Your Bones Are Getting Weaker Year After Year, Here's How to Keep Them Healthy

The human skeleton is the internal framework of the body. It is composed of around 270 bones at birth – this total decreases to around 206 bones by adulthood after some bones get fused together.

The bone mass in the skeleton reaches maximum density around age 21. The human skeleton can be divided into the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton.

The axial skeleton is formed by the vertebral column, the rib cage, the skull and other associated bones. The appendicular skeleton, which is attached to the axial skeleton, is formed by the shoulder girdle, the pelvic girdle and the bones of the upper and lower limbs.

The human skeleton performs six major functions; support, movement, protection, production of blood cells, storage of minerals, and endocrine regulation.

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones to the point where they break easily—most often, bones in the hip, backbone (spine), and wrist.

Osteoporosis is called a “silent disease” because you may not notice any changes until a bone breaks. All the while, though, your bones had been losing strength for many years.

Bone is living tissue. To keep bones strong, your body breaks down old bone and replaces it with new bone tissue.

Sometime around age 30, bone mass stops increasing, and the goal for bone health is to keep as much bone as possible for as long as you can. As people enter their 40s and 50s, more bone may be broken down than is replaced.

Before Osteoporosis will happen, there are ways how to maintain strong and healthy bones:

1. Calcium Requirements

Sufficient amounts of calcium are required for bone strength. The body uses calcium for the heart, blood, muscles and nerves. Without the proper amount of calcium intake, the body will strip calcium from the bones where it is stored, causing the bones to get weaker. It is estimated that 55% of men and 78% of women over age 20 in the U.S. do not get enough calcium in their diet.11 It is important to note that since the human body cannot produce its own calcium, adequate calcium intake is vital.

Calcium Intake

The recommended amounts of calcium for adults are as follows:

-For pre-menopausal women 25-50 years old and post-menopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy: 1,000-1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day is recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
-For postmenopausal women less than age 65 not on estrogen replacement therapy: 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day.
-For men ages 25-65: 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.
-For all people (women and men) over age 65: 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day.12

2. Addressing a vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D helps with absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract and with resorption of calcium in the kidneys that would otherwise have been excreted. Like calcium, it is estimated that most people do not get enough vitamin D. Data from the Institute of Medicine suggest that more than 50% of younger and older women are not consuming recommended amounts of vitamin D.13

Vitamin D Intake

The recommended amounts of vitamin D for adults are as follows:

-For people over 50 (and postmenopausal women): 400-800 i.u. of vitamin D per day. For people over 65 or 70, at least 600 i.u. is usually recommended.
-For people 25-50 years old (and premenopausal women): 400 i.u. of vitamin D per day.

Note:
As necessary, taking a vitamin D supplement. Calcium supplements and multivitamins also can contain vitamin D, so patients are advised to read all labels carefully, and if necessary, to discuss intake with their physician or pharmacist. Since excessive doses of vitamin D can be harmful, patients are advised to talk with their doctor about the right intake for their particular situation. The Institute of Medicine recommends no more than 2,000 i.u. per day.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of staying healthy overall. With osteoporosis, weighing too little or too much can interfere with your bone health and increase the risk of fracture in different parts of your body, according to a study published in the January 2013 issue of Osteoporosis International. Being very thin (or having a small frame) may also leave your body with less bone mass to support you as you age.

Until recently, it was believed that obesity offered protective effects against fractures, but a growing body of research is not only beginning to debunk that claim but suggesting that obesity raises fracture risk. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can contribute to bone loss too. Additionally, stomach surgeries, weight-loss surgeries, and certain health conditions associated with lower body weight can affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium. If you’re having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, seek help from your doctor or get a referral to a nutritionist or another specialist who 1can help address your individual needs.

4. Stay Physically Active

Exercise can help with osteoporosis in a number of ways: It stimulates bone remodeling, helps strengthen muscles, and promotes balance, coordination, flexibility, and good posture. It can also boost your mood and mental health. Experts recommend getting 30 minutes of exercise each day to support bone health — walking, weight-bearing activities, and strength- and balance-training exercises are all good options.

Keep in mind, though, that you should be especially careful if you’ve already broken a bone, have very low bone density, or are otherwise at increased risk for a fracture, as it may be necessary to avoid activities that require bending forward from the waist or twisting your spine. You should speak with your health care provider before embarking on a new exercise program to ensure that you’re making the right choices.

