recently I was approached by a lady in her early 40s, who had been diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. That means that she will enter an early menopause and now she was worrying about her bone health. The matter though is not only important to women entering menopause. I have also known men, who suffered from loss of bone density. They tend to think themselves invincible, our dearest heroes, but as testosterone levels decrease once a man enters andropause, the effect is equal to a lowered level of estrogen.
Hormonal imbalances are one reason for osteoporosis, as are a wrong diet, missing movement (sports) or thyroid problems. We tend to think about all kinds of issues that we might be having in the later years (or even earlier), but we tend to forget those white bones that keep us upright as a human being.
Exercising for bone health
It is of high importance to put pressure on our bones, mainly obviously in the form of strength training, but also running and aerobics. The resistance triggers the production of bone cells and promotes a better absorption of calcium into the bones. Exercising strengthens instantaneously! You have to put stress on your skeletal system in order to increase bone density. A nice “side effect” is that you keep in form and maintain or decrease your weight.
And then there is the right nutrition and the right way of adding supplements to your diet….
Eating for bone health
You need to have the right combination of nutrients in order to prevent bone atrophy. Food, medicinal herbs, supplements…there is a lot you can do, eat, drink for your bones.
What we all know: bones need calcium! Calcium though only works together with Magnesium and Vitamin D and SOME (not too much, that would promote loss of density!) phosphor. A great combination of calcium and phosphor you find for example in broccoli, salad, spinach and sesame. Yes, full fat milk contains calcium. And it also has a good combination. I personally do not recommend milk since it has so many other negative side effects on our body, that I prefer yogurt, low fat quark, wholegrain products, low fag cheese, nuts and seeds, figs, tahini, herbs, pulses, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), high quality fat, soy products and lots and lots of dark green leafy vegetables, which are full of vitamin K to strengthen your bones! Even the largely vitamin free 😉 Iceberg lettuce contains the K. If you already are experiencing a loss of bone density please avoid too many eggs since the egg yolk contains a lot of phosphor.
You should reduce your intake of protein, use sea or other high quality salt instead of the usual salt, caffeine and alcohol. Also as mentioned before avoid any foods high in phosphor like cheese spread, yeast, oats, bran, convenience foods, coca cola, soda and sausages).
As always, I recommend a well-balanced diet, which can target all the issues you might have and which can maintain and support your health and provide your body all nutrients it needs.
You should aim at an intake of 1.500 mgs of calcium/day. So, what you do not manage to take in through your diet, add it through a good supplement. Remember though that your body can absorb only about 600 mgs/intake.
Also, be aware of any medications you might be taking. They can lead to a deprivation of calcium.
And last, but not least: Bones need sunshine! So try to expose yourself to the sun as often as you can, if possible 30 min / day. In countries, which are blesses with less sunshine it is always important to take your high quality fish oil. Which does not do any harm even if you take it together with a dosage of sunshine :).