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Osteoporosis: Diet, Nutrition and Bone Health

Introduction

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones in the human body. It comes as a result of an unbalanced relationship between the process of reorganization of the material that makes up the bone structure and the formation of new bone material. The number of cases of osteoporosis is alarming. The most vulnerable groups are women and old people (Cooper, Campion & Melton 1992, pp.285-286). There are however men who fall victims to this disease too (Seeman 1995, p.76). 40% of white women in the United States and Canada who have reached menopause always suffer from osteoporosis-related fractures.

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There is a low percentage for African American women as well as East European women whose bones seem to be stronger. But in a general sense, Caucasians and Asians are at a higher risk of suffering from osteoporosis than Africans and Hispanics. By the year 2050, it is estimated that osteoporosis will increase among people between 50-64 years in Latin America by 400%. During this same period, the people whose age will be 65 years or more will see their osteoporosis cases rise by 700% ones (Cooper, Campion & Melton 1992, pp.285-286).

Other than the racial difference which gets affected by diet and nutrition, gender is also a significant influence as shown by the statistics above. Chances of women getting attacked by osteoporosis are significantly higher than in their male counterparts. The Latin American statistics also point in the direction of age. Old people are more likely to develop osteoporosis than young ones (Cooper, Campion & Melton 1992, pp.285-286). This paper will assess the link between diet, nutrition, and osteoporosis.

Diet and Nutrition about Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis develops as a result of several factors. The top ones are linked to diet and nutrition. The first causative event that is linked to diet is the consumption of foods that are not rich in calcium. Calcium is a very important element in the development of bones within the human body. The absence of this element from the diet means that bones are going to develop in a weak way resulting in Osteoporosis. Still, on diet, the presence of a high percentage of proteins in the diet is not healthy as far as bone development is concerned.

The proteins are incorporated in the development of bones in a chain process that results in weak bones that weaken over time leading to the development of Osteoporosis (Feskanich, Willett, Stampfer & Colditz 1996, pp.472-479). The same is true for soft drinks with phosphoric acid (Tucker, Morita, Qiao, Hannan, Cupples & Kiel 2006, pp.936-442).

Apart from the above, the absence of Vitamin D in the diet is also strongly attached to Osteoporosis development. The reason for this is that Vitamin D is a crucial factor in the health of bones in the human body. Other nutritional factors that have been attached to the development of Osteoporosis include the absence of Vitamin K as well as Vitamin B12. All these nutritional elements are believed to be very vital in bone development and their absence is a sure way to develop weak bones.

Other Nutritional Influences on Osteoporosis Development

The consumption of steroids is s sure way of boosting the chances of developing osteoporosis. The condition that results from a high amount of steroids introduced into the body is hyperthyroidism. This condition influences the speedy but poor development of the bone material resulting in weak bones.

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The Outcome of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious inconvenience in life. It weakens the structure and interferes with the normal schedule of the individual. Frequent falls that happen due to weak bones can lead to fractures that can cost a lot of money to deal with (Keene, Parker & Pryor 1993, pp.1248-1249). People with osteoporosis need extra care meaning that more financial resources will have to be spent in securing extra care for the people with osteoporosis.

The limitation that comes with osteoporosis especially when the victim is young is a big inconvenience given that participation in sports and other activities that are open to people between 20-30 years is a no-go zone for the individual suffering from osteoporosis. Also, the ability to use simple machines that make work easier such as bicycles and motorbikes becomes a problem as medical personnel advise strongly against using these machines if the condition is severe. Note that weak bones can become strong with exercise. This means that at some point using these simple machines may be good as they are likely to give the bones the exercise they need to get stronger.

Nutritional and Dietary remedies to Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can indeed be genetically predisposed whereby families with parents who have the complication are likely to produce a child who has the disease. But diet and general nutrition can make a big difference in reducing the chances of suffering from osteoporosis or dealing with it if it gets into the body bone system. The following are the major dietary and nutritional measures that can help deal with osteoporosis:

Consumption of a sufficient amount of Vitamin D

Vitamin as already mentioned elsewhere in this essay plays a major role in the formation of stronger bones. It is therefore wise to ensure that the nutritional setting of the family includes a sufficient supply of Vitamin D.

Reduction of Proteins

It has already been made clear elsewhere in this essay that a huge quantity of proteins in the diet leads to high chances of developing osteoporosis. The right thing to do in this case to escape from the trap of weak bones is to reduce the number of proteins in the diet.

Consumption of Sufficient Amounts of Calcium

Calcium has been identified as a major player in the bone development process. There is no other better way of ensuring that strong bones are developed other than the inclusion of sufficient amounts of calcium-rich foods in the diet. It is also advisable to avoid steroids and take sufficient amounts of Vitamin K and B 12. Steroids, as already mentioned in this essay trigger osteoporosis while the two types of vitamins are essential for bone development too. The consumption of drinks without phosphoric acid will also lower the chances of suffering from osteoporosis (Tucker, Morita, Qiao, Hannan, Cupples & Kiel 2006, pp.936-442).

Conclusion

Osteoporosis is highly affected by nutrition and diet. It attacks both men and women with more cases witnessed among women and old people of both genders. Sufficient amounts of calcium and Vitamin D, K, B12, and low steroids lead to the development of stronger bones. The absence of these nutritional factors leads to weaker bones. It is, therefore, necessary that in every meal considerations are made to ensure that foods that are rich in these elements are included.

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Also, soft drinks with high concentrations of phosphoric acid should be avoided as this acid increases the chances of suffering from osteoporosis. Prevention is the better thing to do given the huge economic implications that arise from dealing with fully developed osteoporosis. Since the disease is more prevalent in Caucasians, Asians, women, and the aged, it is only sensible that these groups be given extra amounts of foods that contain the elements that are necessary for bone strength.

References

Cooper C, Campion G, Melton LJ, 3rd (1992). Hip Fractures in the Elderly: A World-Wide Projection. Osteoporosis International 2, 285-286.

Feskanich D, Willett W.C, Stampfer M.J & Colditz GA., (1996). “Protein Consumption and Bone Fractures in Women”. American Journal of Epideiology. 143 (5), 472–79.

Keene G.S, Parker M.J, Pryor G.A., (1993). Mortality and Morbidity after Hip Fractures. British Medical Journal 307, 1248-1249.

Seeman, E., (1995). The Dilemma Of Osteoporosis In Men. American Journal of Medicine 98, 76.

Tucker K.L, Morita K, Qiao N, Hannan M.T, Cupples L.A, Kiel DP (2006). “Colas, but not other carbonated beverages, are associated with low bone mineral density in older women: The Framingham Osteoporosis Study”. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 84 (4), 936–942.

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