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Protect Yourself From Osteoporosis

Aug 17, 2007
Osteoporosis is a common disease. In America, it affects approximately one in nine. That works out to 28 million people, with of them being women over middle age. While some bone loss is inevitable as we age, there are precautions we can take to protect our bones and reduce bone loss and the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak or brittle and are much more prone to breaking. If not prevented or treated, it can lead to easily broken bones, especially that of the wrist, hips and spine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 90 percent of American women are calcium deficient on a daily basis. Being deficient in calcium puts you at risk for gum disease, menstrual cramping, depression, insomnia and down the road it can lead to osteoporosis. So it is clearly important for us to be aware of how much Calcium we eat. We need to try and eat more foods rich in calcium and add calcium to the diet as supplements.

Some of the foods which are rich in calcium are dairy products of nearly all kinds, greens such as turnip, bock choy, mustard and broccoli, oysters, blackstrap molasses, almonds and even some mineral waters.

It is important to note that some of the foods we eat have natural inhibitors to Calcium absorption. Foods like spinach, sorrel, rhubarb, and dandelion greens contain oxalic acid which binds to calcium to form calcium oxalate, which is indigestible.

Grains can also interfere with calcium absorption. Phytic acid is found in grains and this is a phophoruslike compound that combines with calcium in the intestines and blocks its absorption. Most people do not need to worry too much about this unless you are eating a very high carbohydrate diet.

There are also nutrients that will enhance the absorption of calcium. Magnesium helps with calcium metabolism and in transporting calcium in to bones and soft tissues. Magnesium is also important for preventing calcium oxalate crystals from forming which is what kidney stones are made from.

There are also vitamins which are important for calcium absorption. Vitamin C is one calcium enhancer. But more importantly, Vitamin D is vital for calcium being transformed into a usable form by increasing calcium absorption in the small intestines and retention by the kidneys.

There are trace elements that enhance calcium absorption. Boron maintains calcium and magnesium levels by helping synthesize with both estrogen and vitamin D. Silicon is also important. Silicon helps to support calcium in the maintenance and growth of bones and joints.

Estrogen plays an integral role in the body's use of calcium. Estrogen both increases calcium absorption and decreases its urinary excretion.

Exercise is one of the most important things that can be done to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Bones grow stronger with physical stress. Weight bearing exercise is the most important form of exercise to protect your bones.

A study by the Mayo Clinic found that women who exercise twice a week have denser bones than those who exercise once a week, which in turn have denser bones than those who never exercise at all. Even sedentary postmenopausal women increased bone mass by 5 percent after nine months of an exercise program and a high-calcium diet.

We can conclude that if you want protect your bones, exercise and proper diets and supplements will be important for your health. Choosing the right supplement can be difficult with so many products out there. Many experts believe that postmenopausal women need up to 1,500 mg of calcium daily.

When looking for a calcium supplement look for one that is also high in magnesium. You will also want to either find one with Vitamin D already in it, or take a separate D at a minimum of 400 I.U.

Isn't it now time that you take action and prevent yourself from the risks of osteoporosis? Consult your physician for advice on starting an exercise plan if you are not already doing so. And look for a quality calcium/magnesium supplement to protect your bones so that you can enjoy a healthy, active life in your later years.
About the Author
The Author of this article recommends the natural health blog Jeffs Healthy Living and the fitness and weight loss blog at Christian Weight Control .
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