5. Smoking and Osteoporosis

Cigarette smoking was first identified as a risk factor for osteoporosis decades ago. Studies have shown a direct relationship between tobacco use and decreased bone density. Analyzing the impact of cigarette smoking on bone health is complicated. It is hard to determine whether a decrease in bone density is due to smoking itself or to other risk factors common among smokers.

For example, in many cases smokers are thinner than nonsmokers, tend to drink more alcohol, may be less physically active, and have poor diets. Women who smoke also tend to have an earlier menopause than nonsmokers. These factors place many smokers at an increased risk for osteoporosis apart from their tobacco use.

In addition, studies on the effects of smoking suggest that smoking increases the risk of having a fracture. As well, smoking has been shown to have a negative impact on bone healing after fracture.

6. Sodas, Tea and Coffee: Which Can Make Your Bones Brittle?

Colas and coffee appear to have some effect on women’s bone density and could lead to osteoporosis. But tea — even the kind with caffeine — and other sodas do not. And men are not affected at all by these beverages.

While scientists have gathered data that links consumption of colas and coffee with loss of bone density, researchers are still looking for the reason why, says rheumatologist Rochelle Rosian, MD.

“Whether there is a causal relationship, and what the exact mechanism of that relationship is, is unclear,” Dr. Rosian says. “Several studies have shown those relationships, but the data overall are not entirely conclusive.”

One reason drinking cola or coffee could impact bone density is that drinking more of these beverages means you’re drinking less beverages like milk that do promote bone health, Dr. Rosian says.

In all means, whichever you are taking it needs to be in moderation.

7. Consuming Omega-3

The omega-3 essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) defend our bones against osteoporosis. They do this by lessening inflammation through a large number of mechanisms.

Our osteoclasts are supposed to remove old and brittle or damaged bone, a job they do very quickly.

Then, they’re supposed to clear out, go on vacation and let the bone-building cells, our osteoblasts, start in on the more time-consuming job of rebuilding new bone to replace the bone our osteoclasts have removed.

When inflammation is chronic, however, our osteoclasts go on overtime. Since building new bone takes much longer than breaking down old bone, too much osteoclast bone demolishing activity can result in bone thinning (or osteopenia) and, ultimately, in osteoporosis.

8.Collagen Supplements may help too!

Your bones are made mostly of collagen, which gives them structure and helps keep them strong.
As collagen in your body deteriorates as you age, bone mass does too. This may lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and linked with a higher risk of bone fractures.

Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may have certain effects in the body that help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis.

9. Taking enough Protein

Protein is important to the integrity of bone, organs, and body systems at all life stages, and protein restriction has been shown to reduce growth hormone. Low protein and low albumin are strongly and independently associated with functional outcome after hip fracture. In addition, short-term studies have suggested that acute intakes of low protein can cause a reduction of intestinal calcium absorption resulting in secondary hyperparathyroidism.

Further, higher protein status has been associated with shorter hospital stays, reduced mortality, reduced rate of complications after a hip fracture, and general attenuation of femoral bone loss in the elderly. Several studies have documented the benefits of using supplemental protein (20 g/day) for hip fracture patients. All in all, adequate protein is essential for bone growth, maintenance and renewal.

10. Avoid intake too much salt

Salt can pose a great obstacle to a sturdy skeleton. Research has found that postmenopausal women with a high-salt diet lose more bone minerals than other women of the same age.

"The salt content of the typical American diet is one of the reasons why calcium requirements are so high," says Linda K. Massey, PhD, RD, a professor of human nutrition at Washington State University in Spokane.

Massey says studies show that regular table salt, not simply sodium, causes calcium loss, weakening bones with time. That’s important because Americans get about 90% of our sodium through salt.

We also get about twice as much sodium as we should. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise limiting sodium to 2,300 milligrams a day – equal to a teaspoon of salt. But most Americans get at least 4,000 milligrams a day.

The current study included 4,093 women, of an average age of 74 years, with osteoporosis and previous fractures.

Additional Information:

People considered at especially high risk for developing osteoporosis include:

-All women over age 65.
-Women less than age 65 who are postmenopausal and have one or more of the above described risk factors for osteoporosis.
-Postmenopausal women who experience any type of bone fracture.
-Men who have a testosterone deficiency.
Source: BrightSide
Your Bones Are Getting Weaker Year After Year, Here's How to Keep Them Healthy Your Bones Are Getting Weaker Year After Year, Here's How to Keep Them Healthy Reviewed by LVS Staff on October 12, 2018 Rating: 5
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