Maintaining Bone Health and Preventing Osteoporosis

The skeleton is an active, metabolic part of our bodies that requires continuous care to remain functional. While bones appear rigid on the outside, their interior contains a rich matrix of minerals, collagen and cells which work to regulate growth and development of bone tissue.

The purpose of our skeletons is to support and protect organs and other structures within our bodies, including muscles. For this to occur, they must respond quickly to mechanical loading (weight bearing) changes in this load as well as variations. This requires strong bones that contain sufficient calcium and phosphorus supplies – otherwise fractures could occur; so mechanisms are in place within our skeletons which deposit and withdraw certain elements to balance competing needs.

One key to maintaining bone health is regular weight bearing exercise. Research shows that regular exercise helps lower the risk of hip and spine fractures as well as maintain an appropriate body weight, decreasing risk for osteoporosis.

As part of daily care for bone health, it’s also vital to get enough calcium and vitamin D from food sources like low-fat dairy foods like yogurt and milk, leafy vegetables and fortified juices/cereals/juice drinks/cereal bars/juice drinks etc. Protein can also play a key role – it can be found in foods like eggs, cheese and lean meats; smoking must also be reduced while alcohol intake limited.