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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Tips for Overall Bone Health

Nov 01, 2017 10:07PM ● By Dr. Arianna Sholes-Douglas

Osteoporosis and low bone mass affected 54 percent of older adults in the U.S. in 2010, with women and non-Hispanic whites having the largest counts. Genetic factors, age, race and medication use (steroids or long-term thyroid hormone use) can have an impact on who is affected.

To lessen risk of osteoporosis, eat a diet including adequate calcium and Vitamin D. Recommendations are at least 1000mg of calcium and 600-800 IU of vitamin D daily for the average adult—more for adolescent girls and postmenopausal women. Many now consider these levels low and less than optimal. Have vitamin D level checked with a healthcare provider to ascertain what dose of supplementation might be advisable.

Dietary sources of calcium include dairy, fortified cereals and oatmeal, beans and legumes, almonds, dark green leafies like broccoli and bok choy and salmon and sardines with bones. Vitamin D is made in the skin from absorption of sunlight, although about 50 percent of the population is deficient. It is also present in eggs, fatty fish, cod liver oil, fortified dairy products and fortified cereals and beverages.

Weight-bearing exercises and muscle strengthening exercises are important. The best activities, if tolerated, are high impact such as dancing, aerobics, hiking, jogging, jumping rope and stair climbing. Second best include low-impact weight-bearing exercises such as elliptical machine use, walking fast on a treadmill or outdoors and stair-step machines. Yoga and Pilates can improve strength, balance and flexibility.

Tula Wellness offers a variety of services for women of all ages including individualized health and nutrition coaching to help keep and maintain bone mass and address osteopenia and osteoporosis. Connect at 520-577-1129,
[email protected] See ad, page 2.

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