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Diet or Exercise – Which is More Important to Bone Strength?

Diet or Exercise – Which is More Important to Bone Strength?
October 26
16:42 2018

Did you know that worldwide, there is a bone fracture every 3 seconds due to the damaging effects of osteoporosis?

Worldwide, about 200 million women are affected by osteoporosis. In fact, about 1 in every 3 women worldwide age 50 and over will experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis.

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Men, you’re not out of the woods on this either as 1 in 5 men age 50 and over will experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation:

“Nearly 75% of hip, spine and distal forearm fractures occur among patients 65 years old or over.”

“By 2050, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture in men is projected to increase by 310% and 240% in women, compared to rates in 1990.”

So, what about here in the United States? Turning to the International Osteoporosis Foundation states:

“USA: Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million U.S. women and men aged 50 and older.”

“USA: The 44 million people with either osteoporosis or low bone mass represent 55 percent of the people aged 50 and older in the United States.”

“USA: By the year 2010, it is estimated that more than 52 million women and men in this same age category will be affected and, if current trends continue, the figure will climb to more than 61 million by 2020.”

“USA: In 2002, it is estimated that more than 10 million people already have osteoporosis. Approximately eighty percent of these people are women. This figure will rise to almost 12 million individuals by 2010 and to approximately 14 million by 2020 if additional efforts are not made to stem this disease, which may be largely prevented with lifestyle considerations and treatment when appropriate.”

In the past, we’ve discussed how diet and nutrition will help prevent the onset of osteoporosis and even reverse some of its harmful effects. We’ve also discussed how important resistance exercises are to building and maintaining bone density and strength.

Is one more important than the other in bone strength? Is diet or exercise the greatest key to having healthy bones and avoiding osteoporosis?

A recent report answered this important question:

“Looking at mineral supplementation and exercise in mice, researchers have found that nutrition has a greater impact on bone mass and strength than exercise. In the study, even after the exercise training stopped, the mice retained bone strength gains as long as they ate a mineral-supplemented diet, Xinhua reported. ‘The longer-term mineral-supplemented diet leads to not only increases in bone mass and strength, but the ability to maintain those increases even after detraining,’ said David Kohn, Professor at the University of Michigan in the US.”

“The second important finding is that the diet alone has beneficial effects on bone, even without exercising. ‘The data suggests the long-term consumption of the mineral-supplemented diet could be beneficial in preventing the loss of bone and strength with age, even if you don’t do exercise training,’ Kohn said.”

The dietary key is making sure that you take enough calcium AND phosphorus, whether it be in foods or supplements. Most experts will say that between the two sources, its best to eat foods rich in calcium and phosphorus as it will be more readily assimilated by the body. Not all supplements provide these minerals in a form that is as easily used by the body.

Foods that provide a good source of calcium include: almonds, broccoli, kale, tofu, navy beans, okra, Chinese cabbage, sardines, sesame, common fig, rapini, soybeans, chia seeds, cheese, yogurt, spinach, collard greens, oranges, rhubarb, dried fruits, sweet potatoes, amaranth grain, sunflower seeds, salmon, milk, edamame, whey, black-eyed peas, clams and turnip greens.

Foods that provide a good source of phosphorus include: chicken, turkey, pork, organ meats (brain & liver), seafood (tuna, salmon, trout), milk, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, whole grain, amaranth grain, quinoa, beans, soy, lentils, eggs, cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, tofu, scallops and squash.

It’s also important to remember that it’s never too late to start building bone density and strength. If you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you can regain some of the lost bone density and strength by eating the right foods.

It’s also important to understand that while diet was more important than exercising, combining the two (diet and resistance exercises), your bones will strengthen even faster and reverse some of the effects of osteoporosis.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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