Can You Prevent Osteoporosis?

As living tissue, bone is always undergoing regeneration. To maintain bone health and strength, your body replaces worn-out bone tissue with new, healthy ones. Osteoporosis is a chronic illness that results when the new bone formation is inadequate to compensate for bone loss. Bones in the hip, spine, and wrist are especially susceptible to osteoporosis’s deteriorating effects and breakage.


Most times, you may not even realize you have osteoporosis until a bone breaks. However, your bones gradually lost strength over several years without your notice. Yet, can you prevent osteoporosis?

 

How to prevent osteoporosis

No doubt, you can’t alter some osteoporosis risk factors, such as your sex, age, or genetics. Still, the prevention of osteoporosis is achievable. For the most part, you can support your bone health to reduce the risk.


A high peak bone mass is an important factor in reducing the risk of osteoporosis in later life. It is best achieved in childhood through a combination of a bone-healthy diet and regular activity. The best years for bone mass development are from childhood to age 30. This is significant because a lower risk of weak and breakable bones in old age correlates with a higher bone mass in adulthood.


As an adult, you have many options for ensuring bone health and preventing bone loss. Good nutrition, regular exercise, and an overall healthy lifestyle are the cornerstones of osteoporosis prevention. The following are essential steps to reducing the risk of osteoporosis :

 

1. Support bones with calcium

calcium

A calcium-rich diet can help keep bones strong and prevent them from weakening. If you eat a balanced diet, you might be able to receive all the calcium you need. Low-fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, soy products like tofu, calcium-fortified cereals, and orange juice are all good sources of calcium.


For the most part, 1,000 mg of calcium per day is recommended for men and women aged 18 to 50. However, at age 50 for women and 70 for men,  the recommended daily allowance rises to 1,200 milligrams. You may want to take calcium supplements if you have trouble getting enough calcium from food.

 

2. Boost vitamin D intake

vitamin D

When you take vitamin D, your body is better able to absorb calcium and utilize it to strengthen your bones. Besides helping the body take in more calcium, vitamin D has other benefits for bone health. Foods such as oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, fortified cereals, dairy foods, and drinks can all help you get more of the vitamin D you need daily.


Further, in response to UV radiation from the sun, the body’s liver and kidneys produce vitamin D. Therefore, If you consistently wear sunscreen or stay indoors to minimize sun exposure due to skin cancer concerns, sunlight may not be an effective source of vitamin D for you.


You should aim for 600 IU of vitamin D daily if you’re 70 or younger and 800 IU if you’re 71 or older. Supplements may be necessary to achieve this goal in areas where sun exposure and nutrition fall short.

 

3. Eat more protein

Protein

Bone cells contain protein, as do all other cells in the body. Scientific research has demonstrated that a diet high in protein also promotes bone mineral density. A protein intake of 0.4 grams per pound of body weight per day is the standard recommendation. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you need about 80 grams of protein daily. It’s possible to get protein from animal and plant products to meet this requirement.

 

4. Promote bone health with exercise

Promote bone health with exercise

Exercise aids in fitness, but it also does more. Exercising helps by stimulating bone-building cells, which in turn reduces bone loss. No matter how old you are, you will reap the benefits for your bones when you start exercising. However, the greatest advantages will be realized if you begin an exercise routine at a young age and maintain it throughout your life.


However, not all physical activity is created equal. The best way to maintain healthy bones is to engage in a regimen of strength training, weight-bearing, and balance activities.

 

5. Avoid or quit smoking

5. Avoid or quit smoking

Numerous studies have revealed that the nicotine and chemicals in cigarettes negatively impact bone health. Bones, muscles, and joints rely on oxygen-rich blood for nourishment and repair, but smoking reduces this supply. In addition, it reduces the development of cells that contribute to bone and impairs the body’s ability to absorb calcium.


Even though bone regeneration is gradual, some damage to bone health caused by smoking is reversible when you quit the habit.

 

6. Limit alcohol

Limit alcohol

The risk of osteoporosis and fractures can be reduced by limiting alcohol consumption, which also benefits bone health. This is because excessive alcohol use interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients vital to the growth and maintenance of strong bones.

 

7. Review current medication

Some medications and treatments increase the loss of bone density. Therefore, if you have osteoporosis risk factors, you may want to discuss with your doctor whether any of your current drugs could negatively impact your bone health.

 

Conclusion

Although some osteoporosis risk factors are out of your control, you can still take measures to protect yourself. Osteoporosis prevention is just one of the many health benefits you’ll reap from a healthy diet, getting more exercise, and ditching harmful habits.

 

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References

 

1. Benjamin R. M. (2010). Bone health: preventing osteoporosis. Public health reports (Washington, D.C.: 1974), 125(3), 368–370. https://doi.org/10.1177/003335491012500302


2. Bonjour J. P. (2011). Protein intake and bone health. International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Vitamin- und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition, 81(2-3), 134–142. https://doi.org/10.1024/0300-9831/a000063


3. Cheraghi, Z., Doosti-Irani, A., Almasi-Hashiani, A., Baigi, V., Mansournia, N., Etminan, M., & Mansournia, M. A. (2019). The effect of alcohol on osteoporosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Drug and alcohol dependence, 197, 197–202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.01.025


4. Kiyota, Y., Muramatsu, H., Sato, Y. et al.(2020) Smoking cessation increases levels of osteocalcin and uncarboxylated osteocalcin in human sera. Sci Rep 10, 16845 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-73789-4


5. Panday, K., Gona, A., & Humphrey, M. B. (2014). Medication-induced osteoporosis: screening and treatment strategies. Therapeutic advances in musculoskeletal disease, 6(5), 185–202. https://doi.org/10.1177/1759720X14546350


6. Tong, X., Chen, X., Zhang, S., Huang, M., Shen, X., Xu, J., & Zou, J. (2019). The Effect of Exercise on the Prevention of Osteoporosis and Bone Angiogenesis. BioMed research international, 2019, 8171897. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/8171897


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