The key to stop Osteoporosis is to protect your bones so that you never experience the effects of this disease. If you were reading this 15 years ago, you’d have been lucky to be evaluated for osteoporosis, let along diagnosed. That’s because there was nothing doctors could do if you had the disease.
Today, however, a plethora of medications and great understanding of the impact of lifestyle and diet on bone health have made osteoporosis not only treatable but eminently preventable.
Here are some of those key things you can do today to protect your bones.
Switch from soda to skim milk or water
When researchers measured the bone mineral density at the spine and hips of 1,413 women, they found that those who drank soda every day – whether regular, diet, or decaffeinated – had average hip bone mineral densities 3.7 percent lower and spine densities 5.4 percent lower than those drinking less than one soda a month.
Take an exercise class
Whether it’s a resistance training, agility training, or general stretching class, it can reduce the risk of falling between 37 and 43 percent, according to Canadian researchers from British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Center Osteoporosis Program. They found that the benefit persisted up to a year after the classes ended, even if the women didn’t continue the exercise. This is critical because falling is the major cause of fractures in people with osteoporosis.
Shape up you Cholesterol Levels
High levels of “bad” LDL and low levels of “good” HDL increases the risk of fractures of the vertebrae in postmenopausal women. Plus, a study from researchers at Alberta University in Canada found that women with osteopenia (a forerunner of osteoporosis) or osteoporosis of the lower spine and hip were more likely to have high cholesterol levels. Meanwhile, other studies suggest that people taking statins, the most commonly prescribed medication for high cholesterol, have a 60 percent reduced risk of fracture.
Cholesterol levels are also important when it comes to prevention. When University of California, Los Angeles researchers compared mice fed a high-fat diet designed to raise cholesterol levels with those fed a normal diet, they found a 43 percent decrease in mineral content and a 15 percent decrease in bone density in the leg bones of the high-fat diet mice. One link between cholesterol and osteoporosis may be that free radicals resulting from oxidized cholesterol molecules prevent osteoblasts from functioning normally to build up bone.
Add a fruit or vegetable to every meal
While calcium and vitamin D get all the glory when it comes to osteoporosis prevention, a Scottish Study of 62 healthy women between ages 45 and 55 found that those who consumed the greatest amounts of foods containing zinc, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and vitamin C had the highest bone mineral density. Best sourced of all these micronutrients? Fresh fruits and vegetables.
Munch on some dried plums
What used to be known as prunes may hold the key to restoring bone loss in postmenopausal women. A study from Florida State University found that supplementing your diet with about 9 or 10 dried plums a day improves markers of bone formation in postmenopausal women. Researcher are not positive why dried plums have such an effect but suspect that it’s related to an increased rate of bone formation through some plant based chemicals on osteoblasts.
Check your dental health
The only way to diagnose osteoporosis conclusively is with a bone mineral density test. One early clue that you’re at risk, however, may be tooth loss and gum disease. Conversely, if you have osteoporosis, you’re at much higher risk of developing gum disease and tooth loss. If you’re having dental problems, ask your doctor to test your bone mineral density.
A common theme in all of our blogs is that prevention is the best medicine for living a long life. The more you know, the more changes you can make to your lifestyle and diet so that you are set up for a long and active life.
Giving you the most current and up to date advice on living a longer and active life.
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