COLUMN: How to protect your bone health through nutrition and lifestyle strategies

We can typically underestimate the significance of our bone well being, with our bones offering necessary roles in motion, help, muscle perform and energy all through our lives.

Here, Laurann O’Reilly, proprietor of Nutrition by Laurann, explains all the things it is advisable find out about sustaining your bone well being together with danger components, analysis and prevention of bone associated circumstances in addition to sensible dietary methods for optimising your bone well being.

From the second we’re conceived we’re setting down the foundations of our bone well being.

Our development from infancy by means of to puberty is the prime alternative to make sure that bone basis is robust and that it carries us by means of maturity and into outdated age.

Bone Related Illnesses: Whilst there are quite a few bone associated circumstances listed here are the 2 main ones to pay attention to
1) Osteoporosis – The Irish Osteoporosis Society (IOS) outline osteoporosis as “a illness that impacts the within of your bones, making them fragile. Osteoporosis causes giant holes to develop inside bone, which is why they break simply. No one feels bone loss and because of this Osteoporosis is called the Silent illness”. Often perceived as one thing that happens in older people, this isn’t all the time the case (see danger components beneath).
2) Osteopenia – The IOS describe Osteopenia as “the early levels of Osteoporosis” and state that “it’s important {that a} plan is put in place to forestall additional bone loss and Osteoporosis growing”. According to Michele O’Brien of The IOS, “analysis exhibits that almost all of fractures happen within the average to marked Osteopenia vary, which is why it’s so necessary that your causes of bone loss are investigated and addressed as a part of your bone well being plan”.
Bone Health Statistics in Ireland – According to The IOS “Osteoporosis is taken into account a silent situation and is estimated to have an effect on 200 million individuals globally”. Data from The Irish Hip Fracture Databases states that “Ireland has the sixth highest fee of hip fracture on this planet” and “in Ireland alone, almost 7 out of 10 hip fractures occur to girls”. Many of that are preventative.

Diagnosis – According to the IOS, measurement of Bone Mineral Density through a DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scan is “essentially the most exact, non-invasive and extensively used technique” for assessing our bone well being.
Risk components – Whilst there are quite a few danger components which may contribute to bone associated sicknesses listed here are a few of the major ones to pay attention to
1) Genetics: Plays a significant function and The IOS talk about how the bone the mineral density of most populations is accounted for by genetic components (roughly 70%). Should this apply to you then it’s necessary to take the proper way of life and dietary approaches listed beneath.
2) Menopause: During menopause a lady’s oestrogen ranges decline and oestrogen performs an necessary function in regulating calcium absorption in our physique which makes yet one more weak to bone associated points. Approximately 1 in 3 girls over the age of fifty will fracture a bone as a consequence of osteoporosis. For this motive it’s necessary to each monitor your bone well being in addition to following the precise way of life and dietary methods throughout this time.
3) Reduced Activity/Immobility: Inactivity, or extended immobility (particularly mattress or wheelchair certain) for greater than six weeks or long run, particularly in childhood when bone is being laid down. So once more, it’s necessary to satisfy the diet necessities for calcium and vitamin D on this scenario (see beneath).
4) Nutrition & Lifestyle: According to The IOS, the next or a mix of can enhance one’s danger of osteoporosis, extreme protein and excessive fibre (above 40g/day), excessive caffeine consumption, extreme alcohol consumption (>7 pints or 14 models per weed for girls & >11 pints or 21 models per week for males), smoking, extreme train (significantly with insufficient caloric consumption), an excessive amount of psychological stress and excessive quantities of bodily stress.
5) Certain Medications & Treatments: The IOS talk about how sure medicines corresponding to steroids, significantly long-term steroid use has been confirmed to scale back bone mineral density, so it’s necessary to observe your bone well being if this is applicable to you. Please seek the advice of along with your pharmacist or GP in case you are involved or to test in case your treatment applies.
You can take step one in understanding your danger at this time by taking the easy bone danger check on From there, you’ll be given recommendation on the subsequent steps so that you can take. Please word that you could all the time discuss to your GP about any considerations you will have.

