Irrespective of age, optimum nutrition significantly influences bone health and the ability to live a fracture-free life with enhanced mobility even in your senior years. This is what a recent scientific review states, conducted by leading bone and nutrition experts with respect to World Osteoporosis Day on October 20.
Summarizing The Key Findings
The review provides insights into nutritional needs of children, mothers, young adults, adults and seniors, with respect to the development and maintenance of a healthy skeleton. Special focus was given to vitamin D, calcium and protein, emphasizing how adequate nutritional intake of these nutrients supports the main objectives for achieving good healthy bones.
Findings of various international trials and studies, along with present dietary guidelines, have been summarized in the review. Some of these are as follows:
- Obtaining genetic potential for optimum bone mass in children and young adults
- Preventing premature bone loss
- Maintaining a healthy skeleton in adulthood
- Treating and preventing osteoporosis in seniors
Co-author Professor Cyrus Cooper, Chair of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Committee of Scientific Advisors explained how the report highlights the importance of nutrition for maintaining bone health throughout life, and surprisingly, even before birth. Moreover, healthy maternal diets and adequate levels of vitamin D are associated with superior bone mass in the developing fetus.
Lifestyle Habits – Boost Those Calcium And Vitamin D Levels
The role of lifestyle trends has also been mentioned in the report. Poor dietary habits and nutritional deficiencies are a major concern for people of all age groups, especially children. Milk and dairy products are generally consumed as the main source of calcium; however, a decrease in the consumption of milk has been observed around the world in the last ten years.
Moreover, vitamin D deficiency is largely prevalent among the youth in various countries, leading to recommendations of supplementing infants and young children with vitamin D. Studies involving adults and seniors have revealed that calcium and vitamin D intakes are usually below the recommended national guidelines.
The road to improvement involves reducing alcohol consumption and smoking, increasing exercise and maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI). These lifestyle modifications help decrease the risk of fractures significantly and helps you get healthy bones.
Preventing Fractures And Osteoporosis In The Elderly: Eat Healthy If You Want Healthy Bones
The report further discusses the role of nutrition in preventing falls and fractures in seniors, who are most likely to suffer from osteoporosis. It demonstrates how protein deficiency and malnutrition – aspects fairly common in older individuals – negatively influence bone and muscle health. It also states how physical activity and adequate nutrition complements pharmacotherapy and reduces the risks of bone anomalies.
Co-author Professor Bess Dawson Hughes, Professor at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, commented on the findings: “The baby boomer generation is aging. As a result, age-related musculoskeletal diseases are becoming an increasingly expensive burden on society and health-care systems around the world. This report highlights how we might tap the potential of healthy nutrition with a methodical life-course approach and prevent osteoporosis and fractures.”
The review was published in the journal Osteoporosis International.