Bone Health: Tips for keeping your bones healthy

Bone Health: Tips for keeping your bones healthy

Protecting your bone health is easier than you think. Understand how diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors affect bone mass.

Mayo Clinic Staff

Bone plays many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, fixing muscles, and storing calcium. Building strong and healthy bones in childhood and adolescence is important, but in adulthood you can also take steps to protect your bone health.

Why is bone health important?

Your bones are constantly changing — new bones are created and old bones are destroyed. When you are young, your body builds new bones faster than it destroys old bones, and your bone mass increases. Most people reach a peak in bone mass around the age of 30. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more bone mass than you get.

The likelihood of developing osteoporosis (a condition in which bones become weak and brittle) depends on how much bone mass you reach by the time you reach the age of 30 and how quickly you lose bone mass thereafter. The more bone mass you have at peak times, the more bone you have “on the bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis with age.

Things that affect bone health

Many factors can affect bone health. For example:

  • The amount of calcium in the diet. A diet low in calcium contributes to reduced bone density, early bone loss, and an increased risk of fractures.
  • Physical activity. People who are physically inactive are at higher risk of osteoporosis than those who are more active.
  • Use of tobacco and alcohol. Studies suggest that tobacco use contributes to bone weakness. Similarly, regular drinking of alcoholic beverages at least twice a day for women and at least twice a day for men may increase the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Sex. Women are at increased risk of osteoporosis because they have less bone tissue than men.
  • size. There is a risk if you are very thin with an anthropometric index of 19 or less, or if you have a small physique, as you may get less bone mass as you get older.
  • age. Your bones become thinner and weaker as you grow older.
  • Race and family history. If you are Caucasian or Asian, you are at greatest risk of osteoporosis. In addition, having an osteoporotic parent or sibling increases the risk, especially if you have a family history of fractures.
  • Hormone level. Too much thyroid hormone can lead to bone loss. In women, lower estrogen levels dramatically increase bone loss during menopause. Prolonged menstruation before menopause (amenorrhea) also increases the risk of osteoporosis. In men, low testosterone levels can lead to bone loss.
  • Eating disorders and other conditions. Strict restrictions on food intake and underweight weaken the bones of both men and women. In addition, conditions such as weight loss surgery and celiac disease can affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
  • Specific medicine. Long-term use of corticosteroids such as prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone causes bone damage. Other drugs that may increase the risk of osteoporosis include aromatase inhibitors that treat breast cancer, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, methotrexate, some anticonvulsants such as phenytoin (dilantin) and phenobarbital, and protons. There are pump inhibitors and so on.

What can you do to keep your bones healthy?

There are several simple steps you can take to prevent or delay bone loss. For example:

  • Include a lot of calcium in your diet. For adults aged 19-50 and men aged 51-70, the recommended dietary intake standard (RDA) is 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day. The recommended value for women over 51 and men over 71 is increased to 1,200 mg daily.

    Good sources of calcium include dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines, tofu and other soy products. Talk to your doctor about supplements if you have difficulty getting enough calcium from your diet.

  • Beware of vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. For adults aged 19-70 RDA The amount of vitamin D is 600 international units (IU) per day.Recommended value increased to 800 we One day for adults over 71 years old.

    A good source of vitamin D includes oily fish such as salmon, trout, white fish and tuna. In addition, fortified foods such as mushrooms, eggs, milk and cereals are excellent sources of vitamin D. Sunlight also contributes to the body’s production of vitamin D. If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin D, talk to your doctor about supplements.

  • Include physical activity in your daily life. Weight-supporting exercises such as walking, jogging, and climbing stairs help build strong bones and delay bone loss.
  • Avoid substance abuse. Please do not smoke. For women, avoid drinking multiple alcoholic beverages daily. For men, avoid drinking more than two glasses of alcoholic beverages daily.

Get the help of a doctor

Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about risk factors for osteoporosis, such as bone health or recent fractures. He or she may recommend a bone mineral density test. The results will help your doctor measure your bone density and determine your rate of bone loss. By assessing this information and your risk factors, your doctor can assess whether you may be a drug candidate to help delay bone loss.


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