Your bones change continuously as new bone is made and old bone broken down. When you are young, your body builds bone faster and breaks it down slower – this helps to increase your bone mass. You reach your peak bone mass at around age 30. As you age, your bones tend to shrink in size and lose some of its density. After menopause, if you do not supplement correctly, you will lose bone mass faster than you will be building it, leading to the development of osteoporosis – a condition where your bones become weak and brittle. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank” – giving your body some reserves to use when you do not take in sufficient supplementation.
Here are a few things that could influence your bone health: (1)
- The amount of Calcium in your diet – a diet low in calcium can lead to a decrease in bone density, bone loss and an increased risk of fractures if you should fall
- Your level of activity – the less active you are, the higher your chances of developing bone degeneration
- Use of alcohol and smoking – alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium and tobacco use contributes to weaker bones
- Your gender – women are more at risk than men because they have less bone tissue
- Age – as you age your bone mass decreases
- Weight and size – being underweight places you at risk and if you are small in stature, it also means you have less bone to draw from as you age
- Hormones – the levels of certain hormones can cause bone loss, e.g. a drop in oestrogen levels in menopausal women
- Family history of weak bones or falls
- Eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia
- Certain medications damages bone or influences the body’s calcium levels
Steps to take to prevent bone loss: (1)
- Include sufficient amounts of Calcium in your diet. The recommended amount per day is around 1000 mg. After the age of 50, women should increase that amount to 1200 mg per day. We recommend foodstate’s Calcium Complex [LINK TO CALCIUM COMPLEX PAGE]and Calcium + Magnesium Complex [LINK TO CALCIUM+MG PAGE] for healthy bones.
- Don’t neglect your Vitamin D intake. Your body needs Vitamin D to absorb Calcium. You will need about 600 mcg per day. We recommend foodstate’s Vitamin D3 Complex. [LINK TO VITAMIN D3 COMPLEX PAGE]
- Exercise regularly – Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, tennis and climbing stairs, and strength training can help you build strong bones and slow down bone loss.
- Avoid substance abuse. Avoid smoking and don’t drink more than two alcoholic drinks a day.
Find out more on bone health:
- Bone health [LINK TO THE BONE HEALTH MAIN ARTICLE PAGE]
Reference: 1. Mayo Clinic. Adult health. Bone Health: Tips to keep your bones healthy. mayoclinic.org [online] 2013 Feb [Cited 2015 Aug 12]. Available from: URL: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/bone-health/art-20045060?p=1.