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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis poses a significant concern, particularly as we age. Various factors contribute to its development, including sedentary lifestyles and inadequate nutrition. Additionally, women face a higher risk due to declining oestrogen levels during menopause, which accelerates bone loss, with osteoporotic fractures affecting more than one in three women. 

 

The prevalence of osteoporosis rises from approximately 2% at 50 years old to nearly 50% at 80 years old with white individuals being particularly vulnerable. Hip fractures typically represent the most severe cases of osteoporotic fractures, often leading to a loss of independence. Vertebral fractures, predominantly osteoporotic, frequently go unnoticed, further complicating matters. 

 

Studies on aging and epigenetics suggest that exercising after turning forty remains crucial. Exercise can maintain bone strength and prevent bone cell death, promoting overall health and potentially slowing down the aging process. It's among the best practices for bone care as we age. 

Strength training and weight-bearing aerobic exercises, like fast walking or running, stair climbing, jumping, and Tai Chi, stimulate and strength bones and muscles, especially in fracture-prone areas such as the hips, knees and spine. Resistance workouts, for example using elastic exercise bands, improve power and balance and not only enhance bone strength but also increase stability and muscle mass, reducing the risk of falls. 

 

But do not forget that nutrition is also vital for the increase of bone formation and to maintain overall bone health. For example, adequate dietary intake of calcium, vitamin D, collagen, protein, and other essential minerals and vitamins is key to supporting bone strength and density. 

 

Incorporating these practices and proper nutrition into daily life can effectively mitigate the impact of osteoporosis and enhance overall well-being, particularly as we age. 


References: 

1.Santos L, Elliott-Sale KJ, Sale C. Exercise and bone health across the lifespan. Biogerontology. 2017;18(6):931-946. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10522-017-9732-6 

2.Papadopoulou SK, Papadimitriou K, Voulgaridou G, et al. Exercise and Nutrition Impact on Osteoporosis and Sarcopenia—The Incidence of Osteosarcopenia: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2021;13(12):4499. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124499 

3.Benedetti MG, Furlini G, Zati A, Letizia Mauro G. The Effectiveness of Physical Exercise on Bone Density in Osteoporotic Patients. BioMed Research International. 2018;2018(4840531):1-10. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/4840531 

4.NICE. Osteoporosis - prevention of fragility fractures: How common is it? NICE. Published April 2023. https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/osteoporosis-prevention-of-fragility-fractures/background-information/prevalence/#:~:text=In%20England%20and%20Wales%2C%20around 

5.Harvard Health Publishing. Slowing bone loss with weight-bearing exercise - Harvard Health. Harvard Health. Published 2019. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/slowing-bone-loss-with-weight-bearing-exercise 

6.Liu X, Jiang C, Fan R, et al. The effect and safety of Tai Chi on bone health in postmenopausal women: A meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2022;14. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2022.935326 

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