You have 206 reasons to care about the health of your bones and every single one of those reasons is a different bone in your body! The skeletal system is what gives our body structure, support, and protects our vital organs.
Often times bone health takes a backseat while we focus on other areas of our health. Most adults don’t even notice their bone health is deteriorating until a doctor tells them it is— or worse, when an accident happens!
The image to the right shows cross sections of spongy bone. The name is misleading, because this section of the bone is solid and hard and is only named this way because of its resemblance to a kitchen sponge. Stage 1 represents normal, healthy spongy bone. Stage 2 represents some normal bone loss that naturally occurs after we reach peak bone mass around 30 years old. As we move through the stages of bone density loss—especially as we reach Stage 3 and 4—the risk of fracture and breakage increases dramatically.
Similar to other major areas of health, preventative care is the best strategy to keeping your bones healthy.
What preventative care is best?
There are several steps that you can take in order to improve and maintain bone density.
- Consume an adequate amount of calcium
- Consume an adequate amount of vitamin D
- Do weight-bearing exercises
- Quit smoking and reduce drinking
- Know your family history
Calcium is a key mineral that keeps your bones dense and healthy. According to the National Institutes of Health, 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in our bones. Most people get the calcium they need through their diet and milk has long been known as a calcium-rich superfood. Dairy is not an option for everyone! For our lactose-intolerant and vegan readers, other great sources of calcium include broccoli, almonds, kale, and soy products like tofu. Some people find it difficult to get an adequate amount through foods alone. In this case, you may want to consider adding a calcium supplement. Consult your doctor to find out what the right amount of calcium for you is.
Vitamin D is essential for your body to absorb calcium. If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D in your diet then it doesn’t matter too much how much calcium you’re getting because your body can’t absorb it! In America, vitamin D deficiencies are common. This means that these people aren’t just deficient in vitamin D but they could also be deficient in calcium since they can’t absorb it! Some sources of vitamin D include oily fish, egg yolks, and sunlight. Consult your doctor to find out if your vitamin D levels are healthy and if you need to take a supplement.
Weight-bearing exercises help to build strong bones and can slow bone density loss. Weight-bearing exercises include walking, running, tennis, and climbing stairs to name a few. These activities don’t have to be intense and you should focus on incrementally increasing the intensity of your exercise. A simple lifestyle change can go a long way in improving your overall health.
If you’re still smoking cigarettes, stop. You are doing your body no favors. In addition to being incredibly taxing on your lungs and heart, smoking is detrimental to your bone health. According to the National Institutes of Health, smokers absorb less calcium from their diets than non-smokers.
As for those who drink alcohol, restrict the amount you consume. Treating yourself to more than one drink a day is damaging to the skeletal system. Those who are heavy drinkers are more prone to bone fracture and bone loss. This is due to both poor dietary nutrition and an increased risk of falling.
Many health conditions can be preempted by knowing your family medical history. Those with family members—especially a parent or sibling—that have struggled with bone density loss are at a higher risk to develop bone loss themselves.
Peak bone health can only be provided by a spectrum of quality ingredients at effective levels. That’s why Univera created 206 Complete™. This innovative formula was designed to support bone density, strength, and flexibility. This supplement contains 100% of the daily requirement of Calcium, vitamins K and D for improved bone density and nutrient absorption, as well as several other minerals that are responsible for a healthy bone matrix.
Maintaining optimal health in any area can be difficult but it’s important to remember your goals and motivations. Modern diets and lifestyles have made bone density concerns all too common. We encourage you to take steps today, such as simple lifestyle changes and appropriate supplementation, to maintain and improve your bone health. If may also be helpful to consult a medical professional to devise a plan to take care of your bones.