20 Dec Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a common occurrence in today’s world. It is a state of decreased bone mass which leads to bone fragility and consequently an increase in fracture risk. Female gender is said to be a risk factor for osteoporosis, as is petite body frame, sedentary lifestyle and/or immobilization, low body weight, increasing age, lifelong low calcium intake, high caffeine intake, excessive alcohol use, smoking, long term use of certain medications, kidney disease and impaired calcium absorption. Diet and exercise are key factors to consider if you have osteoporosis and are wondering what to do next.
Diet: The standard western diet, typically high in animal protein and grain, but low in fruits and vegetables, plays a big role in osteoporosis. Generating a large amount of acid in the body, mainly as sulfates and phosphates, the kidney responds to this acid challenge with a net excretion of acid, while the skeleton supplies buffer by actively resorbing bone which increases calcium excretion. The addition of alkaline buffers (whether as chemical salts or as high-potassium fruits and vegetables) to a diet rich in animal protein and grain results in less acidic urine and decreased loss of calcium. Bone resorption may be halted, and bone building may actually occur. Potassium rich foods include avocado, acorn squash, spinach, sweet potato, wild-caught salmon, pomegranate and coconut water.
Exercise: More than 20 randomized, controlled trials suggest that regular physical exercise can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and delay the physiologic decrease in bone mineral density. Short-term and long-term (measured up to 12 months) exercise training such as walking, jogging and stair climbing in healthy, sedentary postmenopausal women resulted in improved bone mineral content. In the elderly, progressive strength training has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective form of exercise that reduces risk factors for falling and may also enhance bone mineral density.
Remember, prevention is always the key, change your lifestyle to preserve your bones!