Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone density decreases and becomes porous leading to frequent fractures. It is a silent epidemic and largely preventable through just three steps C, D, E — Calcium, Vitamin D and Exercise.
Unfortunately, many people do not know that they have it until their bones start breaking. Experts urged to create mass awareness campaign on osteoporosis prevention countrywide to prevent physical disability from fractures as well as enormous economic loss to manage it.
World osteoporosis day observed on October 20 this year committed to raising the global awareness on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. The theme conveyed the message that to attain unbreakable bones, one needs to resort the three steps — vitamin D, calcium-rich foods and exercise.
Experts recommend 700 to 1000 milligrams of calcium a day. This calcium needs to be taken with vitamin D, as it helps in absorption by the body. Adequate calcium and vitamin D reduce bone loss and positively stimulate bone density.
Calcium intake needs to be split into different doses during the day, since our bodies cannot absorb high doses along with single meal. Therefore, start your day with a calcium-rich breakfast that includes healthy and nutritious foods like dairy products, fortified juice, or soybeans. Vegetables, especially green vegetables, are rich in calcium and can be an essential part of a diet for osteoporosis prevention.
Vitamin D is produced in the skin upon exposure to sunlight. Food sources of vitamin D are rather limited; a small amount is found in fatty fish and eggs.
Studies have shown that moderate to high-intensity weight-bearing aerobic exercise, resistance training — lifting weights and high-impact exercise like jumping or rope skipping, increase bone mineral density (BMD) by 1 to 4 percent in pre- and postmenopausal women according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.
Being physically active reduces the risk of BMD loss and fracture of hip, upper arm and vertebral column at an older age. It is particularly important for children and adolescents to exercise as this helps to develop stronger bones.
If you notice here, all three steps described here are lifestyle habits that support healthy living, with or without the threat of osteoporosis. You can engineer better health for yourself simply by being proactive about muscle and bone strengthening exercises and actively seeking balanced nutrition.
No matter how young or old you are, make a pledge and be mindful of your bone health.
-With The Daily Star input