacement therapy if you’re menopausal.
- Eat foods rich in calcium, such as low-fat dairy products, broccoli, almonds
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