Good bone health
Calcium and vitamin D are the two main nutrients that help build strong bones. They both work together to support bones and promote bone growth. Preserving good bone health is vital at all stages in life, especially after age 50, when bones can become weaker due to the loss of calcium and other minerals, which can potentially lead to osteoporosis.
According to Osteoporosis Australia, 1.2 million people have the disease and a further 6.3 million have low bone density. Currently, there are effective therapies to treat the condition, some of which involve medication. However, prevention can be the best form of treatment.
Medical experts share the 40 ways that help lower your risk for osteoporosis, from adding more calcium to your diet to testing your bones.
Know your risk
Osteoporosis is characterised by weak bones that are more likely to break. “The main concern in osteoporosis is the increased risk of fractures,” says Dr Amy Laude. “Using the FRAX [Fracture Risk Assessment] tool you can calculate your own risk of having an osteoporosis-related fracture.” Some factors that increase your risk include a slender body frame, a family history of osteoporosis, and ethnicity, since Caucasian and Asian cultures have a higher risk for osteoporosis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a family history of the disease may lead to earlier screening.
The osteoporosis definition is a significant loss of bone mineral, and the primary bone mineral at stake is calcium, says Dr Jonathan Lee. “Approximately 99.5 per cent of the body’s calcium supply is stored in bone,” he says. “When more calcium is needed, the bone is called upon to release some of its supply – if it is not adequately restored, bone becomes brittle.” Osteoporosis Australia recommends women and men get 1000 mg of elemental calcium a day during midlife. The need rises to 1300 daily after age 50 in women and after age 70 in men.