Increase Bone Density

Whether you are a man or woman, the older you get, the more of a consideration the state of your bone density is and especially in those who have had a simple fall and broken a bone way too easily.   To know more about What you can do to increase bone density, read on.

Increase Bone Density

Whether you are of the age where low bone density is an issue or you have had a fall and broken a bone, there are natural options to help speed up your recovery of this and increase your bone density.

So what does Bone Density relate to?

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The picture on the right is what can happen if you don’t increase bone density

Bone Density relates to the structural strength of the complex structure that makes up our bones.

Osteoporosis New Zealand tell us “Our bones are complex living tissue comprised of a thick outer shell (known as the cortex) and a strong inner honeycomb mesh of tiny cross-members (known as the trabeculae)”.

“This structure enables our bones to be strong, lightweight and somewhat flexible. These properties are important because they allow our skeletons to support us while being able to cope with the stresses and strains that we impose upon them in the course of day-to-day life”.

When do we start to lose our Bone Density?

Osteoporosis New Zealand tell us “During the first two decades of life our skeleton grows, reaching what is termed Peak Bone Mass – the point when our bones are at their most dense – in our early 20s. In the middle period of life, a continual process of repair is ongoing which ensures that old worn-out bone is replaced by fresh new bone”.

“In later life – or when specific medical conditions occur in people in their middle years – the balance between old bone being broken down (known as resorption) and new bone being made (known as formation) can be lost”.

“When there is more resorption than formation, the total amount of bone in the skeleton begins to decline and bones become more fragile. This is particularly common for women who have gone through the menopause, because oestrogen plays an important role in maintaining the balancing act of this process known as bone remodelling. For significant numbers of men it should be noted that, after 70 years of age, loss of bone density is also an issue”.

Hip fractures In New Zealand

Osteoporosis is the leading cause of hip fractures in New Zealand, with 4,000 people per year suffering with one.  This is of major concern for the person and their family, as well as the cost to the health system and can lead to premature death, especially due to complications like pneumonia and blood clots.

Factors Leading to Osteoporosis

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Both Men & Women can suffer with Osteoporosis

There are many many factors that lead to a lack of bone density.  These include race, family history of osteoporosis, lifestyle and our diet, natural early menopause, childlessness and removal of the ovaries.  Women who are sedentary, small boned, have a fair complexion and present no known health condition are also at risk.

Heredity has been established as a number one determinant of who will get the disease.  After that, there is one major cause; an inadequate intake of calcium over a period of years.  Other causes are an inability to absorb sufficient calcium through the intestine, calcium-phosphorus imbalance, lack of exercise, steroids and a lack of certain hormones.

Increasing Calcium Absorption

Most New Zealand adults need between 1200-1500mg of calcium each and every day.  This is a huge amount that is often very difficult to consume from your diet alone.  As well as that, it is not as easy as just consuming calcium.  You need specific nutritional co-factors to be available, to help you to absorb the calcium efficiently.  This includes magnesium, boron, phosphorus, and Vitamin D & K (to name a few).

Consuming beverages rich in tannin, around calcium consumption, can prevent you from absorbing the calcium efficiently.  Ideally avoid a cup of tea, herbal tea, green tea, coffee or caffeine containing beverages, milo or other chocolate drinks and also red wine half an hour before a meal and for up to 1 hour after a meal.

Ethical Nutrients Ethical Bone Builder with Vitamin D

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Bone Builder Powder

This exclusive formula contains a readily absorbed form of calcium called microcrystalline hydroxyapatite, which contains a naturally occurring bone growth factor sourced from calf bones.  As well as this, it also contains the bone building nutrients vitamin D, boron and vitamin K. This formula is different from other calcium supplements as it contains microcrystalline hydroxyapatite, a whole bone extract which is highly bioavailable for optimum absorption.

Ethi Cal Bone Builder with Vitamin D powder is a tasty, chocolate flavoured powder that only needs to be taken once a day, making it easy to take. It is also a convenient way of achieving your recommended daily intake of calcium and vitamin D which are needed to maintain bone health.

This also comes in a tablet called Bone Builder with Vitamin D, for those who would prefer a tablet.

What else can you do to increase bone density?

Be pro active with your calcium and overall mineral intake.  If you drink milk, choose products like Anchor Protein + Lite milk, which provides a huge 450mg of calcium per cup (you still need other co-factors to absorb this properly though).   Other calcium rich foods includes almonds, broccoli (needs to be steamed to access the minerals trapped in the cellulose fibre), buckwheat, dairy products, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, molasses, sardines, soybeans, sesame seeds (in the form of tahini sesame paste) and turnips.

Dramatically increase your Vitamin D levels, as this nutrient is vital for increasing bone density and for calcium absorption.   Vitamin D is found in fish liver oils, butter, egg yolks, milk and sprouted seeds.  Our best Vitamin D supplement is the Natures Sunshine Vitamin D3

Exercise is vital for bone health.  Weight bearing exercises encourages bones to thicken.  So this includes walking, running, aerobics and weight lifting.

Have a bone density test, so you have a base line to compare to each year.  This way, you know where you started and what your bone density is.  You can have a test at www.bonedensity.co.nz

Beer and Alcoholic drinks are our bones worst enemies, because they directly interfere with the absorption of calcium.  Coffee, soft drinks, and nicotine are also not recommended, because they also interfere with absorption.

Author
Leanne James
Naturopath & Founder Ideal Health

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