In fact, osteoporosis is mainly about bone nutrition. We can see that link when talking about soft drinks.
Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to keep osteoporosis at bay. And, understanding nutrition’s implications is one of them. So, let’s dive into what all that means.
The importance of a balanced diet with osteoporosis and nutrition
Naturally, calcium and vitamin D are the most important nutrients for our bones. But, research indicates that they’re not our only needs. Moreover, supplementing those nutrients yields inconsistent results.
Thus, dairy is not the only food that can help your bones. Fruits and vegetables have gained attention in this regard. Magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, K, and V could play a major role.
The same goes for protein. In older adults, its bone benefits may be stronger as well. The same goes for moderate alcohol intake.
Calcium and vitamin D: The backbone of your bone health
Of course, we can’t neglect the two most important nutrients for our bones. In osteoporosis patients, the recommended amounts tend to be higher. Yet, we haven’t identified the exact calcium requirements.
Dairy products are the main source of calcium. Three daily glasses of milk plus a normal diet tend to be enough. That said, it’s best to avoid high-fat dairy products. Calcium-fortified products can also be solid alternatives.
Then, we have vitamin D. With age, we usually require a higher intake. Luckily, sunlight exposure tends to provide enough vitamin D amounts. But, not everyone benefits from this approach.
Thus, dietary sources are also a worthy consideration. Fortified milk, fatty fish, and fortified orange juice are great alternatives. Naturally, dietary supplements are also available. And, you can find supplements combining vitamin D and calcium.
Other crucial pillars of osteoporosis and nutrition
As I already mentioned, calcium and vitamin D aren’t the only nutrients. As this study points out, there’s more to it. Below, I’ll summarize the most important ideas.
Magnesium and potassium
When talking about minerals, two stand out: potassium and magnesium.
Dietary potassium may lower acid load. Thus, it could aid against calcium depletion in the bones. It also boosts calcium accumulation in the kidneys. A high potassium intake correlates with higher BMD in the bones of older men.
On the other hand, magnesium also plays a role in calcium metabolism. It’s the second most abundant intracellular cation after potassium. The majority of magnesium content accumulates in the bone. And, it plays a huge role in crystal size and formation.
Protein has been a controversial subject regarding osteoporosis. That said, 50% of bone volume is composed of proteins. They integrate into the bone’s organic matrix during mineralization.
Meta-analyses indicate that higher protein intake correlates with higher BMD. Thus, it reduces hip fracture and bone loss risks. So, it’s important in older osteoporosis patients.
Vitamins K and C
Vitamin K plays a role during mineralization in bone matrix formation. It’s a cofactor that facilitates nutrient conversion in osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is responsible for binding calcium in the bone. Thus, it facilitates mineralization.
Vitamin C offers antioxidant benefits. So, it helps to suppress osteoclast activity. Thus, it can improve bone health. Likewise, it’s a cofactor in osteoblast differentiation.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Finally, omega-3 fatty acids could play a role in bone metabolism. Their consumption might influence bone growth and remodeling. So, fish and seafood could provide anti-inflammatory effects that improve bone quality.
However, little is known about the relationship between bones and these nutrients.
The holistic takeaway
Osteoporosis and nutrition share an intimate relationship that goes beyond dairy. Getting enough calcium is vital for bone health. The same goes for vitamin D. But, a balanced diet might be more important than most people think.
Exercise is also a fantastic way to enhance bone health. That’s why I recommend The Bone Density Solution. It’s a complete guide to improving bone health naturally.
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