According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 10 million Americans are currently diagnosed with osteoporosis, and 34 million adults areat risk. Did you know that as little as 30 years ago, osteoporosis was generally thought to be a "normal" part of aging?We have since learned considerably more about osteoporosis prevention. The good news is that you're never too young─or too old─to improve the health of your bones.
So, how can you ensure that your bones remain strong over time? As the National Osteoporosis Foundation emphasizes, getting enough calcium, vitamin D and regular exercise is important, as well as consuming a diet rich in fresh produce. On the other hand, smoking, too much alcohol, poor-quality food, and skipping exercise all promote osteoporosis.
We might add that while calcium and vitamin D are indeed important, many other nutrients are required for optimal bone health. The minerals boron, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, silica, and zinc, as well as vitamins A, B6, B12, C, K and folic acidare allactively involved in the bone building process.
Another bone health ally that might surprise you is fish oil. Studies reveal that a higher dietary ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is associated with improved bone health through several different mechanisms, including calcium balance, osteoblastogenesis/osteoblast activity, and minimizing chronic inflammation.1,2Unfortunately, the typical American diet is woefully deficient in many of the above nutrients─as well as omega-3s─and thus conducive to poor bone health over time.
To add insult to injury, many Americans regularly consume soft drinks, caffeine and sugar, all of which promote osteoporosis. Sugar consumption negatively impacts mineral balance,3 sodas like coca cola are linked not only to osteoporosis, but also obesity and kidney disease,4 and caffeine has been shown to decrease bone mineral density, negatively influence calcium absorption, and increase the risk of bone fracture in women.5
There is a silver lining, however, which is your ability to take positive action on behalf of your bones. If along with eating a healthy diet you can limit the sugar/caffeine/soda bone-harming trio, engage in daily weight-bearing activity like walking, and safeguard your bones with fish oil and a high-quality, complete calcium formula that includes the entirespectrum of essential bone-building nutrients, you will be well on your way to outsmarting this debilitating health issue.
1 Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(36):4157-64
2 J Bone Miner Res. 2003 Jul;18(7):1206-16
3 Nutr Rev. 2008 Jun;66(6):301-9
4 J Psychopharmacol. 2010 Oct;24(10):1569-72. Epub 2009 May 7
5 Med Hypotheses. 2009 Jul;73(1):83-5. Epub 2009 Mar 10