Osteoporosis is characterized by bone loss leading to increased bone fragility and fracture risk. Women and the elderly are more at risk. The disease can be prevented and the risk may be lessened by making some simple lifestyle and dietary changes. Here are some suggestions:
✓ Being physically active early in life will help prevent osteoporosis as it helps achieve greater peak bone mass. In fact, being physically active at any time during one's life will help maintain one's bone structure.
✓ Smoking contributes to bone loss. Yet another reason to stop smoking.
✓ Regular and substantial alcohol consumption slows bone formation. Drink alcohol in moderation.
✓ Caffeine increases the excretion of calcium which is essential for bone formation. This in turn contributes to bone loss. Limit your caffeine intake.
A diet rich in calcium is essential for bone tissue formation, maintenance, and regeneration. Below is information that may be useful in helping you choose the right foods:
✓ Milk is an excellent source of calcium. Swiss cheese, calcium enriched tofu, plain yogurt and whole sesame seeds also contain significant amounts of calcium. Other foods rich in calcium include various types of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, etc.), as well as canned sardines and salmon with bones. Most cooked or canned legumes, broccoli and oranges also contain calcium.
✓ Several calcium enriched products are now available. Read the labels carefully to see how much calcium they actually contain.
✓ Milk and dairy products are the only foods that contain significant amounts of calcium. Recommended daily intakes vary with age (adolescents, adults, menopausal women) but include at least two daily portions, which should provide 75% of the necessary intake. A portion is defined as one cup of milk (250 mL), 3/4 cup of yogurt (175 mL), 1/2 cup of cottage cheese or ice cream and 45 g or 1 1/2 ounces of cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss).
✓ Vitamin D increases intestinal calcium absorption. Very few foods in nature contain vitamin D so, depending on your age and needs, supplementation may be required. If you think you may need vitamin D supplementation, speak to your pharmacist.
The general population, and women in particular should exercise regularly and make sure that they meet the recommended daily intake of calcium and vitamin D in order to reduce their risk of osteoporosis.
Watch what you eat. Nutrition has a significant impact on health!
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.