It is surprisingly simple to maintain the health of your bones. Recognise the effects that nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle choices may have on your bone mass.
The body uses bones for a variety of purposes, including storing calcium, attaching muscles, protecting organs, and giving structure. Even while it’s critical for children and adolescents to have strong, healthy bones, adults may also take precautions to maintain bone health.
Why is bone health important?
Your bones are always changing; they are breaking down and growing new bone. Your bone mass rises and new bone is created by your body more quickly than existing bone is broken down while you’re young. Around age 30, most people reach their maximal bone mass. After then, your bone mass continues to rebuild, although at a somewhat slower rate.
Your risk of developing osteoporosis, a disorder that weakens and fractures bones, is determined by the amount of bone mass you have by the time you turn 30 and the rate at which you lose it thereafter. You have more bone “in the bank” and are less vulnerable to age-related osteoporosis if your peak bone mass is larger.
What impacts the health of bones
Bone health can be affected by several causes. For instance:
The calcium content of your diet: Low calcium diets are linked to early bone loss, reduced bone density, and a higher risk of fractures.
Moves and activities: Osteoporosis is more common in physically inactive people than in active people.
Alcohol and tobacco usage: According to research, smoking may be a factor in weak bones. In a similar vein, men and women who routinely consume two or more alcoholic beverages daily may be at higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
Sex: Women have less bone tissue than males do, thus they are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Dimensions: If you have a tiny body frame or are extremely thin (body mass index 19 or below), you may have less bone mass available to you as you age.
Age: As we age, our bones weaken and grow thinner.
History of race and family: The two populations most at risk for osteoporosis are Asian or White. Furthermore, you have a higher risk if you have a parent or sibling with osteoporosis, particularly if there is a family history of fractures.
Levels of hormones: Bone loss can result from high thyroid hormone levels. Women have a sharp increase in bone loss during menopause as a result of declining oestrogen levels. Amenorrhea, or the prolonged lack of menstruation before to menopause, raises the risk of osteoporosis as well. Loss of bone mass in males may be brought on by decreased testosterone levels.
Eating problems in addition to other ailments: In both men and women, severely limiting food intake and being underweight affects bone. Furthermore, disorders like celiac disease and weight-loss surgery might interfere with your body’s capacity to absorb calcium.
Certain drugs: Bone is harmed by the long-term use of corticosteroid drugs such as dexamethasone, cortisone, prednisolone, and prednisone. Additional medicines that may raise the risk of osteoporosis include methotrexate, several anti-seizure drugs including phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital, aromatase inhibitors used to treat breast cancer, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
How can we maintain the health of our bones?
There are easy things you can do to stop or minimise bone loss. For instance:
Consume an abundance of calcium-rich foods. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults (19–50 years old) and males (51–70 years old) is 1,000 mg of calcium per day. For women 51 years of age and above, and for males 71 years of age and above, the recommended daily dosage is 1,200 mg.
Dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, tinned salmon with bones, sardines, and soy products like tofu are good sources of calcium. Consult your doctor about taking supplements if you have trouble getting enough calcium from your diet.
Be mindful of vitamin D. For the body to absorb calcium, vitamin D is required. Adults between the ages of 19 and 70 should consume 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D daily. The daily recommended amount for persons 71 years of age and above rises to 800 IUs.
Salmon, trout, whitefish, and tuna are examples of oily fish that are good providers of vitamin D. Eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods like cereals and milk are other excellent sources of vitamin D. The body produces vitamin D in part because of sunlight. Consult your doctor about taking supplements if you’re concerned about obtaining enough vitamin D.
Make physical activity a part of your everyday schedule. Weight-bearing activities that increase bone strength and reduce bone loss include running, walking, and climbing stairs.
Avoid smoking and alcohol. It is not advisable for women to consume more than one alcoholic beverage every day. Men should limit their alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks each day.