Insights To Get You Moving

Share This Post

Uncategorized

Nutrient Foods Help Prevent Or Reduce Osteoporosis

| May 4, 2016

Osteoporosis is a disease affecting many aging women and men in the US and around the world.  It is characterized by deterioration of bone tissue leading to weak and fragile bones that are at an increased risk for fractures. Although many believe osteoporosis is an unavoidable consequence of aging, it can actually be prevented {and even reversed} if you take action to keep your bones healthy and strong.

It is important to remember that bone is a dynamic living tissue that is able to rebuild and replenish itself – at any age. In order to do so your bones need proper nutrition and exercise. Exercise helps to stimulate the growth of new bone tissue while nutrition provides the key nutrients that build the bone matrix and ensures proper bone metabolism.
Although there are over a dozen important nutrients needed to maintain bone health, there are four key nutrients that are essential to keeping bone strong and healthy.

4 Key Nutrients for your Bone Health:

CALCIUM

Calcium is not only critical for the structural integrity of the bone, but aids in other functions such as muscle contraction, heartbeat regulation, and blood pressure regulation. Ninety-nine percent of our calcium is stored in our bones, which may unfortunately be stripped away to support these other functions if your diet does not include enough calcium. Without adequate calcium, bones become weak and fragile.

HOW TO GET IT:  Because of recent reports suggesting calcium supplements may be linked to an increased risk of heart attacks, it is best to acquire calcium from foods sources such as dairy products, sardines, salmon, dark leafy greens and bone broth.  The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a daily calcium intake between 1000 and 1200 mg/day.

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium from foods, as well as reducing the amount of calcium that is lost in urine. Our greatest source of vitamin D is created from human skins cells that produce vitamin D from the sun.

HOW TO GET IT: Food such as fatty fish {salmon, sardines}, eggs, milk, and shiitake mushrooms contain small amounts of vitamin D, but supplementation may be needed in order to obtain the recommended intake of 800 IUs {International Units} a day. Because each individual produces various amounts of vitamin D, it is best to have your vitamin D levels tested by a doctor. If you do need to supplement your vitamin D, be sure to use vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, the natural form of vitamin D.

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is another mineral component of the bone matrix and plays an important role in bone metabolism.  Magnesium stimulates the hormone calcitonin, which enhances the absorption of calcium from the blood into the bone. Magnesium also helps to convert vitamin D into its active form.

HOW TO GET IT: Most individual do not get enough magnesium through diet alone, and may even have a magnesium deficiency if their diet is high in processed foods or excessive calcium supplements. Maintain healthy magnesium levels by including these foods in your diet: spinach, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, Mackerel, beans, quinoa, brown rice, cashews and almonds.  Aim for 400-800 mg of magnesium a day.

VITAMIN K2

Vitamin K2 is necessary to ensure that calcium is absorbed into the bones and prevents calcium from being deposited in other areas of the body such as organs, joint spaces, and arteries. Vitamin K is also essential for the activation of osteocalcin, a protein needed to bind calcium to the bone matrix, and for blocking the formation of cells that destroy old bone known as osteoclasts.
HOW TO GET IT: Dietary sources of vitamin K2 is primarily found in fermented foods such as Natto, Brie and Gouda cheese, meat, poultry, and eggs. Two common supplemental forms of vitamin K2 are menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7).  MK-7 is a better choice for supplementation as studies have shown it is important for increasing bone strength. Consult with your doctor prior to supplementing vitamin K2.

Although these four nutrients are critical to maintaining the strength and integrity of bone, many of nutrients and vitamins are necessary for proper bone modeling and repair. This includes potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, and boron and vitamins A, C, and B. It is important to consume a varied diet everyday to ensure the intake of these nutrients.

Susan Brady is a Physical Therapist, Doctor of Integrative Medicine and holds a Post Master’s Certificate in Nutrition and Integrative Health. Practicing in the healthcare field for over 25 years, her background give hers a unique perspective in treating osteoporosis.  By providing a comprehensive approach, Susan can evaluate your risk factors and address all avenues for strengthening your bones.

Share This Post

No