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NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST SHARES HER TOP TIPS TO HELP PEOPLE AVOID OSTEOPOROSIS
According to the NHS, over three million people in the UK have osteoporosis – a condition that weakens bones and can cause fractures. Figures suggest that one in three women, and one in five men over the age of 50 will have this condition.
It can have a severe impact on people’s quality of life and can lead to disability and even premature death. Today is World Osteoporosis Day, a day aimed to raise awareness of this common condition.
Nutritional therapist Caroline Peyton, who has run clinics in Swindon and Gloucestershire for over ten years, says it’s not taken as seriously as it should be.
“People can be living with weakened bones for years (as it rarely causes pain) unaware there is a problem and a diagnosis may only occur after a seemingly simple fall leads to a broken bone,” she said.
“Women are more at risk than men as the loss of the hormone oestrogen after the menopause is a factor that can weaken bones. Bone strength is also linked to testosterone levels so men are also at risk in later life. Also bones naturally start to lose their density from the age of 35 onwards.”
Many experts believe it’s a condition which is under- diagnosed and therefore under-treated.
Caroline said: “Your skeleton is a living organ. Bones are constantly being remodeled with the formation of new bones and old bone is broken down. Therefore understanding how to take care of your bones could add years to your life.
“Calcium is known to be the most important mineral as bones contain 99% of all the body’s calcium. This means you can focus solely on calcium but this is too simplistic and on its own calcium will not strengthen bones.”
Caroline points to a 12-year Harvard study of 78,000 women which found those who drank milk three times a day actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk.1
“Why is this? Well we have to extract calcium from our food and absorb it from the gut into the bloodstream. Second, we have to be able to take calcium from the bloodstream up into the bones. In order to do both these things the body requires nutrients called co-factors. Therefore your body needs those co-factors to complete the process.”
Caroline has some tips to help people prevent osteoporosis or perhaps halt its progress.
- Vitamin D is the best supplement for strong bones. At one time it was pure calcium however it’s now recognized that Vitamin D encourages calcium to cross into the bloodstream from the gut.
- A diet rich in magnesium can help too. Eat dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds which are rich in both calcium and magnesium. Zinc is an important trace mineral found in bone and obtained from meat and seafood, nuts and seeds.
- Avoid mineral inhibitors which are compounds that bind to minerals in the gut and inhibit them passing into the bloodstream. These include phytates (found in wheat, pulses and non-fermented soya such as soya milk); oxalates (found in spinach!); phosphates found in fizzy drinks; tannins in tea, caffeine and alcohol.
- Stomach acid suppressants may hinder mineral uptake as stomach acid helps the absorption of minerals too. If concerned, discuss your usage with your GP.
- Other essential nutrients are essential fatty acids found in oily fish (whilst limiting too much Omega 6 found in vegetable oil) and ensuring sufficient daily protein that creates collagen.
To find out more about Caroline Peyton visit https://www.peytonprinciples.com
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2004.
2. For more information on World Osteoporosis Day 2020 visit http://www.worldosteoporosisday.org
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