In: Orthopedic

BONE HEALTH

BONE HEALTH

  • The bones provide the structural framework for the support of organs and facilitate the movement of the body. The bones protect organs like the brain, lungs and, heart from injury. With help of muscles and tendons attached, they bring about movement.
  • Minerals like calcium and phosphorous are stored in bones. Under the control of bone cells, they help in maintaining the bone density and are absorbed from or released into the blood as per the body requirements.
  • Bones being the living tissue undergoes constant remodeling throughout our lifespan.
  • Most individuals start to lose bone density (bone mass) and its strength with age, particularly women after menopause.
  • It is vital for us to get enough calcium, vitamin D and exercise to have strong bones and to prevent bone loss.
  • Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol drinking is additionally necessary to guard bone health.
Impact of Nutrition on bone health

A healthy diet and exercise could be key to prevent and manage age-related bone loss and other musculoskeletal disorders.

  • Around 52% of the Indian population suffers from nutritional bone disease.1
  • Bone diseases can make your bones weak and prone to fracture.

The most common bone problems are:

  • Low bone density and osteoporosis: this condition makes your bones weak, making them more susceptible to breaks/fractures.
  • Rickets: It affects children and leads to the softening and weakening of bones. It is caused by the deficiency of Vitamin D and calcium
  • Osteoarthritis: It is a condition in which inflammation of joints occurs. It can be due to excessive wear and tear or injury leading to damage of protective cartilages in the joints, the inflammation reaches out to bones in the joint. Thus reducing their function and movement.
  • Broken bones (called fractures): Excessive stress due to injury or mild stress with bone diseases causes breakage of bones called a fracture. Immobilisation of joint or surgery is the choice of treatment. However, when seen with bone diseases, correction of disease is followed by fracture correction.
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta: It is a genetic disorder of connective tissues in body and bones, which makes your bones very brittle.
  • Bone infections: These are commonly seen during injuries or spread from surrounding tissue infection of immune-compromised individuals. Aggressive antibiotic treatment is the mainstay of management.
Ways to improve your bone health

1. Have a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D

  • Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, green leafy vegetables and soya products, nuts and seeds and fishes.
  • Good sources of vitamin D include sunlight and food sources like egg yolk, saltwater fish, liver, and milk.
  • In order to get enough calcium and vitamin D, some people may need to take nutritional supplements.
  • The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of calcium and vitamin D is 1000 milligrams (mg) and 600 International Units (IU) a day respectively for adults.

2. Other Important nutrients for bone health

  • Protein: Adequate dietary protein is essential for an optimal bone mass gain and also for preserving bone mass with aging
  • B Vitamins: Vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid have a protective role to play in bone loss.
  • Other nutritional supplements essential for bone health includes: Magnesium, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Zinc.

3. Get plenty of physical activity

  • Weight-bearing activities and strength training exercises are important for making your bones stronger.
  • Always consult your doctor, before adding any new exercise to your daily regimen!

Bones are actually pretty complicated. But our strategies don’t have to be. With the above simple steps, we can help ensure our skeleton stays strong and springy for life.

Before starting any nutritional supplements, you should always consult your doctor!!)

Reference
  • Indian J Med Res 2008 Mar;127(3):219-28
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