How to Decrease the Risk of Low Bone Density
As with many health issues, prevention is key for bone health. According to Dr. Julia Snyder, a board-certified doctor in family medicine, holistic and integrative medicine, bone density peaks around age 30 and, after that, steadily increases with age. However, it is never too late to start with healthy changes. Maintaining good bone health can decrease the rate of bone loss and maintain the quality of your bones.
Bone density starts in the womb. Mom’s calcium and vitamin D levels influence bone density later in life, as does breastfeeding. During childhood and young adulthood, building a “bone bank” through adequate nutrition and weight-bearing exercise is key to developing maximum peak bone density.
Nutrition plays a big role in this process. Calcium is often the first thing people think about and even though it is important, it can be overdone. Too much calcium, especially if it is not balanced with magnesium and vitamin K, can build up on artery walls. Don’t just rely on dairy for calcium, try incorporating onions, broccoli, lettuce, pomegranates and citrus as well.
Too much of certain things can have a negative impact on bone health. Try to limit yourself to one alcoholic drink per day, minimize caffeine (except for tea), don’t take more than 3,000 iu of vitamin A, and limit animal protein intake. In addition, eat plenty of vegetables and fruit as a high vegetable-to-animal-diet ratio seems to be protective against bone loss.
Make sure to also get an adequate amount of vitamin D, as it helps your body absorb calcium properly. Living in the northeast, we are often unable to make enough through natural sunlight. Vitamin K, an important balance with calcium, is required for the activation of the hormone that tells our body to build bone.
Resource: R-Health. Location: 1040 Kings Hwy., N., Cherry Hill, NJ. For more information, call 856-523-4328 or visit R-Health.md.