Did you know that 1 in 2 white women and 1 in 5 white men will eventually have an osteoporosis-related fracture? Osteoporosis is less common in African Americans; but African Americans with osteoporosis have the same risk for fracture as white men and women.
Osteoporosis, or a condition when our bones lose density and become brittle and more prone to fracture, affects 10 million Americans. Perhaps you remember your grandmother’s height gradually shrinking; or the painful bend in the spine that your elderly aunt developed. Osteoporosis can lead to serious health problems that impact our quality of life.
Nutrition and bone density
Our bones become more dense until our mid-20’s, and we start to gradually lose bone density as we age due to a combination of factors including decreased levels of estrogen and testosterone and impaired nutrient absorption. The good news is that a combination of healthy eating – specifically optimum calcium and vitamin D intake – and regular weight-bearing physical activity (weight lifting, walking, running, playing basketball, aerobics classes, etc.) can help our bones stay strong.
Read more about the specifics of healthy eating and osteoporosis in the article I wrote for the Summit Medical Group. Use these two tips for optimum bone health:
- Get daily weight-bearing physical activity to develop strong bones as a child and young adult and maintain dense bones as you age. Swimming and cycling aren’t weight-bearing and don’t help create strong bones.
- Enjoy low-fat dairy products that contain calcium and vitamin D. These great-tasting foods also provide a variety of nutrients to promote overall good health.