Who Suffers Most, Men or Women?
Men account for nearly a third of osteoporosis-related hip fractures in Europe and the U.S. (Dhanwal et al., 2010). Nonetheless, osteoporosis is considered primarily a disease of postmenopausal women, and men are rarely evaluated or treated for it (Szulc et al., 2012).
This is odd, but it seems to be a hormonal differentiation. The back is only one area where osteoporosis may become manifest, and it is manifestly visible by the sloping shoulders and the neck and head slightly extended forward, giving the appearance of a hump in the cervical thoracic area. (neck and upper mid back.)
What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It?
Bone is living, growing tissue that changes throughout the lifespan. Certain nutrients are fed to the bones during early life, which is reduced to just a small amount in later years, resulting in bone loss and bone porosity, and weakening.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps. Thus, being weak they have a tendency to break easily and this may be very dangerous for many elderly people who die from the shock of a broken hip or femur or bone in the spine that has become weakened.
How It Appears Under a Microscope
Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone. Osteoporotic bones have lost density or mass and contain abnormal tissue structure. As bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to break. If you’re 50 or older and have broken a bone, ask your doctor or healthcare provider about a bone density test. About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men aged 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
Can You Do for It?
In my previous issue, I promised to give information about what nutrition can be helpful when the condition begins is begins development and after it becomes manifest. Don’t rely entirely on medication as the only treatment for your osteoporosis. These practices also are important:
- Weight-bearing physical activity and exercises that improve balance and posture can strengthen bones and reduce the chance of a fracture. The more active and fit you are as you age, the less likely you are to fall and break a bone.
- Good nutrition.Eat a healthy diet and make certain that you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
- Quit smoking.Smoking cigarettes speed up bone loss.
- Limit alcohol.If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy women, that means up to one drink a day. For healthy men, it would be up to two drinks a day.
The Role of Calcium and Magnesium
(Much of this material is quoted from an article by Dr. Harvinder S. Sandhu, MDAssociate ProfessorWeill Medical College, Cornell University)
Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the body and most of it is found in our bones. It is one of the most important minerals involved in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Adequate amounts of calcium in your diet can help reduce bone loss by 30 – 50 percent! Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the body and most of it is found in our bones. It is one of the most important minerals involved in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Adequate amounts of calcium in your diet can help reduce bone loss by 30 – 50 percent! And it can be found in available supplements at Custom Nutra.
Adequate amounts of calcium in your diet can help reduce bone loss by 30 – 50 percent!
There are many forms of calcium supplements available. However, in order to be effective, calcium must be properly absorbed by the body. Look for chelated forms of calcium (calcium citrate, calcium lactate, or calcium gluconate) because it is the easiest form for most people to absorb. The recommended amount of calcium is 1000 mg to 1500 mg per day. However, since your body can’t absorb more than about 500 mg of calcium at a time, you should divide your doses and take them at different times of the day. Also, for maximum absorption, take your calcium supplements with food.
You can also increase your intake of calcium by eating calcium-rich foods. Food sources that are high in calcium include:
- Collard greens
- Dairy products
There are many more foods that contain calcium to help promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in maintaining healthy bones. It contributes to increased bone density and helps prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Most people do not get enough magnesium in their diets, especially if they eat large amounts of processed foods in which much of the magnesium is removed.
Since magnesium works closely with calcium, it is important to have an appropriate ratio of both minerals in order for them to be effective. A good rule of thumb is a 2:1 calcium-to-magnesium ratio. For example, if you take 1000mg of calcium, you should also take 500mg of magnesium.
The recommended amount of magnesium is 300mg to 500mg daily. As with calcium, chelated forms of magnesium are absorbed best by the body. Magnesium oxide is also available and is often less expensive, but it is poorly absorbed by the body. Since high doses of magnesium can cause diarrhea, you should divide your doses and take them with meals throughout the day.
You can also increase your intake of magnesium by eating magnesium-rich foods. Food sources that are high in magnesium include:
- Brown rice
- Dandelion greens
- Dark green vegetables
- Nuts (almonds, cashew, brazil)
- Seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)
- Wheat germ/bran
- Whole grain cereals
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