Recently published in the journal Osteoporosis International, a study on nutrition and osteoporosis discovered a nutritional shift that has been long suspected of causing a greater risk of osteoporosis. It was noted that a decline in milk consumption has been observed among children across the world over the last few decades, leading to a lack of calcium and vitamin D intake. This seemingly innocent nutritional shift is causing more and more people to suffer from osteoporosis as they age. According to the International Osteporosis Foundation(IOF), “Osteoporosis affects an estimated 75 million people in Europe, USA and Japan.” And this number is expected to grow significantly by the year 2050.
Not only is the nutritional shift happening in children, but it has been carrying over into adulthood and seniors as well. The study goes on to explain, deficits in protein and malnutrition are key contributors to poor bone health in seniors. Seniors are seeing elevated risk for fracture, especially as their risk for falls increases with age. IOF has reported that “Falls contribute to fractures – 90% of hip fractures result from falls. A third of people over age 65 fall annually, with approximately 10-15% of falls in the elderly resulting in fracture, and almost 60% of those who fell the previous year will fall again.”
So what can you do for yourself and your family to reduce the risk of osteoporosis? Here’s a list of things you can do right now*.
- Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D. If you’re lactose-intolerant, you can try a supplemental regimen, or a lactose-free milk, like Lactaid. Ask your physician for appropriate levels of these two nutrients. Doses may vary with age.
- Eat more protein. Lean meats, fish, nuts & legumes, poultry, and even cheese are all great sources of protein you should incorporate into your weekly meals.
- Get more exercise. Depending on your fitness level, you can take walks, go for a run, or play a sport. Just get more active. A sedentary lifestyle will increase the chances of fracture, and osteoporosis.
*Please consult your physician if you are experiencing severe pain.