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No Bones About It: How To Improve Your Bone Density

Dr. Zubair Mirza

2 min read

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The body continuously deposits various vitamins and minerals into the bones until they reach ‘peak bone mass’ at the age of 30, after which no more bone deposits are made. Moreover, the slowed down bone breaking and rebuilding process after this age, while not a problem for people with a high accumulative bone mass, can lead to irreversible osteoporosis and increased risk of skeletal deformities and bone breakage after 65 for women and 70 for men.

However, the following lifestyle and dietary changes can help ensure maximum ‘bone bank’ deposits and ensure the longevity of your bones:

1- Be Calcium Smart:

A key substance for bone strength and formation, the Recommended by doctors, Daily Intake (RDI) is 1000 mg for most people, with 1300 mg for teens and 1200 mg for older women through dairy products and non-dairy sources such as white beans, dried figs, almonds, oranges, sesame seeds, spinach, and other leafy greens.

However, divide your daily calcium intake by including one high-calcium food in each meal throughout the day, as consuming large amounts of the mineral lowers the rate of calcium absorption. Also avoid calcium supplements to fulfill your daily requirements as it can lead to early heart disease, according to some studies. Instead, try to fulfill your daily calcium requirements through regular meals.

2- Eat Your Vitamins:

Where the daily 10-20 mcg of vitamin D via shrimps, fortified cereal and orange juice, and egg yolks (with 10-15 minutes of sunlight exposure thrice a week) boosts calcium absorption, consuming 122 mcg (for women) and 138 mcg (for men) of Vitamin K through kale, broccoli, and spinach prevents calcium loss by modifying the bone-forming protein ‘osteocalcin’ to bind with minerals in bones. So, pair these two vitamins with your daily calcium foods at every meal to facilitate calcium absorption and retention.

3- ‘P’ Is For Potassium:

Studies show that potassium may aid calcium retention by neutralizing calcium-removing acids. Moreover, pre-menopausal women who included high-potassium foods such as sweet and unpeeled potatoes, yogurt and bananas in their diets had an 8% higher bone density than those who didn’t.

4- The M-Z Pairing:

50-60% of the body magnesium is found in the bones, making this mineral necessary for converting vitamin D into the active form that aids calcium absorption; with the RDI being 400-420 mcg for adult males and 310-320 mcg for adult females via bananas, nuts, legumes, seeds, whole grains and 70% dark chocolate.

On the other hand, 15 mg of zinc through beef, shrimp, spinach, and pumpkin seeds promotes the formation of bone-building cells and prevents excess bone breakdown. Supplements of this trace mineral are also known for bone growth support in children and bone density maintenance in older adults.

5- Use Herbs:

Substituting oregano, garlic powder and other herbs for salt in home-cooked foods can lower the amount of dietary sodium (also found in prepackaged snacks) to help reduce calcium leakage.

6- Exercise Hard:

Weight-bearing and high-impact exercises like running, walking, jumping rope, skiing, stair climbing, and resistance training promote bone formation, hence increasing bone density in younger individuals, while also protecting bone health in the elderly population with low bone density. Moreover, jumping 10-20 times (with a 30-second rest between each jump) twice a day for 4 months strengthens hip bone mineral density and creates micro stresses that strengthen the bone after rebuilding. But if you feel like this is too much for your bones or might cause injury, then contact the best orthopedic surgeon in Rawalpindi for a professional opinion.

7- Curb The Caffeine:

According to a study, daily consumption of more than 2 cups of caffeine leads to accelerated bone loss and interferes with calcium absorption, particularly in people with inadequate calcium consumption. So drink coffee but in moderation.

8- Drop The Nicotine:

Smoking not only weakens bones by reducing estrogen production in women, but long-term nicotine addiction also lowers bone mass and increases the risk of fractures by inhibiting efficient calcium absorption. Secondhand smoke exposure during youth and early adulthood is another contributing factor.

9- Less Is Not More:

Diets lower 1000 calories per day can decrease bone density in people of all weight ranges. A study showed significantly lowered bone density in obese women with a 4-month diet of 925 calories per day, despite regular resistance training. So make sure your daily diet plan includes at least 1,200 calories if you are looking to lose weight.

While osteoporosis might seem far off to younger individuals, maintaining bone health is important in all stages of life. Consult with your doctor on how to best increase your bone density and seek professional advice.

At oladoc, you can find an Orthopedic surgeon in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and book confirmed appointments. Moreover, you can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 and appointment.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Zubair Mirza - Author Dr. Zubair Mirza is a Orthopedic Surgeon practicing in Karachi. Dr. Zubair Mirza has the following degrees: MBBS, FRCS (England), LMSSA (England) and has 50 years of experience.
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