Building healthy bones is extremely important. Minerals are incorporated into your bone during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Once you reach 30 years of age, you have achieved peak bone mass and if not enough bone mass is created during this time of life or bone loss occurs late in life, you have an increased risk of developing fragile bones.
Factors that affects bone health;
– The amount of calcium in your diet: A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
– Physical activity: people who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis than those that do more-active counterparts.
– Tobacco and alcohol use also contributes to weak bones.
– Hormone levels : Too much thyroid hormone can cause bone loss. In women, bone loss increases dramatically at menopause due to dropping of estrogen level. In men, low testosterone level can cause a loss of bone mass.
– Eating disorders and other conditions: People who have anorexia or bulimia are at risk of bone loss. In addition, stomach surgery (gastrectomy), weight loss surgery and conditions such as Cushing’s disease can also affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
– Certain medications : Long term use of corticosteroid medications such as Prednisolone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone is damaging to the bone.
Risk factors that can’t be controlled are;
– Gender : You’re at greater risk of osteoporosis if you’re a woman because women have less bone tissue than men.
– Age : Your bone become thinner and weaker as you age.
Fortunately, many nutrition and lifestyle habits can help you build strong bones and maintain them as you age. Such habits include:
• Consume enough protein: Getting enough protein is important for healthy bones. About 50% of bones is made of protein. Research also reported that low protein intake decreases calcium absorption and may also affect rates of bone formation and breakdown.
• Consume foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids : Omega 3 fatty acids are well known for their anti-inflammatory effects. They’ve also been shown to help protect against bone loss during the aging process. It’s also important to make sure your balance of Omega 6-3 fat isn’t to high.
• Get plenty of vitamin D & K: Vitamin D & K are extremely important for building strong bones.
Vitamin D plays serveral roles in bones health, including helping your body absorb calcium. Achieving a blood Level of at least 30ng/ml is recommended for protecting against osteoporosis, osteopenia and other bone diseases .
Vitamin K supports bone health by modifying osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone formation.
• Eat high-calcium foods: calcium is the most important mineral for bone health, and it’s the main mineral found in your food. Because old bone cells are constantly broken-down and replaced by new ones, it’s important to consume calcium daily to protect bone structure and strength.
• Eat lots of vegetables: Vegetables are great for your bones. It increases bone mineral density, also know as bone density. Bone density is measurement of the amount of calcium and minerals found in your bone.
Vegetables are the best source of vitamin C, which helps stimulates the production of bone formating cells.
Foods that increases bone density are
– Milks, cheese and other dietary foods .
– Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage etc.
– Soya beans
– Soya drinks with added calcium.
– Sea fish.
NOTE: Osteoporosis is known as brittle bones; Osteopenia is known as low bone mass.