Many people will suffer with osteoporosis and nutrition can often play a big role in the development and severity of the condition.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is characterised by the weakening of bones. Bones become more fragile and brittle as a result of calcium being lost at a greater rate than it is replaced. This means that “holes” form in the bone and increases the risk of fractures.
Women are at risk after menopause because of their declining oestrogen levels. This means that they lose bone calcium and other minerals at a faster rate.
Are there risk factors?
Things such as:
- Inadequate calcium intake from the diet
- Low levels of vitamin D
- Thin build or low body weight
- Family history
How can diet help?
The bones are like storage for calcium. When you don’t eat enough calcium it is taken from your bones so it can travel to the areas of the body that need it. After all, your body needs calcium for muscle contraction, not just keeping our bones healthy! Therefore it is essential that you get enough calcium from the diet to replenish the bones stores and to supply the blood stream with the amount that it needs.
Where is calcium found?
Dairy is the best source of calcium and where you can choose low fat dairy products. Foods like:
all contribute to our calcium intake.
How much calcium do I need?
How much calcium you need depends on many factors like your age and sex. The table shows what these requirements are each day:
|Age||Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)|
|19-30 yr||1000 mg/day||1000 mg/day|
|31-50 yr||1000 mg/day||1000 mg/day|
|51-70 yr||1000 mg/day||1300mg/day|
|>70 yr||1000 mg/day||1300mg/day|
Calcium and interactions
There are some properties in foods that can interact with the way calcium is absorbed such as some medications, high caffeine consumption, excessive alcohol intake and foods high in phytates and/or oxalates. To help avoid these interactions and make sure you get the most calcium you can from food, don’t consume them at the same time as calcium.
For further information, book an appointment to see our dietitian Rhiannon Welsh at ENT Wellbeing Diet and Nutrition, Sydney – Phone 1300 123 368