An article by Lauren Hobson, Osteopath
As winter approaches and the sunshine is disappearing, not only are our tans fading but our vitamin D levels are diminishing.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to reduced bone mineral density; a condition called Osteoporosis.
Calcium is the key mineral in Osteoporosis treatment and prevention. Vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption.
By ensuring that your diet is rich in calcium and vitamin D, you can help maintain good bone health.
Calcium Sources: fat-free plain yogurt, fat-free or low-fat milk and cheeses, calcium-fortified tofu, soybeans, white beans, collard greens, kale, broccoli, and almonds.
-Your daily supply of calcium cannot be fitted into a multivitamin so you should be taking a separate calcium supplement. (Consult your GP or a Pharmacist)
-HOWEVER, the correct big changes to your diet can help improve bone health
- Count your servings of high calcium foods - consistently more than 3 per day should suffice.
PLEASE NOTE: A full blood test to check your kidney function is advisable before supplementing to avoid calcium or magnesium imbalances. Also, if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, please follow your doctor's instructions. You may need to take extra doses of calcium as well as making dietary changes.
TIP: If the calcium supplements are causing constipation, try taking a supplement that includes magnesium; a natural laxative. Again, consult your GP first.
Vitamin D Sources: Fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines), milk (fat-free, 1% low-fat), soya milk, soy yoghurt, UV-treated mushrooms, egg yolks.
NOTE: Sources are sparse so a supplement may be necessary. The most readily absorbed form of vitamin D is the type we make from the sun!
- Maintain a good weight - no crash diets
-Restrict alcohol to one drink a day for women, 2 drinks for men
- Avoid black coffee in large amounts as caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption, however the effect is minimal
-Exercise - especially resistance exercises like lunges, planks or push ups, dumbbells or homemade weights (cans of soup will do). Using resistance bands.
-Phototherapy in the winter using a UV light (http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/blog/uv-light-in-the-wintertime/)
Are you a female? Have you been through the menopause? Does osteoporosis run in your family? Did your parents suffer from fractured bones? Have you ever fractured a bone? Age, sex and genetics are all factors to consider.
If you have any concerns, consult your GP and request a bone mineral density scan.
For further information, follow the link: http://www.nos.org.uk
M.Ost DO ND