Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become brittle and are more likely to break in your older years. If left undetected, it can progress painlessly until a bone break. In other words, the disease increases your risk of bone fractures typically in the wrist, hip and spine. A broken hip almost always requires hospitalization and a major surgery and may lead to permanent disability or even death. The disease can impair a person’s ability to walk.
The good news is that it can still be prevented in some people even in older years. An adequate calcium consumption throughout life augments bone gain during growth, prevents fracture, retards age related bone loss and reduces risk of osteoporosis.
The Dairy Council of California suggests taking milk and dairy foods to help build bone density. Having dairy sources of calcium is more effective than calcium supplements due to the dairy’s unique package of nutrients that are in the right proportions for maintaining healthy bones.
Advertisements and local campaigns pushing milk as the answer to strong bones are almost inescapable. But would drinking milk really translate into getting stronger bones?
Definitely, the increased calcium intake can take care of your weakening bones and osteoporosis. Calcium is a mineral you need to maintain strong bones and teeth, prevent blood clotting, regulate your heart’s rhythm, and get better transmission of nerve impulses.
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About 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth while the remaining 1% is found in the blood, muscle and other tissues. If one does not eat enough calcium containing foods, the body will remove calcium from the bones.
You can get calcium by eating foods such as the dark leafy greens, taking dietary health supplements, and drinking dairy products that contain the highest concentration per serving of highly absorbable calcium. Understand that the porous bones or osteoporosis disease is caused by an imbalance between bone building and bone destruction.
People typically lose bone as they age. Achieving an adequate calcium intake and maximizing bone stores during the time when the bone is rapidly deposited up to 30 provides an important foundation for the future years.
Recent studies found drinking large amounts of milk cannot protect men and women from bone fractures. In addition, it linked drinking three glasses of milk or more in a day to higher risk of death and cardiovascular disease.
How you develop osteoporosis
For a lot of people, bone production exceeds bone destruction until age 30. The destruction then typically exceeds production after 30.
Most people lose bone as they age despite maintaining the recommended intake of calcium while some suffer a low bone mass. Postmenopausal women account 80% in all cases because estrogen production declines rapidly during menopause.
Exercises can increase muscle strength and coordination. Performing a variety of exercises or having some kind of physical activity that puts some strain or stress on bones causes the bones to retain and possibly even gain density, can keep the bones healthy and prevent fractures.
You can opt to engage in weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercises regularly, such as strength training and weight lifting, or you can do walking, jogging, swimming, hiking, dancing and stair climbing.
Source of photo: Unsplash
Regularly doing your fitness routine may help the bones gain density throughout life. Make it a habit.
Another way is to get an adequate supply of Vitamin D through diet, such as eating green leafy vegetables, or taking the supplement D3. The main idea here is to take enough calcium so that your body does not need to borrow calcium from the bone.
Do not take too much preformed Vitamin A. Normally, your body gets calcium from your diet, but the lack of it will make your body starts pulling calcium from your bones, which makes them weaker as you grow older.
Many factors affect bone health, such as the physical activity, genetics, and weight. What is trending now is the rise of people who are living a sedentary lifestyle, which can do more harm to the overall health.
Cut down on milk consumption
In the US, when you say milk, it would mean strong bones. However, several advised to drink at least no more than a glass of milk in a day.
An increase of about 10% risk of overall death has been noted when an individual drank three or more glasses a day. Clinical research shows that dairy products give little or no benefit for bones.
The article published in the Pediatrics 2005 which reviewed the consumption of milk among children found it did not improve bone integrity.
Ways you can prevent osteoporosis
Reduce the sodium intake in your diet.
Take care with caffeine and cola. Drinking 4 or more cups of coffee in a day may increase the risk of fracture. Caffeine promotes calcium excretion in the urine.
Get enough protein but not too much. As your body digest protein, it releases acid into the bloodstream, which the body neutralizes by drawing calcium from the bones.
Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and leafy green vegetables and beans.
Exercise more. It has been confirmed to be one of the most effective ways to increase bone density and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
Make sure you receive Vitamin D in your diet and other sources to help dietary calcium absorption. A 5 to 15 minutes of sun exposure to the arms and legs or the hands, face, and arms can be enough to meet the body’s requirement of Vitamin D.
Bennington-Castro, J (2014). Does milk really help build strong bones?
Harvard T.H. Chan. Calcium and Milk: What’s best for your bones and health?
Health concerns about dairy products (n.d.). PCRM Org.
WebMD. Is milk your friend or foe?
Osteoporosis is a progressive disease in which the bones deteriorate, lose mass and minerals over time. It is very descriptive of the nature of the disease, which is characterized by porous bones. To prevent osteoporosis, you should watch the food you consume and also start to do strength training exercises. The bottom line is that you should live an active life and start making good choices with anything associated to diet or food you eat.