Taking care of your bones – preventing Osteoporosis

The foundation of healthy bones begins with a nutritious diet, the right supplements, and a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Osteoporosis is a condition which is characterised by porous and fragile bones.  The bones of our bodies are in a constant state of breakdown and renewal, and osteoporosis occurs when bone breakdown is in excess of creation.

 Osteoporosis tends to affect bones of the body such as the hip, wrists, and spine.  Symptoms don’t usually become apparent until bone density has dramatically reduced.  Once it has reached a more advanced stage, there will be symptoms such as bone fracturing which occurs very easily; a loss of height; and back pain.

Post-menopausal women are most at risk of osteoporosis, as oestrogen has a protective effect on bone health. Once levels of oestrogen start to decline, women are more vulnerable to bone loss.  Small bone structure, and a family history of osteoporosis can be further risk factors for the development of osteoporosis.                                                      

 You can prevent osteoporosis and increase bone density with the following tips:  

Minerals such as Calcium, Zinc, Boron, Magnesium, Vitamin K and Copper are essential, providing the foundation of a healthy bone structure.  Adequate Vitamin D is important as it allows the body to absorb calcium

 It is also important that adequate protein is consumed.  The appropriate quantity of protein each person needs per day is dependent on body weight – approximately 0.8g per kg of bodyweight.  Protein intake is necessary to encourage the production of osteoblasts which are responsible for creating bone structure.

Dairy foods are a great source of calcium, however too much can acidify the body, and they can be a common food intolerance for people.  An overly acidic body means that minerals such as calcium are taken from the bones in order to make the blood and tissues of the body less acidic.  Include some dairy products in your diet such as good quality, unsweetened greek yoghurt, and try to obtain Calcium from food sources such as tahini or sesame seeds, kelp, broccoli, spinach, molasses, dried figs and sardines.

Reduce acidity in the body by cutting out acidic drinks and foods such as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.  Follow the acid/alkaline diet and concentrate on fruits and vegetables as opposed to animal products and saturated fats.  It is also important also to stop smoking, and engage in weight bearing exercise to strengthen bones and increase bone density.

If you would like further advice on the right diet and supplementation for looking after your bone health, make an appointment at the Health Zone Clinic or call us on 0208 944 1133 Ext: 26