What many people are not aware of is bone mineral density, bone status and fracture risk
are related to many more nutrients than just calcium,and magnesium.
Researchers from Tufts University researchers report that Vitamin C is
important in regards to bone health, especially as we age because vitamin C protects against inflammation, which
contributes to bone absorption and bone loss, as well as being
essential for the creation of collagen, which helps strengthen bones.
In the Tuft's study the men and
women had a mean age of 75 years and consumed a total
amount of vitamin C ranging from none to 482 milligrams for women and
none to 520 milligrams for men. The study demonstrated that vitamin C inhibits bone reabsorption and showed an important association
between vitamin C and protection against bone loss.
The study had some interesting results that are worth noting:
- Vitamin C was less protective in men
who were smokers. There are limitations to this finding because of other confounding
factors such as male smokers may have been taking more vitamin C in the
- The study did not show similar benefits for Vitamin C in women who
suffer from bone loss associated with osteoporosis earlier and more
frequently than men.
According to Dr. Mone Zaidi, director of the bone
health program at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, "although the Tufts'
research has shown a strong association of vitamin C and bone density, to
clearly establish that vitamin C protects men and women against bone
loss as they age, Zaidi said that a randomized, double-blind, large
clinical trial is needed. The problem is that because vitamin C can't
be patented, drug companies, which usually finance this type of
clinical trial, aren't interested."
Reference: October 2008 The Journal of Nutrition
is a disease where bone breaks down over time. The bones become thin, brittle
and break easily.'Osteo'
means bone, and 'porosis' thinning or becoming more porous, so osteoporosis
literally means 'thinning of bone.' The bones
most commonly affected by osteoporosis
are those in the hip, wrist and back (the vertebrae), particularly those in the
mid-back. Hip fractures are also common in people with osteoporosis, and
can lead to immobility and hospitalization.
have other family members with it, which suggests that heredity may be a
factor. Heredity also plays a role in a person's body type; having a small
frame and bone structure may increase the chances of getting osteoporosis
Other risk factors may include:
Because many people
do not have warning signs for osteoporosis
until they have had it for a long period of time, it is important to have routine checkups and to consider a bone density test, especially if you have any of the risk factors noted above.
- Diet. Bones
need nourishment from calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous. A poor diet
lacking foods that contain these vitamins and minerals contributes to bone
style factors such as smoking and alcohol use.
Excessive use of alcohol or caffeine-containing products such as tea,
coffee or some sodas can stop your body from absorbing calcium. Smoking
also contributes to bone loss.
changes. Osteoporosis can also be linked to changes in
hormones. Hormones are substances produced by the body that help different
organs run normally. Estrogen is also a hormone that is important to
maintaining bone strength. Once a woman enters menopause her estrogen
levels fall. This affects how her bones process calcium and may lead to a
more rapid loss of bone. For the first five or six years following
menopause a woman can lose 3% to 5% of her bone density each year. In men,
low levels of the hormone testosterone may have the same effect.
medications, when taken in high doses, can influence how your body deals
with calcium and so contribute to bone loss. These medications include
cortisone/corticosteroids, anticoagulants, thyroid supplements, and some
illnesses. Other illnesses or diseases, such
over-active thyroid, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may also cause bone loss.
- Lack of
exercise. Because bone is a living tissue it
needs exercise to stay strong. Normally through the activities of daily
living such as walking, bending, stretching, and exercising, forces are
imposed upon the bones. Bone responds to these forces by restructuring
itself and becoming stronger. If you are not active your bones will become
weaker over time because there is nothing for them to respond to.