Good Bone Health Essential for Independence
Good nutrition can make a difference in your bone health and affect your ability to live an independent life, according to a new scientific review.
The conclusion is true no matter what age you are.
The review was published in the journal Osteoporosis International by leading bone and nutrition experts, in anticipation of World Osteoporosis Day on October 20.
According to a news release from the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), the review summarizes the latest evidence relating to the nutritional needs of mothers, children and adolescents, adults and seniors, in relation to developing and maintaining a healthy skeleton. Placing particular emphasis on calcium, vitamin D and protein, it shows how adequate nutritional intake of these and other micronutrients can support the primary objectives for good bone health:
Achieving genetic potential for peak bone mass in children and adolescents
Avoiding premature bone loss and maintaining a healthy skeleton in adults
Preventing and treating osteoporosis in seniors
Findings from international studies and trials are summarized as well as current dietary guidelines.
Professor Cyrus Cooper, co-author and chair of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Committee of Scientific Advisors, said, “This new report shows just how important nutrition is for our bone health throughout life. In fact, nutrition plays a key role in the development of a healthy skeleton even before birth. Healthy maternal diets as well as adequate vitamin D levels are associated with greater bone mass in the off-spring.”
The report also underlines how lifestyle trends which lead to poor diet and nutrient deficiencies are a growing cause of concern in people of all ages, and particularly in children. Milk and dairy products comprise the mainstay of calcium intake for most children, yet a decline in milk consumption has been observed across the world during the last few decades. Furthermore, vitamin D insufficiency is widespread among youth, which has led to recommendations in several countries for vitamin D supplements to be given to infants and young children.
In adults and seniors, studies have shown that calcium intakes are often considerably below those recommended by national guidelines. Similarly, alarmingly low levels of vitamin D have been found in populations around the world. Lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and a very high or low body mass index (BMI) also elevate fracture risk for a substantial number of people.
The researchers also analyze the impact of nutrition on falls and fracture prevention in seniors, who are a growing segment of the population and most affected by osteoporosis. The review shows how deficits in protein intake as well as malnutrition, which is sadly common in older people, can negatively affect their bone and muscle health. It also highlights how together with appropriate exercise, adequate nutritional intake in those at high risk of fracture plays an important complementary role to pharmacotherapy.