20 minutes of sunlight and a glass of milk can keep osteoporosis at bay

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Osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiencies are the two new epidemics of the society.

Drinking less milk, avoiding sunlight exposure and omitting the traditional aerobic indoor games are few reasons for these new
epidemics. Most young professionals now remain confined to their offices or workplace, with practically no exposure to sunlight. This is especially true for the medical residents.

Here are a few tips for preventing osteoporosis and strengthening the bones.
1. One should stop smoking as it increases bone loss.
2. Eat a calcium-rich diet: The aim should be to get 1,500 mg of calcium a day in postmenopausal woman or a man over age 65. Good dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, tofu and other soy products, orange juice fortified with calcium, canned salmon with the bones, and cooked spinach. The alternative is to take calcium supplements.
3. Get enough vitamin D: Vitamin D levels are influenced by how much sunlight one gets. Levels tend to decrease in older adults, especially in winter and in people who are unable to leave their home. One should consider taking a supplement to make sure one gets the recommended daily amount.
4. Get exposure to sunlight of at least 20 minutes per day. The exposure should be for duration of 20 minutes every day for a month in a year.
5. Get enough protein in diet: An adequate intake of protein in diet, combined with an adequate intake of calcium helps increase bone density. One should aim for about 12% of calories to come from proteins such as legumes, poultry, seafood, meat, dairy products, nuts and seeds. However, too much protein with too little calcium can be harmful.
6. Weight-bearing exercise: Activities such as walking, jogging and climbing stairs with your feet and legs supporting your weight. They work directly on the bones of the legs, hips and lower spine to slow mineral loss.
7. Weightlifting exercises: These exercises, also called resistance training or strength training. They strengthen muscles and bones in the arms, chest and upper spine. They can work directly on the bones to slow loss of minerals.
8. Get adequate vitamin K: This vitamin may be helpful in enhancing bone strength. Green leafy vegetables are the best sources of vitamin K. If one is taking a blood thinner, he or she should check with the doctor.
9. Avoid excessive alcohol: Women should limit alcohol consumption to less than one ounce a day and men should limit it to less than two ounces.
10. Limit cola drinks: People who have high cola intake often have lower bone density.