OSTEOPOROSIS.JPG

OSTEOPOROSIS

FOODS THAT HARM

  • Coffee and other caffeinated drinks
  • Salty foods
  • High levels of protein

    FOODS THAT HEAL

  • Low-fat milk and other dairy foods
  • Tofu
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Fortified soy or rice beverages
  • Flaxseed
  • Eggs
  • Citrus fruit
  • Melons
  • Berries

    FOODS TO LIMIT

  • Spinach

    WHO’S AFFECTED

  • 44 million Americans and 1
    4 million Canadians
  • Post-menopausal women
  • Those age 50 and older
  • Women with surgically removed ovaries
  • Women with menstrual irregularities
  • Smokers
  • Those with anorexia
  • Those with kidney diseases
  • Users of steroid-based medication
    Throughout life, our bones are in a state of constant renewal, called remodeling
    While some bone cells are breaking down and being reabsorbed, others are forming to take their place
    When reabsorbing occurs faster than formation, the bones become weak and extremely porous
    Fractures can occur with little or no pressure
    This condition is called osteoporosis
    Lack of estrogen appears to be its key contributing factor, but a falling off of androgens—the male hormones—is also involved, coupled with an inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D

    Nutrition Connection

    Consume enough calcium
    The recommendation for calcium is 1,000 mg per day for men up to 70, and 1,200 mg per day for women older than 50 and men older than 70
    Foods especially rich in calcium include milk and dairy products, fortified soy and rice beverages, dried beans and peas, tofu, canned fish eaten with the bones, nuts, and dark green leafy vegetables
    The darker the greens, the more calcium they contain
    An exception is spinach; it is high in oxalic acid, which inhibits calcium absorption
    Don’t forget vitamin D
    Just as important as calcium is vitamin D; the body needs it in order to absorb calcium
    The RDA for adults up to 70 years old is 600 IU (15 mcg) and for those older than 70, 800 IU (20 mcg)
    The main source of vitamin D is sunlight—try to get about 10 minutes a day— but it can also be obtained from milk, fortified soy and rice beverages, egg yolks and fatty fish like mackeral
    If your doctor recomments a calcium supplement, look for calcium citrate, the most easily absorbed
    Because vitamin D is found in so few foods, a supplement is likely advisable
    Go green for vitamin K
    Both the Nurses’ Health Study and the Framingham Heart Study found that people who consume the most vitamin K have a lower risk of hip fractures than those who consume less
    Vitamin K can be found in leafy green vegetables, green peas, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and beef liver
    Slip in some soy
    Studies suggest that soy may play a role in prevention of osteoporosis as it contains isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen that may help conserve bone mass, particularly during perimenopause and menopause
    Add flaxseed
    A study of postmenopausal women suggests that flaxseed, which is high in lignans, may retain bone mass, elevate antioxidant status, and help prevent urinary loss of calcium
    50% of all women older than 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis
    Don’t forget vitamin C
    Studies have linked higher intakes of vitamin C with higher bone density
    Vitamin C also helps to form the connective tissue that holds bones together
    Some of the best food sources are fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, berries, melons, and peppers
    Avoid bone-zapping foods
    Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, or colas; sodium; and high levels of protein can all cause calcium to be excreted

    Beyond the Diet

    Other changes can strengthen bones and help you monitor your risk for osteoporosis
    Here are a few guidelines: Get regular weight-bearing exercise
    Walking, jogging, aerobics, tennis, and dancing are all excellent for helping to maintain bones
    Shoot for at least 30 minutes a day
    Seek scans
    Many doctors recommend a baseline bone density scan for women when menstrual periods become irregular
    Watch medications that can affect the levels of calcium in the body
    Antacids containing aluminum can promote calcium excretion
    Calcium is also lost during long-term use of other drugs, including certain antibiotics, diuretics, and steroids