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Aging Gracefully: Bone Density and Health
by Alan Joel

High bone density is essential to keeping your bones and skeletal system in optimal health which is so important in aging gracefully. You may think this means simply getting enough calcium and vitamin D to help absorb that calcium and if that works for you then that's great. But many people can't get enough vitamin D from foods they eat or from the sun due to either food sensitivities or allergies, obesity issues, mobility issues, types of clothing they choose or are required to wear, amount of pigment melanin in their skin, or an intestinal condition that doesn't allow them to absorb the fat soluble vitamin D. All of these conditions can interfere with either being able to get enough vitamin D from foods or from the sun or interfere with how the body absorbs vitamin D. Even if you get enough calcium, if you don't have the right amounts of vitamin D, the body can't absorb the calcium. As we age, skin is not as able to synthesize vitamin D and we tend to spend less time outside in the sunshine. This is a real problem as shown by a reported 40 million adults in the U.S. either already having osteoporosis or being at high risk of developing it. This disease manifests with low bone mass and deteriorating bone causing bones to be more fragile and more likely to break or fracture, especially in the hip, spine and wrist. For people over 50 years of age, around 1.5 million of them have fractures each year associated with this. Lack of vitamin D can also be responsible for rickets and osteomalacia.

Vitamin Supplements

According to The Endocrine Society's 2011 guidelines, adults need between 1500 and 2000 IU daily of vitamin D and children and teens need 1000 IU daily. Many believe the solution to the problem of not getting enough vitamin D and calcium is simply to run to the drug store and stock up on calcium and vitamin D supplements. But on the other hand you don't want to get too much vitamin D as there are problems associated with vitamin D toxicity. Symptoms of toxicity include anorexia, excessive or abnormal urination, weight loss, heart arrhythmia, and in severe cases vascular and tissue calcification which can damage the heart or kidneys. Studies indicate that toxicity is mostly seen from taking too much of a vitamin D or calcium supplement. One study reported postmenopausal women taking calcium and vitamin D supplements were 17% more likely to develop kidney stones. Most studies associate problems with vitamin D toxicity seen when between 10,000 and 40,000 IU is taken daily. There are also prescription medications that do not mix well with vitamin D supplements so be sure to check with your health care provider if you are considering this alternative. Before making a final decision on taking a vitamin D or calcium supplement, take a look at some of the other alternatives we've found experts recommend that can help with bone density and bone health.

Stay Active and Exercise

Staying active physically and doing weight bearing type exercises is probably one of the best things you can do for your bones. In fact many experts believe getting regular exercise is as important as calcium for your bones. If you are mobile enough to be able to stand and do weight bearing it will pay off in reducing bone loss. This can include aerobic or resistance training types of exercises, but resistance training appears to give the added benefits of improving strength, balance and more muscle mass. All of this serves to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and reduce the chance of falls that can cause fragile bones to fracture.

Nutrition to Increase Bone Density

Eating foods with highly absorbable calcium is definitely important for bones, but according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, boron, silicone, manganese, copper, iodine, magnesium, chromium, zinc and selenium are also good for improving bone density. Research studies show that eating lots of fruits and vegetables boosts bone minerals for any age. For teens and women over 60, fruit has been found especially advantageous for the bone mineral content of the spine. Although research is ongoing in how fruits and vegetables contribute to bone health, there are theories being explored that contribute it to the alkalizing effect of these foods, the effects of vitamin K, and phytoestorgens.

Omega-3 fatty acids can also help in building bone and there are studies that indicate the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is important in maintaining bone density. Many of us get too much omega-6 from fried and fast foods and not enough omega-3 from healthy fats such as fish, avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil. An easy way to get the exact ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 that the human body needs is with AFA bluegreen algae. Wholefood supplements such as these can help fill nutritional gaps with the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients we aren't getting from foods we eat. Seaweeds and a variety of other algaes such as dulse, kelp and Dunaliella salina are rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants. Dulse in particular provides vitamins B6, B12, and A, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese and kelp contains vitamins C and E along with a rich array of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, boron and trace elements that are necessary for strong bones and muscle function. A great way to get the superfood nutrition of dulse, kelp, fucoidan, Ecklonia cava, bladderwrack, Dunaliella salina, spirulina, chlorella and wild AFA bluegreen algae is with this seaweed and algae supplement. It is also certified organic, Halal, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and GMO free.

When it comes to aging gracefully, your own adult stem cells can help you out as they have the remarkable ability to repair and regenerate your body. This stem cell support supplement has been shown in vitro laboratory studies to increase the growth of adult stem cells that support the body's natural renewal system with nutrition that enables stem cells to flourish, and that protects existing stem cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. Plant-based enzymes are another consideration when it comes to aging gracefully as they continue to go through extensive research that reports findings beneficial to health and wellness including the support of the joint and skeletal system, fighting off cellular oxidation and supporting overworked tissues. This plant-based proteolytic enzyme supplement provides you with the nutrition of bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, serratiopeptidase, and wild bluegreen algae.

Don't wait until you're down and out before starting to take your bone health seriously. Your bones are too important in helping you stay active and having a good quality of life as you get older to neglect. Consider some of these tips and check with your healthcare provider to see what you can do to maintain your bone density and keep strong bones working for you throughout your life.

Sources:
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/#h6

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9927006

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2006/06/22/vegetables-much-better-than-drugs-at-building-bone-density.aspx

 

 

 

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