The Sidestepping Osteoporosis Can Affect on Your Health
Osteoporosis (porous or brittle bones) is a degenerative condition characterized by the weakening of bones due to a slow but progressively accelerating loss of calcium, the essential mineral for strong bones. But this condition, which is reaching epidemic proportions in older women and is responsible for millions of fractures and thousands of deaths each year, can be prevented!
Boning Up On the Facts
Lowered estrogen levels lead to bone loss. (The earlier menopause occurs, the more likely you are to develop osteoporosis.
White women are more prone to osteoporosis than men and black or Hispanic females, who have greater bone density.
Thin, postmenopausal, inactive women who smoke are at the highest risk for osteoporosis. (Bone loss after menopause occurs 50 percent faster among smokers.)
Anorexic women, of any age, are probably candidates for osteoporosis.
Excessive coffee drinking can interfere with calcium absorption and contribute to increased bone loss.
A very high protein diet (95 mg. or more per day) can cause a loss of calcium and promote bone degeneration.
Young women who exercise or diet excessively (to the extent that it causes a cessation of menstruation) become particularly vulnerable to osteoporosis.
Vegetarians are less prone to osteoporosis than meat-eaters.
Efficient calcium absorption can be inhibited by tannic acid (in tea) as well as by oxalic acid (found in spinach, rhubarb, and beet greens, among other vegetables) and by phytic acid (found primarily in grains). Ironically, many of these foods are rich in calcium but aren’t recommended as primary bone-building sources.
Calcium absorption and availability can also be impeded by drugs such as aspirin, tetracycline, furosemide diuretics, anticonvulsant medications, aluminum-containing antacids, and the anticoagulant heparin, among others.
Tooth loss from periodontal disease could be an early warning sign of osteoporosis.
The current 800 mg. calcium recommended daily allowance (RDA) for women is 200-700 mg. below what bone experts deem sufficient for adequate calcium balance.
Prescription for Natural Prevention
Keep your calcium intake up at least 1,000 mg daily if premenopausal and 1,500 mg daily if postmenopausal.
Increase your intake of such foods like yogurt, sardines (bones included), salmon, carrot juice, and supplement with 3 chelated calcium and magnesium tablets, 3 times daily (a.m., p.m., and Vi hours before bedtime).
Avoid excessive consumption of soft drinks, processed foods, and meat.
To aid calcium absorption, a supplement of vitamin D, 800IU, daily is advised, as well as 1,00 mg. of vitamin C.
Exercise regularly! (Best bets are walking, bicycling, swimming, and rope-jumping.) Minimum exercise time should be 20 minutes, 3 times a week. This can actually strengthen bones!