July 23, 2013

Maintain Healthy Bones Throughout Life


Bones provide structure for your body, protect organs, anchor muscles and store calcium. Protecting bone health is easier than you think.  Bone is continually remodelling itself, but after the age of 30 you lose slightly more than you gain.  

The higher your peak bone mass, the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.  Some factors that affect bone health--getting older, being a woman, your race, frame size and family history--you can't change.

Prevent Bone Loss

But, there are many things you can do to prevent or slow bone loss:  Include plenty of calcium in your diet. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day for women up to age 50 and men up to age 70.  Women over 50 and men over 70 require 1,200 mg per day. Dietary sources of calcium are dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products (tofu).  Vitamin D: up to age 70, at least 600 international units (IUs) daily.  Over the age of 70, 800 IUs are recommended.  Besides sunlight, sources are oily fish (tuna and sardines), egg yolks, fortified milk, and vitamin D supplements.  People who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis, so include physical activity in your daily routine.  Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging or climbing stairs for 30 minutes a day help slow bone loss.  Avoid tobacco use and more than two alcoholic drinks per day.  Anorexia and bulimia are risks for bone loss.  Stomach surgery (gastrectomy), weight-loss surgery and some conditions (Crohn's disease, celiac disease and Cushing's disease) can affect your body's ability to absorb calcium.  

For women, bone density drops dramatically due to reduced estrogen after menopause.  Your physician may recommend hormone replacement therapy, keeping in mind that there are risks associated with it.  There are medications, such as bisphosphonates (Fosomax, Boniva) designed to maintain bone mass, that your physician may recommend.  

Source:  Mayo Clinic.com  

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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