– Prevention of Bone Related Issues: Prevention is essential with regards to bone associated circumstances by means of way of life components, well being screening and diet. According to Professor Moira O’Brien of The IOS “most fractures will be prevented and osteoporosis not like many illnesses is treatable”.
1) In Pregnancy: The prevention of Osteoporosis ought to begin in utero (throughout being pregnant). The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) state that “calcium is necessary to guard maternal bone throughout being pregnant, in addition to to help foetal bone development and growth”.
It’s necessary to make sure that you’re assembly the minimal necessities of vitamin D and calcium throughout this time (see advisable quantities beneath).
2) Exercise: Daily weight bearing train is advisable as this may also help to scale back an individual’s danger of bone loss. The advice is that every one youngsters needs to be inspired to take part in weight bearing bodily exercise for no less than 60 minutes per day. Weight bearing actions are those who your bones are supporting your physique weight. Children particularly simply previous to puberty round 8-12 years of age (relying on hormone ranges) can construct up the energy of their bones, which can scale back their danger of bone loss as they age.
Examples for kids: embody strolling, working, skipping, leaping, tennis, dancing, hockey, soccer.
Examples for adults: embody strolling, jogging, working, stair climbing and dancing.
3) Health Screening: If you’ve got any of the chance components above, when you have had earlier breaks or fractures or in case you are involved about your bone well being, please seek the advice of your GP who can prepare so that you can get your DXA scan completed, this may also be completed by means of personal well being care suppliers.
4) Nutrition – Plays an necessary function within the prevention and upkeep of our bone well being all through our lives
Vitamin D – Most of us are conscious that our our bodies produce vitamin D by means of the publicity of our pores and skin to the solar.
However, there are lots of components which may have an effect on this corresponding to our Irish climate, clothes, solar cream, sporting make-up in addition to a scarcity of alternative for solar publicity, with many people working, learning or being indoors as a consequence of lack of mobility or sickness. As a consequence, it’s necessary that all of us meet the each day requirement of vitamin D all through life, not just for bone well being however their total well being, as vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium, sustaining wholesome respiratory and immune techniques and for lowering your danger of fracturing bones. Food sources embody: Oily fish (corresponding to salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel), lean purple meat, liver, egg yolks and fortified meals (such fortified milks or spreads and breakfast cereals). It’s additionally been advisable that we take a vitamin D complement all 12 months spherical, listed here are the necessities.

How Much Vitamin D Do We Need?
Babies 0-1 years breast fed or system fed = 5µ/200 IU per day
Children 1-18 years = 10µ/400 IU per day
19+ years pregnant and/or breastfeeding = 20-30µ/800-1000 IU per day
Women & males 19-49 years = 10-20µ/400-800 IU per day
Women & males 50+ years = 20-30µ/800-1000 IU per day
Sources: HSE 2011, FSAI 2011, FSAI 2020
Calcium – It’s necessary to devour satisfactory quantities of calcium by means of our weight loss plan because it performs an necessary function in constructing but in addition sustaining our bone well being.

How Much Calcium Do We Need?
0-1 years = N/A
1-3 years = 450 mg per day
4-10 years = 800 mg per day
11-18 years = 1200 mg per day
Pregnant/or Breastfeeding = 1200 mg per day
Women & males 19-64 years = 800 mg per day
Women & males 65+ = 800 mg per day
Sources: INDI 2015, FSAI 2020
– Dietary Sources of Calcium
200ml Skimmed Milk = 44mg
200ml Full Fat Milk = 240mg
200ml Goats Milk = 200mg
Calcium Enriched Soya Milk = 188mg
30g Cheddar Cheese = 221.4mg
30g Feta Cheese = 28.8mg
1 Pot Glenisk Full Fat Bio Natural Yogurt = 189mg
1 Pot Glenisk Low Fat Bio Vanilla Yogurt = 153mg
120g Salmon = 18mg
80g Broccoli = 37.6mg
30g Almonds = 12mg
30g Brazil Nuts = 51mg
30g Hazelnuts = 12mg
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds = 95mg

High Quality Protein – Is important for wholesome bones. Not many individuals are conscious, however protein makes up roughly 50% of the amount of bone and about one-third of its mass.
As the bone protein matrix undergoes steady injury and restore, an satisfactory provide of amino acids (protein constructing blocks) are wanted to help the formation and upkeep of bone all through our lives.
We ought to purpose to slot in a mix of the next in our diets to satisfy this want.
Animal Based Protein Sources: Poultry, fish, lean beef or pork, yogurt, milk, eggs and low-fat cheeses
Plant Based Protein Sources: Nuts (corresponding to almonds, pistachios, cashew and hazelnuts), seeds (corresponding to chia, flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin), beans, lentils and grains corresponding to (wholegrain/brown rice, wheat, spelt and oats).
5) Get Gluten Checked: If you’re an irritable bowl (IBS) sufferer, it could test to see when you have signs of gluten sensitivity, as it could possibly impair your skill to soak up necessary nutritional vitamins and minerals corresponding to calcium and vitamin D which may have an effect on your bone well being.
You may take the Coeliac Society of Ireland evaluation right here (it’s endorsed that in case you are beneath the age of 16 to take action with a dad or mum, carer or guardian) overview or contact your GP when you suspect you’ve got signs.
6) Hydration: It is essential that everybody drinks fluids, particularly water to forestall dehydration and constipation.
As little as 2% lower in mind hydration can lead to brief time period reminiscence loss and extended dehydration can lead to a scarcity of psychological readability, generally known as ‘mind fog’ leading to a better likelihood of falls or harm.

– Where To Get Support: It can typically be complicated to know the place to go in case you are involved when you or your family members could have a bone associated situation nonetheless you may contact The Irish Osteoporosis Society (IOS) who’re the National specialists in Osteoporosis at 01 637 5050, electronic mail them at [email protected] and you may also entry helpful and useful materials through their web site www.

About Laurann: Laurann O’Reilly is a certified and skilled nutritionist with a BSc. Degree in Human Nutrition from University of Nottingham and a Master’s in Public Health Nutrition from UCD.

For additional data see or contact Laurann at [email protected] 

Recommended For You

About the Author: Adrian

Leave a Reply