World Osteoporosis Day is observed every year on October, 20th marking a year-long campaign committed to raising global awareness and educating people about the causes, risk factors, symptoms, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this painful metabolic condition. WOD was originally sponsored by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) along with the World Health Organization (WHO), in the year 1988-1999 which aims to educate the public about this devastating bone disease and to make osteoporosis and fracture prevention a global health priority by reaching out to health-care professionals, the media, policy makers, patients, and the public at large.
This year the campaign for WOD will chiefly feature on 'That’s Osteoporosis’ as a headline, promoting emotionally impactful illustrations and stories of real people living with this diseased condition all over the world. It will also highlight the importance of nutrition and exercise for good bone health.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a debilitating metabolic condition wherein the bones within the body become so weak and brittle that an abrupt fall, sudden bending over, or a gentle stress or pressure can cause a fracture. These kinds of fractures usually occur in the hip, spine or wrist.
Bones are living connective tissue that continually gets broken down and replaced. When you are younger, the body creates bone mass at a faster pace than it breaks down, while increasing the total bone mass. As you age, this process slows down and by the age of 30, most people reach the peak bone mass. In the 30’s and 40’s this bone mass is lost faster than it’s created. Getting diagnosed with osteoporosis solely depends upon the amount of total bone mass-created within your body in your growing years. In the case of osteoporosis, the creation of new bone is so slow, that it doesn't keep up with the loss of old bone.
It’s never too late to start protecting your bones, by “banking” them early in life during the childhood and adolescence period. Although the peak bone mass varies from person to person, studies reveal, that the higher the peak bone mass, the more bone one has 'in the bank’ to spare and the less likely one is to develop osteoporosis at a later stage.
Although, treatment options usually depend upon the bone density, doctors usually focus on modifying the risk factors through preventive measures. This article highlights how incorporating essential vitamins and minerals through food or supplementation can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and promote overall bone health.
Incredible Essential Nutrients To Add In Your Daily Diet:
Deemed as the building block of bones, calcium is the most quintessential mineral that helps you victoriously evade osteoporosis and maintain optimum bone health. It is usually stored in the body in the form of calcium phosphate. While most of the calcium requirements of the body can be fulfilled through food by following a well-balanced diet, i.e. by adding dairy products, nuts, legumes and leafy greens in your regular diet. However, if you are intolerant towards some food, you can also take supplements that meet the need. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium is 600 mg per day for adults.
Vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin holds high significance in helping the bones to absorb the calcium in the food and facilitate the natural growth and remodelling of bones. It reduces the risk of fracture, strengthens the bones, maintains overall body balance and provides the body with a strong and perfect skeletal structure. The recommended dietary intake of Vitamin D is 400 I.U. Although, you can get a healthy dose of Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, people who do not get the required amount, due to less sun exposure or other problems can include foods like mushrooms, breakfast cereals, eggs and some sea foods in their regular diet to fulfil their vitamin D requirements.
Touted as a natural remedy for coagulating blood, Vitamin K plays an integral part in promoting bone health. Along with the D vitamin, it ensures the calcium-binding action required for the healthy functioning of the bones and gums. It not only strengthens the skeletal structure, but also increases bone density and reduces the risk of fracture in older women. The K vitamin, also successfully treats osteoporosis and bone loss. The RDA of Vitamin K is 55 mcg for normal adults. But you can also enjoy its benefits by including leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, milk products and certain fermented foods in your diet.
This vital macronutrient alongside calcium and phosphorus is quintessential for uplifting bone health. It chiefly plays a pivotal role in converting vitamin D into the active form that promotes calcium absorption within the body. Although this mineral can be naturally included in your diet through foods like whole-grain breads, dark green vegetables, and nuts, you can also take it in the form of supplements. These supplements usually come in the form of a multivitamin consisting of two parts calcium to one-part magnesium. The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium is 340mg.