Today with all the information we now have available to us, we know how to slow down and even prevent the onset of the troubling bone disease known as Osteoporosis.
Here are 5 things you can do today to protect yourself.
Researchers helped 152 post-menopausal women who smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day to quit. After one smoke-free year, total hip bone mineral density increased by 1.52 percent, an amount more significant than it sounds. In addition, bone mineral density in the upper thigh bone increased 2.9 percent among quitters.
Hit the weight room
Strengthening exercises build up more than just muscle; they increase bone density, too. While walking and other aerobic exercises are important to maintain bone throughout your life, regular strength workouts provide the most significant benefits.
Load up on calcium
Get it in your diet and, just for good measure, take a daily calcium citrate supplement. There was one study that involved 301 healthy postmenopausal women who too 500 milligrams per day of calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, or a placebo for two years. Those taking calcium citrate had small improvements in bone mineral density in their hip bones and less bone mineral density loss in their spines. Those taking calcium carbonate only maintained the bone mineral density in their hips and showed no change in the density of their spinal bone. As it turned out, calcium citrate is the form of the mineral best absorbed; take half in the morning and half at night.
Pop some D
Calcium is great, but it is just one part of the nutritional needs of bone. Without vitamin D, calcium can’t get into your bones. The results can be devastating. In one study of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fractures, half had a vitamin D deficiency. Meanwhile, the Women’s Health Initiative study, a 15-year-long investigation of the health of postmenopausal women, found that the more consistent women were in taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, the lower their risk of osteoporosis. It doesn’t take long for the supplement s to show a benefit, investigators found. Just two to three years of consistent use reduce the risk of hip fracture by 29 percent. Although study participants took 1,000 milligrams of calcium carbonate and 400 international units (IUs) of vitamin D, the researchers suspect they would have seen an even larger benefit if the vitamin D supplement was upped to 600IU. In addition to supplements, exposing your arms and legs, or hands, arms, and face to the sun two or three times a week for 5 to 10 minutes can also guarantee sufficient vitamin D intake.
Switch to Decaffeinated Coffee
A study of 96 women with an average age of 71 found that those getting more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day (the amount in two to three cups of regular coffee) had much higher rates of bone loss than women drinking less coffee. The really interesting thing here is that the bone loss only occurred in women with a certain gene that affects how the body uses vitamin D. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, you may have this genotype and could significantly benefit from cutting out caffeine.
Watch for my next blog where I reveal 6 more ways you can prevent Osteoporosis today!
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