Contributed by- Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
“We humans have faith in the thought that maintaining an adequate calcium intake will lay the foundation for good bone health”, but this is true to some extent only. The fact is your body needs more than just calcium for healthy bones.
Bones provide support to our body and allow us to move freely. They act as a protective barrier, shielding our brain, heart, and other organs from injury. “Bone health” refers to many different health issues. Maximum people think only about osteoporosis when it comes to the health of our bones, but it involves more than just one health problem. This makes taking care of our bones an essential.
To know more about healthy bones let’s have a look at few facts about our bones and the factors that influence bone health:
Why do we lose our bone and what makes them grow ?
We are born with 300 bones in our body, but the number is gradually reduced to only 206 bones. Bone renewal continues after birth into adulthood wherein old bone tissue is replaced by new bone tissue. It involves the processes of bone deposition or bone production and bone resorption i.e breaking down of old bones. As a result, our bones become larger, heavier, and denser. We can take our bones as a “bank” where we “deposit” and “withdraw” bone tissue. When the rate of bone withdrawal is more than compared to bone addition or deposit, then a person suffers from Osteoporosis.
Estrogen is immensely important
Estrogen the hormone that helps to regulate a woman’s reproductive cycle, plays a significant role in keeping our bones strong and healthy, in both males and females. It has been reported that active Estrogen metabolites are a strong predictor of bone mineral density. Estrogen circulates in the body and passes through the liver where several enzymes convert the standard hormone to the other forms, and some of these forms are active while some are inactive. All in all, estrogen present in our body is the key to bone density that should be present in our body.
Men vs. Women bone health
Women are more likely to have osteoporosis comparing to that of men, and the reason behind this statistic is that females have a lower bone density as compared to males, and with their age, they lose bone mass as well, which quickly leads to osteoporosis. It is hence recommended to check your bone strength timely.
Bone marrow is a spongy tissue which is present inside few of the bones in our body. The blood cells are made in our bone marrow, and both of them needs to be healthy as our survival is possible only when our bone marrow and blood cells stay healthy.
Vitamin K1 is a fat soluble vitamin which is present in vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, turnip, etc. It has been found that vitamin K modulates bone metabolism, affects the calcium balance in our body. The dietary reference intake of vitamin K is 90 micrograms per day for women and 120 micrograms per day for men, to have healthy bones.
Effect of steroids
Steroids include prednisone and cortisone, which are prescribed for many conditions and diseases. Steroid medications majorly effect the absorption of calcium, vitamin D, and bones. They can even lead to bone loss, broken bone and osteoporosis. So, if you have been on steroids in the past, a check of calcium, vitamin D levels becomes mandatory.
Exercising puts stress on our bone which initiates the making of new cells and builds bone density. One can add weight bearing exercises, resistance training, balancing exercises as these exercises helps an individual to increase his/her bone strength.
To have a good “bone health”, it is essential to follow a proper diet chart. Adding milk, dark leafy green vegetables, and high protein food in your diet can result in healthy bones.
Healthy digestion is critical for bone health
Digestive health condition increases the risk of having weak bones. Digestive problems can result in poor absorption of vitamins and minerals required for the development of bone; this can lead to a severe bone health issue.
Drinking too much is bad for the health
It is important to add activities like exercising regularly in your routine, but along with that one must avoid smoking, and yes, even moderating the use of alcohol is essential for bone health. Too much of alcohol restrains you from getting the nutrients that your healthy bones might need. Consuming alcohol in large amount leads to a greater risk of bone weakness and breaking bones.
So basically, if you wait for perfect conditions you’ll never get anything done. Take out time, keep the above factors in mind and keep your bones healthy.