You may already know that eating fruits and vegetables can help prevent many chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and certain forms of cancer. Eating these foods may also help you reduce your chance of getting osteoporosis. Here are some possible reasons why:
Several studies have linked higher intakes of fruits and vegetables with better bone health. It is not clear why fruits and vegetables promote healthy bones. Some scientists believe that fruits and vegetables contain certain nutrients that are beneficial for bones. Could it be nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K or a combination of these vitamins in fruits and vegetables that promote healthy bones?
Calcium rich vegetables include collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens and broccoli. Magnesium is available in a variety of vegetables and fruits such as spinach, beet greens, okra, dates, artichokes, plantains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens and raisins. Many fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of potassium including tomato products, raisins, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, papaya, oranges, orange juice and bananas, to name a few. Some of the fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C include red peppers, green peppers, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, strawberries, Brussel sprouts, papaya and pineapples. Vitamin K is found in certain dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens and Brussels sprouts.
Some experts also believe that a diet high in fruits and vegetables will make the body less acidic which may reduce the body’s need to breakdown bone for use as a buffer. The result may lead to reduced bone loss from the skeleton. Fruits and vegetables also contain anti-oxidants that may improve bone and overall health. Or perhaps people with a higher intake of fruits and vegetables just have a better overall diet contributing to stronger bones. Controlled clinical studies will help us to better understand the fruit and vegetable link to bone health.
If you eat a healthful diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you should be getting enough of most essential nutrients for strong bones. Most experts recommend multivitamins or supplements for people who do not get the nutrients they need from foods. For example, most adults over age 50 need additional vitamin D from supplements in order to meet their needs.
However, many of the nutrients that are low in American diets can be obtained from fruits and vegetables. For example, research suggests that less than 3% of people meet the daily recommendations for potassium; about 30% of people meet the daily recommendations for calcium; and about half of people meet the daily requirements for magnesium.View Thread
Phosphorus itself is an important bone mineral. But if you're getting too much phosphorus as compared to the amount of calcium you're getting, that could lead to bone loss. Phosphoric acid as found in soda may have a more negative impact because the soda will often replace milk as a beverage in the diet and so you will end up with excess phosphorus and less calcium. When you consume dairy you are getting both calcium and phosphorus so there will not be an imbalance between the two.View Thread
Vitamin D can be taken all at one time, with or without food and at any time of the day. Your body stores the vitamin and uses it as needed by the body. It should be fine to take 5,000 International Units (IU) all at one time, as long as this amount was prescribed by your healthcare provider. The upper safe limit of vitamin D was recently set at 4,000 IU/day, however, many times, higher dosages of vitamin D are prescribed for a short period of time to help boost low vitamin D levels. You should take your vitamin D supplement when it is most convenient for you so that you remember to take it.
As for the calcium, you are correct that it should be consumed in amounts of 500-600 at a time or less. NOF recommends a total of 1200 mg of calcium per day from all sources for women age 50 and older. This level is slightly higher than the 1000 mg that is recommended for younger women, due to the impact of menopause.
Individuals should get calcium from foods first and only supplement the approximate amount they do not get from food on a typical day. The combined intake from food and supplements (if needed) should add up to the total amount of calcium you need in one day. If you eat calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt or calcium-fortified orange juice with your breakfast, it's best to take your calcium supplement with lunch or dinner. If you are able to consume enough calcium-rich foods, you may be able to avoid taking or at least cut back on the amount of calcium supplements you need to take. Getting more calcium than the recommended 1200 mg a day is not beneficial and may cause kidney stones and possibly other problems. To learn more, please read NOF's calcium information at www.nof.org/aboutosteoporosis/prevention/calcium
NOF does not have specific recommendations for taking magnesium and B-12 due to limited evidence supporting the benefits of these supplements to bone health. If your healthcare provider suggested taking these supplements, follow their recommendations for intake. The recommended daily intake of magnesium for you is 320 mg and for vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms a day. You can also get many of these vitamins by eating a well-rounded healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean sources of protein.View Thread
When evaluating the existing scientific data , it is clear that adults age 50 and older need 1,200 mg of calcium (primarily from diet and supplements if needed) and 800 — 1,000 IUs of vitamin D every day for bone health. We also know that other vitamins and minerals play a role in bone health. Some examples of vitamins and minerals that may benefit bone health are vitamin K, magnesium, the B vitamins, potassium and vitamin C. However, there is not enough research available at this time to prove that supplementing these vitamins and minerals will actually benefit bone health. Unless a person has a known deficiency, the body's needs for these vitamins and minerals can usually be achieved by consuming a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein and whole grains.
