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What Does It Take To Improve Your Bone Strength?

Thursday, October 14, 2010
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Some of the risk factors for the development of osteoporosis are lack of physical activity, imbalanced diet, smoking, alcohol consumption and hormonal imbalance.

Here are some tips to maintain and improve bone strength:

  1. Calcium intake – about 1000 to 1200 mg of calcium are needed by an adult every day. Most women consume only about half of this. Green leafy veggies, sardines, orange juice fortified with calcium, low fat milk, yogurt and cheese are good sources of calcium. Calcium supplements may also be prescribed to improve intake.
  2. Alcohol – interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Women should not consume more than one alcoholic beverage a day.
  3. B-Vitamins - According to researchers in Tufts University the lower the B12 levels in the blood, the lower will be the bone mineral density in women’s spines and men’s hips. A Japanese study shows that hip fractures were reduced by 80% in stroke patients whose diets were supplemented with 1500 mcg of B12 and 5 mg of folic acid daily.
  4. Smoking – Cigarette smoke has poisonous substances and harmful gases that affect the flow of oxygen to the blood present in the bones thus reducing bone density.
  5. Vitamin D – Calcium is absorbed by the body more effectively in the presence of Vitamin – D. Fortified dairy products, egg yolks, saltwater fish and liver are good sources. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D. Try getting at least 15 minutes of morning sunlight everyday.
  6. Physical activity – walking, jogging, climbing stairs, weight bearing exercises facilitate strong bones. A half hour work out, 4-5 times a week is good.



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User Comments

21 October, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Many wine lovers will just love to hear this, a recent study has revealed that wine can actually strengthen the bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Should we wait & watch for more studies?

Read more: Wine can Uplift Your Spirit Right Till Your Bones | MedIndia

21 December, 2010 | Dr.Vasudha Parmajit | Reply

Dr.Vasudha Parmajit I am of the opinion we should recommend supplements especially women and even more so post menopausal. We have enough reasons, fool hardy to believ otherwise.
Intestinal absorption of Ca is not efficient, especially with cereal-based diet
Intake of dairy Ca is usually inadequate
Exposure to sunlight is limited, especially in indoor workers
Vit D synthesis is less in dark-skinned persons
Vit D, Ca levels, and bone density are low in Indians
I recommend 1000mgs to all my patients.

21 December, 2010 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar We definitely need to increase the RDA of calcium especially for women from 400mgs to 1000mgs per day. US FDA recommends Premenopausal women: 1000 mg/d and Postmenopausal women: 1500 mg/d .
Why are we not upgrading our RDA despite observing so many cases of osteoporosis in Indian women?

21 December, 2010 | Sampurthi | Reply

Sampurthi My mother has mild osteoporsosis, somebody recommended she take Ipriflavone along with her cal/mag/vit D supplement recommended by her doctor? She was also told that coupled with regular exercise like brisk walking and lifting mild weight 3 times a week, she would benefit a lot, is that true?

09 November, 2010 | Shailaja | Reply

Shailaja In India most children do not have enough space to play and parents donot take them outto parks etc. Apart from physical activity in school there is hardly any other physical activity. Most kids stop playing by the time they come to class 10, especially girls and they do not take up any physical activity.Dont you think it will lead to early osteoporosis?

12 November, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Dear Shailaja,

Being active during the younger years definitely has good benefits as we age. It will help in maintaining a healthy weight which in turn has a preventive effect from lifestyle disorders. Exercise helps in co-ordination and balance, this prevents falls. It also helps in building stronger bones and muscles.

Children should be thought to play outdoor games where they are active and spend a lot of energy. Hop-scotch, Kho-kho, skipping etc should be encouraged by parents, also the community kids can have games between two groups which will make it more fun.

25 October, 2010 | Sheela | Reply

Sheela I am 45 years old, have a normal weight and eat a balanced and nutritious meal every day. I have not been exercising for about 4-5 years now. There is no known family history of osteoporosis, should I still exercise and also is just 30 mins of walking sufficient to build strong bones.

12 November, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Dear Sheela,

Glad to know that you have a nutritious meal and maintain a healthy normal weight. As we age, all our organs age too and also our metabolic rate starts slowing down. To keep our organs and metabolic rate, active and normal we need to do a activity everyday. The simplest form being walking. Walk briskly for about 40 - 50 mins 5-6 times a week. This will definitely help you to have stronger and healthier bones.

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Tags: Eat Healthy, Exercise and Yoga, Fitness, General health, Healthy Foods, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Osteoporosis, Sedentary Lifestyle, Seniors Health, Smoking


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