Did you know that 1 in 3 post-menopausal women have Osteoporosis?
What is it? Osteoporosis means you have a reduction in bone mass and a deterioration of bone structure leading to an increased risk of fragility fractures.
Bones grow throughout your lifetime from before you are born into your late 20’s where you achieve your peak bone mass. Your bones progressively increase in size, strength and density up until this point. From here they stay relatively the same until menopause when a rapid reduction in hormones leads to accelerated bone loss. We lose 2-3 % of bone mass during the first few years and 0.5-1% every year after (Rizzoli et al., 2014).
So what can you do?
- Eat adequate calcium
- Eat adequate protein
- Get Vitamin D
- Perform Weight bearing exercise (check out our previous article here)
- Reduce your alcohol intake
- Stop smoking
Calcium is essential for bone rigidity, and can reduce your risk of fractures during menopause. If using calcium supplements however it has been noted that additional vitamin D supplementation may be required. Your calcium balance throughout your body is regulated by vitamin D. If we are low in Vitamin D this decreases calcium absorption by the intestine ultimately leading to increased calcium resorption from your bones – we don’t want this.
50% of our bone volume is made up of protein, this equates to one third of it’s mass. Protein provides the structure of your bones, and stimulates our growth hormone for bone creation, it also increases calcium absorption in the gut – this is what we want (Rizzoli et al., 2014).
If you aim to eat more protein, you have the ability to grow more muscle mass and strength for weight management and you will have higher bone mineral density with a slower rate of bone loss. This reduces risk of fractures. Are you performing all of these healthy habits to prevent Osteoporosis?
Rizzoli, R., Bischoff-Ferrari, H., Dawson-Hughes, B. and Weaver, C. (2014). Nutrition and Bone Health in Women after the Menopause. Women’s Health, 10(6), pp.599–608.