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Bone Health for Women: What Women Need to Know

Overview

If you are a female, you are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis and bone damages. According to statistics, out of the estimated 10 million Americans suffering from osteoporosis, about 8 million, or rather 80% are women. Shockingly, one in every two women aged 50 or above will get a broken bone due to osteoporosis. A woman is at an increased of breaking a hip similarly to her combined risks of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. There are some factors that put women at an increased risk of getting osteoporosis than men including smaller and thinner bones and a decline in estrogen hormone levels.  

Importance Of Bone Health

The health of your bones is instrumental to your overall wellbeing and longevity. From the fact that bone cells and immune cell have a common origin and functional relationships, chronic immune system overexertion can ignite bone loss and promote muscle wasting heightening storage of fats. The loss of bone leaves our organs unprotected and makes us unable to do our regular duties due to their interconnections with muscles. Healthy bones generally enable us to live normal life while going about our duties at ease and comfort. 

Healthy Bones and Calcium: Are they related?

Healthy bones and calcium are intimately related. Bone and Joint Supplements are necessary for making your bones strong. Since your body cannot synthesize calcium, you must ingest it through your diet. If you don't consume adequate calcium or your digestive system fails to absorb enough, your bones will grow weak or fail to develop properly. It is calcium along with other minerals that determine your bone density. Between the ages of 25 and 35, your bone density is at the peak, and goes down as you get older. Your bones eventually become fragile and prone to fractures even without injury. Your body thus needs calcium to make your bones dense and strong. 

Which are High-calcium Foods?

There are several sources of foods you can obtain calcium from but in different quantities. To get the recommended daily 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams calcium intake, you need to combine a number of foods such as eggs yolk, salmons, tuna, cheese, ice-cream, leafy vegetables (spinach and collard greens), low-fat milk, soya, sardines (with bones), tofu, yogurt. Calcium content may vary depending with the source, but most packed food will indicate its content. Orange juice is also fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Additionally studies suggest that the ascorbic acid present in fresh orange juice helps your body to effectively absorb calcium. 

Reading Food Labels for Calcium

It is important to read labels for calcium content. To do this, you need to first read the serving size and the number of servings in the package. Serving sizes are standardized for easier comparison with different products. In some labels you will find "calcium added" or "fortified with calcium".  In most foods, they show a percentage or % Daily Value (DV) of the recommended daily calcium intake.  5% DV or less of nutrients should be considered low: whereas if 20% DV or more is high. You can easily calculate calcium by adding up the milligrams or convert % DV for calcium into milligrams from the label.  

The Role of Vitamin D

Vitamin D works along with calcium to back up the growth healthy and strong bones. It promotes the absorption of calcium in your intestines and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations enabling normal mineralization of bones. Additionally, it is required for bone growth and remodeling processes. Shortages of vitamin D account for rickets in children and osteoporosis in the elderly due to loss in bone mass. Vitamin D has other roles in the body. It reduces inflammation, modulates cell growth, and facilitates neuromuscular and immune functions. 

Five Ways to Keep Bones Strong

1. Increase calcium intake: it is essential for proper development of bones and teeth.
2. Remember vitamin D: for your body to effectively absorb calcium, it must be supplied with adequate amount of vitamin D. You can obtain it for free from the sun or shrimps and fortified food.
3. Exercise regularly: this not only helps to keep a number of health issues away, but also promotes healthy bones.
4. Avoid caffeine and smoking: although caffeine has other benefits for your body, your bones are an exemption. Too much caffeine or smoking affects your body's ability to absorb calcium.
5. Drink responsibly: just like with caffeine, you don't have to stop taking beer.  Do it in moderation by not exceeding two standard beers in a day.  

Bottom Line

Since women are more prone to osteoporosis than men, it is their initiative to take up the responsibility by taking all the necessary measures to turn away the ruthless symptoms that come with the disease. This can be best done at early life. However, regardless of your age, it is never too late. You can prevent, or maybe reverse osteoporosis symptoms by ensuring that you consume adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D.  Last but not least, engage in regular exercises for stronger bones, good health and improved quality of life. 

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