Top Tips for Strong Bones

Did you know that approximately 75 million people in the United States, Europe and Japan have osteoporosis?  Although you may think this is a problem that is confined only to women you may be surprised to know that Osteoporosis is a concern for men too.

howtoreduceosteoporosis According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)

* Hip Fractures are increasing worldwide: From 1990-2000 these types of fractures increased 25%

* By the year 2050 it is estimated that in women hip fractures will increase by 240% and in men 310%

* In Europe the reported disabilities associated with osteoporosis is more than those estimated to be caused by cancers (except for lung cancer).

* According to a survey done by the IOF, there is a lack of discussion between personal physicians and their patients about osteoporosis

What You Can Do to Help Keep Your Bones Strong:

* Reduce Your Salt Intake:

By decreasing the amount of sodium in your diet you can reduce the amount of bone loss that occurs. Excess salt can cause more calcium to be lost in your urine which can lead to more incidences of osteoporosis. So put the salt shaker away and learn how to season naturally with herbs instead of salt

* Limit Your Caffeine and Eliminate Soft Drinks

Caffeine is another substance that can cause calcium loss and can therefore contribute to bone loss over time.  Soft drinks are not only known for adding empty calories but also caffeine to your diet.

Caffeine in moderation is fine, but if you were to consume only 2 cups of coffee per day, in studies, it has been associated with a reduction of bone density in older women.  If you are consuming coffee consuming milk or other food sources of calcium on a daily basis can help protect your bones.

* Don’t Overuse Vitamin A Supplementation:

The two countries in the world that have the highest numbers of hip fractures are Norway and Sweden. Although these areas include dairy products in their diets, Sweden is known for fortifying or adding retinol (which is Vitamin A) at twice the amounts that is normally found in whole milk. Retinol may also be added to margarine.

* Limit Your Alcohol Use

No more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day should be consumed, and since alcohol is also known to add calories to your diet, you may want to limit your use even further.

* Make sure you’re eating enough calcium

Calcium is extremely important in preventing low bone density, and including milk in your diet or other calcium rich foods can help.  Other calcium rich foods that are not dairy based can include: broccoli, kale, sardine with the bones, fruit juices fortified with calcium, and soy milk.

* Make Sure You Are Getting Adequate Vitamin D

There are so many reasons having enough vitamin D is good for you. It can help with your immune system and thus give you some protection from common cancers, but it is also critical towards making sure that your bones stay healthy and strong. Those living in areas where there is less sunlight and anyone with a darker complexion is even more at risk for having low levels of vitamin D. Although some physicians are just now learning about the clinical significance of having appropriate vitamin D levels, it is something you can ask your physician to check for you with a simple blood test during your next physical exam. The proper test to ask for is called a 25 (OH) D test, or Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy.    Make sure you ask and receive copies of your own test results because having your vitamin D level simply be within normal limits isn’t sufficient. You want your results to be at least 75% of the upper/higher limit of normal to have adequate immune protection and help your bones.

* Increase your Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables

Anyone at risk for Osteoporosis should increase fruits and vegetables in their diet. Nutrients such as potassium, Vitamin K, magnesium are also found in fruits and veggies and have healthy fiber which as an added benefit, will help keep your appetite under control and help you stay feeling full for longer.