Stop osteoporosis now!

No one thinks about osteoporosis in our 20’s because it is something that won’t affect us until we are 70. The thing is that while in your 20’s you still have a chance of helping preventing osteoporosis. Our bones keep growing until we are around 30, so we have many chances to try to build up our bone health while we are younger. Most people don’t even think about it until they are 70, fall down and break their hip and find out they have osteoporosis, I want to get people thinking about this while they still have a chance of preventing this damage. There are five nutrients that are important and related to our bone health: calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, and fluoride. I am going to focus of the importance of calcium and vitamin D because they play the biggest role in our bone health.

There are two main types of bones in our body we have trabecular (spongy) bone and cortical (compact) bone. Trabecular bone is found at the ends of our long bones and cortical bone is very hard and surrounds all of our bones. Bone is constantly being remodeled, through osteoblasts, which build bone, and osteoclasts, which break down bone.

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Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body, 99% is found in are bones and teeth and the remaining 1% is found the blood. When we do not consume enough calcium in our diet osteoclasts will break down our bone to get calcium for our blood. Trabecluar ones are the most effected from low amounts of calcium. To insure a greater amount of bone density it is highly recommended to take a calcium supplement to reach the recommended 1000mg/day of calcium. It is also helpful if your supplement contains vitamin D as well. Vitamin D helps increase the calcium absorption and retention in our bones. Our body can make most of the Vitamin D our body needs through cholesterol and UV radiation. However, if you live in an area where you do not receive much sunlight or do but it is cold in the winter, you can become deficient during those times. Since most American do not meet their calcium recommendations once again I emphasize, TAKE A SUPPLEMENT. It will help to insure maximizing your bone density.

Up until around the age of 30 our osteoblasts keep up fairly well with the osteoclasts. So at age 30 we reach our peak bone density. Now, everyone will begin to lose bone mass later in life, it is inevitable, the goal is to get as much bone as possible before the age of 30 that way you have more to lose. Females tend to be more effected by osteoporosis. The reason for this is our sex hormones regulate our osteblasts, and once women go through menopause, estrogen levels significantly decrease where as men do not have as great of a reduction in testosterone.

So, what can you do if you are under 30 to help spare yourself from dealing with this fate?

  1. Make sure you are getting an adequate amount of calcium in your diet everyday, 1000mg.
  2. Physical activity: weight-bearing activities are the best way to stimulate bone growth. So running, jogging, kickboxing…
  3. Stop smoking and watch your caffeine intake, smoking and caffeine both decrease your absorption rate.
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