Factoid: Osteoporosis can be prevented. Building strong bones, especially before the age of 30, can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis, and a healthy lifestyle can be critically important for keeping bones strong. There are several steps you can take to prevent osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is largely preventable for most people. Prevention of this disease is very important because, while there are treatments for osteoporosis, there is currently no cure. You must start early in life.
Forty five percent of bone growth takes place during adolescence, and bone density and strength will continue to be developed until age 30. Thus, consuming at least the minimum recommended daily intake of calcium in these early years, is just as important as in middle age and after retirement. It is equally important to get your daily-recommended amounts of Vitamin D. Engage in regular weight-bearing exercise. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. Have a bone density test and take medication when appropriate. Natural bio-identical estrogen replacement therapy is highly effective for preventing osteoporosis in women. Natural estrogen reduces bone resorption and retards or halts postmenopausal bone loss. Research has shown a substantial reduction in hip and wrist fractures in women whose estrogen replacement was begun within a few years of menopause. Studies also suggest that estrogen reduces the rate of vertebral fractures. To maintain bone mass, postmenopausal women may need adequate hormone replacement therapy.
Factoid: Children can develop osteoporosis. Idiopathic osteoporosis (childhood osteoporosis) is not nearly as common as adult onset osteoporosis, but it does exist. No matter what causes it, juvenile osteoporosis can be a significant problem because it occurs during the child’s prime bone-building years. From birth through young adulthood, children steadily accumulate bone mass, which peaks sometime before age 30. The greater their peak bone mass, the lower their risk for osteoporosis later in life. After their mid-30s, bone mass typically begins to decline, very slowly at first but increasing in their 50s and 60s. Both heredity and lifestyle choices, especially the amount of calcium in the diet and the level of physical activity influence the development of peak bone mass and the rate at which bone is lost later in life.
Factoid: Following the Rainbow Diet and Exercise Program can prevent osteoporosis: Every time a child drinks soda, they are laying the groundwork for a future bone disease. No, sugary drinks don’t cause osteoporosis, but often become a substitute for a healthy alternative such as a glass of milk, There is no argument, kids are coming up short of the calcium and vitamin D they need to build a strong skeleton. Many of them also lead a sedentary lifestyle, so they aren’t getting the bone-building benefits of vigorous exercise either. True, the foundation is laid early on in life, but adults can reverse osteoporosis by following a healthy diet, taking vitamins that help build bone mass, supplementing with hormones that prevent bone loss and exercising to help build the supporting surrounding tissue such as muscle and ligaments.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.