Osteoporosis (bone loss) prevention: Act today!
Published: June 22, 2018
If you’re in your teens, twenties, and thirties you probably haven’t given bone loss much thought.
You may have an older relative, perhaps your grandmother, mother or aunt who has been diagnosed with bone loss (osteoporosis) and you may be aware that older people become shorter as they age due to bone loss.
But you are probably not too concerned about personal bone loss.
If you’re older than 40, and particularly if you are a woman, you may be aware that as you age and for women as they go through menopause, your risk for osteoporosis increases.
Age and gender, along with race and genetics, factors you cannot change, increase your risk for osteoporosis.
Older people, females, being Caucasian, Asian, or Hispanic, or having a mother who experienced osteoporotic fractures increases your risk for osteoporosis.
Alternatively, being younger, male, of African American heritage, or with no family history of osteoporosis appears to provide protection against osteoporosis.
However, just because you fall into the “at risk” category does not mean your bone loss is a done deal, or if you fall into the “protected” category that your protection is assured.
There are several lifestyle factors and practices that also influence bone density and bone loss which you can use advantageously to decrease your risk for bone loss and osteoporosis.
But you need to act today.
Bone loss and osteoporosis
Loss of bone mineral density resulting in porous and fragile bones identifies osteoporosis.
This disease is usually associated with ageing, develops over many years, but is frequently only identified when an older individual falls breaking a hip or wrist. Joints and bones may suddenly give way as they become exceptionally frail.
The consequences of osteoporosis are serious and life changing. Osteoporosis may be diagnosed in younger populations particularly women.
Your bones are composed of cortical bone, the outer layer or shell of bones, and trabecular bone the central matrix of bone which provides support for stresses applied to your bones.
Dynamic mechanisms exist in your body by which minerals, such as calcium, are withdrawn and re-deposited into your bones as bone minerals are required for and released from other metabolic processes.
When bone demineralization exceeds bone mineralization bone loss occurs.
Minerals which form bone can be lost from both cortical and trabecular bone, but through different mechanisms and at different rates.
There are two types of osteoporosis: Type 1 and type 2 osteoporosis...link to the full article to learn more.
Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
Center for Science in the Public Interest, Nutrition Action Health Letter (April 2007, March 2008, November 2010, April 2010, August 2011)