According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 52.4 million Americans over age 50 have osteoporosis, with 80% being women. As you mature, it is critical to avoid fractures and prevent bone loss through the right dietary and lifestyle choices.
Avoid Hidden Causes of Poor Bone Health
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D3 deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the United States and Canada. Without adequate levels of vitamin D in your body, you cannot effectively absorb calcium. It is important to have your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor to see if you have a deficiency. If so, you can take a supplement to build your levels back up. Most naturopathic physicians recommend 2,000 to 5,000 I.U.s a day.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease characterized by the inability to digest the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. This protein is called gluten. If you’re intolerant to gluten, your intestines will be chronically inflamed and this will interfere with your ability to absorb nutrients from food, including vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin K. The best way to test for celiac disease is to talk with a nutritionist or naturopathic physician about a gluten elimination diet for a period of at least 6-8 weeks.
An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) is often caused by a malfunctioning immune system. After the age of 30, the natural process of bone remodeling (the act of breaking down and building up) is sped up in the case of hyperthyroidism and can lead to significant bone loss. Get tested for thyroid disease and if the results come back negative, but you still have symptoms, seek a second opinion. Conventional thyroid tests often give a false negative.
Corticosteroid drugs taken for asthma or autoimmune disease can have a significant impact on your bone health. These drugs not only interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients, they also encourage the breakdown of bone. Get a second opinion from a naturopathic or osteopathic physician about using nutrition and natural supplements to treat your condition without steroids.
Proton Pump Inhibitors
According to a clinical study published by Osteoporosis International, proton pump inhibitors have been shown to significantly increase bone fragility. Talk with your doctor about weaning off proton pump inhibitors and using digestive enzymes, probiotics, and dietary changes to heal your acid reflux disease.
Keep Your Bones Strong as You Age
Eat a Bone-Building Diet
A bone-building diet is essential in the fight against bone loss as you mature. Slowly wean off junk food and invest in your health with a diet rich in organic produce, fermented foods, grass-fed beef, organic poultry, wild-caught fish, magnesium-rich beans, and healthy fats like coconut oil and butter.
Regular exercise is essential, especially after the age of 30, as this is when your bones begin to break down. Exercise for at least thirty minutes using weight-bearing exercises like walking, hiking or jogging at least three times per week. Light weight training can also help prevent bone loss.
Take the Right Supplements
Even if you eat a very healthy diet, you may still have one or more nutrient deficiencies.
Supplements Shown to Help Prevent Bone Disease
Vitamin D deficiency can greatly increase your likelihood of developing osteoporosis. Adding a vitamin D supplement can help you better absorb calcium and magnesium.
Calcium is important for strong bones. It is best to get this essential nutrient from vegetables or a supplement instead of milk. Milk contains synthetic calcium that is more difficult for your body to absorb.
Japanese clinical trials have shown that when combined with vitamin D, vitamin K2 can help prevent bone loss and reduce the likelihood of the development of brittle bone disease.
Magnesium is the most common mineral deficiency in the world. Without this essential nutrient, your body cannot effectively absorb calcium or vitamin D. In addition to helping prevent bone loss, magnesium also helps stimulate a hormone called calcitonin, which helps preserve bone structure by drawing calcium from the blood and soft tissues back into the bones.
Brittle bones isn’t an inevitable part of aging. Prevent bone disease naturally and stay active for years to come!
Written by: Jaime Heidel, FizzNiche Staff Writer