Many bone health supplements also contain the mineral strontium. This supplemental form of strontium is not regulated like medications are and differ from the medication Strontium Ranelate which is used in Europe and other countries for the treatment of osteoporosis. There is limited data available on strontium as a supplement, so we do not know if it is safe or will protect the skeleton. For more detailed information on this topic, please see the recent webinar "Nutrition for Your Bone Health" available at www.nof.org/aboutosteoporosis/moreresources/consumer-webinar-series .View Thread
Kale is available triple-washed in the fresh produce section or frozen. Kale can be stir-fried, added to soups or used in pasta dishes. One cup of cooked kale is packed with bone healthy nutrients including approximately 200 mg of calcium, 400 mg of potassium, 35 mg of vitamin C, 25 mg of magnesium and over 1,000 mcg of vitamin K. View Thread
I will be presenting NOF's free live educational webinar "Nutrition for Your Bone Health" on Tuesday, June 29 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST. You will be able to see and hear this live presentation through your computer. This presentation will help you learn about the food choices you can make to meet the nutritional needs for optimal bone health. I hope you can join me for this presentation.
This will be the second of four webinars being presented through NOF's new Healthy Bones, Build Them for Life® webinar series. Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT will present the next webinar, "Exercise for Your Bone Health" on September 22 at 2:00 pm EST.
This is not true. While it's especially important to get enough calcium when you are young, it's never too late to make changes to protect your bones. This includes having a well-balanced diet that contains enough calcium, vitamin D and a variety of fruits and vegetables. To protect bone health, NOF recommends that adults age 50 and older get a total 1,200 mg of calcium every day from food and/or supplements. Adults age 50 and older also need 800-1,000 IUs of vitamin D. Adequate calcium intake is important to buiild bones in youth but will also help to minimize bone loss later in life.View Thread
Falls are a concern in the senior population. 30% and 40% of men and women aged 65 and older and living at home fall each year. About one-third of these falls result in a serious injury. In the elderly approximately 1 in 10 falls result in a serious injury such as a head injury, soft tissue injury or fracture. Furthermore about 90-95% of hip fractures are a result of a fall. However, falls are preventable.
There are several risk factors that can increase a person's chance of falling that we can try to change. These include lower body weakness and problems with gait and balance. Exercise programs, however, can help reduce the risk of falls by improving muscle strength and balance. Other fall risk factors include poor vision and/or hearing and the use of multiple medications. It is crucial for seniors to have access to and comply with regular vision and hearing exams. Seniors need to know their medications, be informed of medication interactions and know the importance of discussing medication administration with healthcare providers to reduce risks of potential side effects of dizziness or balance impairment.
People need to be aware of places at home that may lead to a fall and take precautions for outdoor safety. For example, people should check their homes for fall hazards such as loose area rugs and poorly lit areas. While outdoors, people should avoid walking on slippery surfaces and use caution while walking on cracks and uneven surfaces. It is also important to use assistive devices properly and safely when needed.
People who have fallen frequently in the past are also at risk for future falls. Fear of falling is also a major risk factor for future falls because it often leads to loss of confidence that can result in functional decline and ultimately lower bone and muscle mass.
Another major risk factor for falls is vitamin D deficiency. In fact vitamin D intakes of 800-1000 international units per day have been associated with reduced rates of falls as compared to people with lower vitamin D intakes.
Finally, many of the "Five Steps to Bone Health" will also help prevent falls. These steps include:
1. Getting the calcium and vitamin D you need every day. 2. Doing regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. 3. Not smoking and not drinking too much alcohol. 4. Talking to your healthcare provider about your chance of getting osteoporosis, and ask when you should have a bone mineral density test. 5. Taking an osteoporosis medication when it's right for you.View Thread
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