Approximately 18 million American men and women have low bone mass, or osteopenia, and another 10 million have osteoporosis. After reaching 50 years of age one-in-two women will suffer from an osteoporosis caused bone fracture, while one-in-eight men will develop a bone fracture during their lifetime. Nutritional strategies play an important role in preventing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis, which means “porous bone”, causes bone fragility and a corresponding increased risk for bone fractures. The disease can develop at any age, but the risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age. Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D nutritional deficiencies can contribute to osteoporosis as can high protein consumption. Lack of exercise, excessive intake of caffeine and alcohol, and smoking are additional risk factors of developing this condition. Genetic factors such as a small-boned, thin frame, family history of osteoporosis, and being of Asian or Caucasian ethnicity are also linked to osteoporosis.
Preventing osteoporosis involves developing anti-aging strategies early on, including up to age 40 and continuing throughout life. You’re less likely to develop osteoporosis the more bone mass you have by the time you reach 35 years of age. Consuming the Reference Daily Intake, or RDI, levels of calcium is an anti-aging strategy that helps to prevent age-related osteoporosis.
Currently, 1,000 mg per day is the RDI for calcium. Because the ability to absorb adequate calcium decreases with age, it’s important also focus in on factors that affect calcium absorptions, like excess dietary fiber intake, vitamin D deficiencies, inadequate magnesium consumption, and certain medications that may hinder calcium absorption. Another common low gastric acid production condition common in the elderly, called hypochlorhydria, can also interfere with calcium absorption. People who have these conditions should speak with their Rochester Hills physician to obtain dietary advice adjustment to ensure they are absorbing enough calcium.