Although there certainly is a genetic component to osteoporosis, a good diet and exercise program are two powerful weapons to combat bone loss and fractures as you age. Let us take you on a brief science lesson in how bone metabolism works so that you will have a better understanding of what’s going on in your body.
There are two main bone cells, osteoblasts (builds the bone up) and osteoclasts (breaks the bone down), both cells are necessary for healthy bones when they are in balance, because our bones are continuously remodelling themselves. The problem occurs when the balance is disrupted and the osteoblasts under-perform and the osteoclasts over-perform, consequently resulting in a loss of bone. This is where diet and exercise can really shine. Any time our bodies experience too much inflammation, oxidation, or glycation (mainly due to stress, processed food, excess sugar, over-exercising, and environmental toxins), it sets off a chain of events that culminates with too much activity of the osteoclasts (bad guys) and not enough activity of the osteoblasts (good guys). So what are we to do? The first thing would be to remove the substances creating the inflammation, oxidation, and glycation (as mentioned above). The second thing is to add in foods and supplements that will tame the inflammation, oxidation, and glycation. Here are the top lifestyle habits to incorporate:
Diet and Exercise:
- Eat lots of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables (onions seem to be particularly effective as women consuming onions daily had 5% greater bone density than those consuming them once per month. Although, fruits and vegetables in general are protective
- Eat foods rich in omega 3’s (fatty fish, flax, or a supplement such as Luma Glow)
- Avoid drinking cola (daily consumption was associated with 3.7-5.5% lower bone mineral density in women compared with drinking it once per month)
- Aim to exercise 3 - 6 days a week that includes weight bearing strength exercises for 2 of those sessions
- Calcium (1000 - 1200 mg including what you obtain from your diet)
- Magnesium (500 mg)
- Vitamin D3 (1,000 – 2,000 IU or 15 min of sun exposure on most of your body)
- Vitamin K2 – MK7 (90 – 150 mcg)
- Fish oil (1 - 3 gm EPA/DHA)
Medication prescribed by your doctor may also be necessary and can work along side the recommendations made in this article.