Bone Health

Our bodies are constantly rebuilding old and damaged tissue. As we age, the rate of new bone growth slows down so it is important to ensure that we provide them with all the elements they need to stay strong. There are a number of factors that affect bone health and some simple things anyone can do to manage these risks.

A diet low in calcium is one of the most impactful elements that can lead to poor bone strength and ultimately to osteoporosis. Weak or brittle bones can break more easily and be harder to repair if they do break. But ensuring an adequate intake of calcium alone may not be sufficient to allow bones to make use of this mineral. Vitamin D plays a significant role in supporting the body’s ability to properly absorb calcium into bones.

Whether it is the natural consequences of aging or genetics, there are some simple steps to slow bone loss and reduce the risk of injury. First, make sure to have sufficient dietary calcium intake. Getting enough vitamin D to support calcium’s benefit is also important. Sunlight is a major source of this essential nutrient. Keep in mind though, that limiting sun exposure to reduce the risk of skin cancers is a good habit but also limits the amount of vitamin D that the body can produce on its own.

Other factors that can lead to loss of bone density include hormonal changes. For women, the decrease in estrogen levels that accompany menopause as well as prolonged periods without menstruation can contribute to loss of bone mass. Similarly for men, low testosterone can impact the likelihood of osteoporosis.

Finally, bones can benefit from regular exercise. Walking, running, climbing stairs or playing any weight-bearing sport will help slow the loss of bone mass.

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