• Victoria Kain

Bone Health Nutrition Guidelines

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

As part of the ageing process, females 40 and over (later for males) suffer bone loss. In order to combat these effects the intake requirements of calcium and vitamin D needs to be met.

So what exactly is Calcium?

Calcium is essential for bone health as it influences bone mass and ensures the proper functioning of the muscles, nerves and heart. It also prevents blood from clotting and regulates acid-alkali balance.

Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk of loss of bone mineral density especially as it tends to occur in the 5 years following the menopause.

It is therefore recommended that women over the age of 50 should aim for 1,200mg of calcium per day and men up to the age of 70 require 1,000mg per day. After the age of 70 this is thereafter increased furthermore to 1,200mg.

Below is a quick guide as to excellent sources of calcium to assist in increasing your intake:-

Low fat milk products, beans and lentils, dark leafy greens, seeds, cheese, yoghurt, sardines, canned salmon, almonds, whey protein, rhubarb and figs.

And Vitamin D is required because?

Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption and supports bone health resulting in a reduction to the risk of falls in later life. Furthermore, vitamin D is linked to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, cognitive function and autoimmune diseases.

The recommended daily supplement intake for vitamin D for adults up to the age of 70 is 600 international units (IU). Adults over 70 years of age is increased to 800 IU per day however even this is questioned by experts whom recommend higher amounts (1,000 to 2,000 IU per day) for optimal health.

In order to provide you with an example in terms of amounts, a 3.5oz serving of salmon is 360 IU and an 8oz glass of fortified milk contains 50-100 IU.

Below is a further guide as to good sources of vitamin D to assist you in increasing your daily intake to the recommended amounts:-

Salmon, herring and sardines, liver, cod liver oil, canned tuna, oysters, shrimp, egg yolks, mushrooms. Fortified - cows milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereal and oatmeal.

Going back to the dreaded menopause, women who receive Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) post menopause prevent bone loss and reduce the risks of fractures. However, due to unwanted side effects of HRT women may opt for other means of increasing oestrogen levels naturally with fewer side effects.

Food for thought eh!

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