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Why It’s Never Too Early To Start Taking Care Of Your Bones

How much do you know about osteoporosis and how you can reduce your risk?


It’s estimated that nearly half of us over age 50 may be at risk for our bone health, and that includes men as well as women.

In younger women the risk is increasing as they are often lacking sufficient bone-building nutrients from their their diets, as well as a the physical activity needed for bones to be strong enough to last a lifetime.

Your bones are continually being replaced, but growth only occurs from birth until about age 30. Then you enter the normal age-related bone mineral loss period that continues for the rest of your life.

If not given the right kind of care, bones can begin to weaken early in life. It’s a quiet, symptom-less process and you can’t feel it happening – or see any signs – at least not in the early stages.

And here’s something that every woman needs to know: Your normal bone loss accelerates during and after menopause for about five to seven years before returning to the slightly slower rate that men experience.

You can lose as much as 35 percent of your bone density during those few, short years!

It’s never too late, or too early

You need to give your bones special care throughout your lifetime, as they never top the process of breaking down old bone and building new bone – whatever your age.

We’re living longer today and we want to live an active life as long as we can. To do that, you need strong bones, and you need them to stay healthy and strong your entire life, not just for pleasure, but also for protection.

Why it is so important and 3 essential steps to protect them

When you’re older, the consequences of weak bones can strip away your independence and can even be deadly.

Strong bones protect your heart, lungs, and brain from injury. And your bones become a warehouse for important minerals that you need throughout your life.

Your bones also house and protect your bone marrow where white blood cells develop.

Taking good care of your bones, starting from an early age, involves three major steps:

1   Unfortunately osteoporosis is known as the “Silent Thief” for a very good reason. There are no symptoms until you break a bone so can easily be at risk without realizing it?

2   Physical activity and the proper exercises are essential for increasing or maintaining bone and muscle mass, balance, and coordination.

3   Dietary changes to improve your bone health, including knowing just what will help your bones to grown and be strong.

How to keep your bones healthy

Bone is a living substance that contains blood vessels, nerves, and cells and there are two types of cells control your bone structure:

Osteoblasts – cells that build your bones

Osteoclasts – cells that break down old or damaged bone to make room for new bone

Osteoblasts produce a protein called osteocalcin that strengthens your skeleton and for this progesterone is the key hormone to strengthen and build new bone.

Very simply, as long as the bone-forming activity, called absorption, is greater than bone breakdown, called resorption, you’re pretty much assured of maintaining healthy bones.

What can weaken your bones?

Several types of medications can affect your bone health and these are some of the most common bone health antagonists that you may not be aware of:

Statins These are very commonly prescribed help lower cholesterol levels but in addition to some serious side effects such as muscle pain and liver damage statins interfere with vitamin K2’s bone-building functions in your body and increase your risk of deficiency.

Antidepressants Many antidepressant drugs act by altering your serotonin levels and can therefore lower your bone density, according to a recent review of current evidence. At menopause women are often prescribed such drugs, not just for depression but as an alternative to HRT.

Osteoporosis It may seem illogical, but most osteoporosis drugs actually weaken your bones. Bisphosphonate bone drugs impact your normal bone repair process by killing off your osteoclasts, and do make your bones denser, but because the osteoclasts are killed the bone is actually weaker as it is not remodelled properly.

Undiagnosed gluten intolerance If you have undiagnosed gluten intolerance, you may not be absorbing the nutrients you need for bone health. When study subjects followed a gluten-free diet for one year, their bone density improved.

Smoking and drinking Smoking increases your rate of bone loss, and consuming more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb calcium, slowing new bone formation.

Soft Drinks Animal studies show that the phosphorus in these drinks weakens your bones by promoting the loss of calcium. A  can of cola with caffeine contains the most with 37 mg of phosphorus, while the same size serving of diet cola with caffeine contains 32 mg.

Researchers found that human parathyroid hormone concentrations rose strongly following diet soda consumption, leading to a greater release of calcium from bone.

Cream soda and ginger ale are phosphorus free if you need a fizzy fix.

What can you do?

If you know you have a family risk, then the best way to know for sure is to have your bone density tested regularly by your doctor and everyone can start to take care of their bones with some simple steps.

Step one is to have regular weight-bearing physical activity and strength training as these are ideal for bone health.

Healthy bones are porous and soft, and as you age, they can easily become less dense and more brittle. Especially if you don’t get the right kinds of exercise.

Because bone is living tissue, it requires regular physical activity to renew and rebuild itself. Whenever you jump, run, or lift a weight, the stress of your muscles on your bones signals to your body to add new cells to strengthen your bones.

Weight bearing exercises – activities that force you to work against gravity – strengthen bone by stimulating the bone-building cells, osteoblasts.

A good exercise to include in your routine is a walking lunge. This helps build bone density in your hips, even without additional weights.

Lifting weights, using resistance bands, and yoga all help build bone density and strength.

Other weight-bearing activities include brisk walking, tennis, jogging, climbing stairs, hiking, and dancing.

If you are not able to do these exercises, walking regularly is highly beneficial.

Step two is to ensure you support your bones with an optimum blend and balance of four major nutrients: calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin K, and magnesium. They are all needed so taking just one or two in isolation won’t be as effective as they work together to produce the right bone building elements.

Vitamin D maintains skeletal calcium balance by promoting calcium absorption in your intestines.

Calcium and phosphate depend upon Vitamin D for bone formation.

Vitamin K helps to cement the calcium you absorb into the bone matrix rather than depositing it on the inside of your blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.

Magnesium is an important mineral that your body needs to build a strong bone matrix.