Wednesday, September 4, 2013

All About Nutrition & Bone Health

Nutrition strongly affects bone health throughout our lives. For instance, what our mothers eat while pregnant with us will affect our eventual bone mass as adults.
As children, our bones are almost exploding with rapid growth. If we break something, no problem — we knit back together like Plastic Man. (Which is good, considering how many times we’ll probably fall face-first off the monkey bars.)
By around 18 or 19 years old, we’ve reached about 95% of our peak bone mass. We can continue to build some bone in our 20s.
But by age 30, we stop making any more “bone deposits”. Then the withdrawals start.
This leads me to some bad news and some good news.

The bad news: You’ll lose bone density

Most people in the U.S. lose about 0.5% of bone mass each year after the age of forty. Chronic bone loss leads to low bone mineral density and the deterioration of bone tissue – otherwise known as osteoporosis.
It gets worse.
Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined. At least one in three women and one in five men will suffer an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime.
Osteoporosis is often known as the “silent thief” because the disease proceeds without symptoms.
Many older adults are not aware that they have weak bones until they happen to fall. Women typically lose bone mass drastically during menopause, when bone-protecting hormone levels drop.
And if you’re elderly and you fracture a bone, your chance of dying shortly afterwards skyrockets.

The good news: You aren’t doomed

Luckily, there is a lot you can do even as an adult to protect and even strengthen your bones.
If you understand how bones work, then you’ll understand how you can use good nutrition to keep them strong, solid, and healthy

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