Around one in three women over the age of 50 and one in five men will experience an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime, and currently, around 200 million people are battling osteoporosis. Far from being a matter that should begin to worry people in their old age, however, building and maintaining good bone health begins early.
A 2018 study has shown, for instance, that weight gain during pregnancy in women of normal weight results in slightly increased bone mass at seven years of age in children, compared to overweight mothers, whose weight gain during pregnancy has no beneficial effect on bone mass. It is vital to take proactive steps to maintain your bone health in childhood and adulthood, as well as in your senior years. Healthy bones can help keep seniors active and also reduce their chances of falls, fractures and mortality.
Identifying And Treating Osteoporosis Early
If you have a high risk for osteoporosis, then testing for bone density is important. Risk factors include taking glucocorticoids for inflammatory conditions and having specific health conditions (for instance, arthritis). A DEXA scan can reveal whether or not you need treatments, some of the most common of which include bisphosphonates, ranelate, and strontium.
Scientists are also looking into anabolic therapies like SARMs for osteoporosis. These therapies are new, but have been found to effectively restore a bone’s damaged microarchitecture to a notable degree. Lab tests carried out so far have shown that biphosphonates combined with SARMs have a positive effect on bone growth. Researchers are therefore working on adapting this combination for human use.
Fostering Good Bone Health In Children
Children can build and maintain bone levels by staying active. Researchers at the University of South Australia have found that a moderate approach is key. The ‘ideal balance’ over a 24-hour period, they say, involves 1.5 hours of moderate-to-vigorous physical exercise, 3.4 hours of light physical activity, 8.2 hours of leisure time, and 10.9 hours of sleep. The researchers concluded, “Children’s activities throughout the whole 24-hour day are important for their bone health, but until now, we haven’t known the perfect combination of exercise, sleep and sedentary time.”
Boosting Bone Health In Adults
Adults, too, can do plenty to maintain optimal bone health. First comes diet: a Mediterranean-style diet that is rich in lean protein sources, calcium, and leafy green vegetables, can help ensure adults have the nutritional fuel they need to maintain bone levels. Staying active is also key.
In addition to meeting recommended aerobic exercise goals, adults should also take part in bone-building exercises – including weights, running, jumping rope, running, and high-impact aerobic activities. Women taking contraceptives should avoid certain medications (such as Depo-Provera), which can have a negative effect on bone mass.
Bone health literally begins in the womb, with a mother’s health having an impact on her baby’s future bone health. However, there are many steps that both children and adults can take to ensure their bones remain strong throughout their lifetime. These include consuming a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and undergoing bone density testing if they have a higher risk of osteoporosis.