‘You need to bank calcium in the body to draw upon as you grow older’ look upon calcium as a reliable fund to ensure bone strength because weak bones are more likely to fracture. Also a sedentary lifestyle encourages the loss of bone mass but regular exercise can reduce the rate of bone loss.
World Osteoporosis Day started with a campaign launched by the United Kingdom's National Osteoporosis Society and supported by The European Commission on October 20, 1996. Since 1997, the day has been organised by the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis facts include:
- Worldwide there is an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds
- Worldwide 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures
- Smoking can lead to lower bone density and higher risk of fracture
- Low body weight is associated with greater bone loss and increased risk of fracture
- Physical activity reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fracture and fall-related injuries
Calcium (is stored in the bones) and is an essential building block for bone strength. Bones reach peak density by the time a person reaches the age of 30 - from then on it is important to get an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D. Sufficient intake of calcium, vitamin D and regular exercise are all important factors to help prevent the development of osteoporosis - vitamin D improves the body's ability to absorb calcium and is therefore crucial. Also a lack of vitamin D will lead to a weakened immune system.
Fractures and broken bones require prompt care often in hospital and for the older person living alone the help of a carer.
Foods rich in calcium include milk, cheese and yoghurt; vitamin D - fish, liver and egg yolk. Adults need 700mg of calcium a day - just one small tin of sardines provides 450 mg, and 1 x cup calcium-fortified breakfast cereal with 200 ml calcium-fortified milk = 600 mg+. Osteoporosis is often referred to as the silent disease because people do not know they have it until they break a bone - do you have sufficient calcium and vitamin D in your daily diet?