Bone Health

As we get older bone and joint problems become more prevalent. As early as age 40 joints and bones will have sustained some level of damage. In particular ankle, hip and knee joints are under pressure due to being weight bearing. This is also true of the spine. Although damage occurs it is often not noticed until symptoms occus much later in life. By this time the symptoms can be so severe that simple tasks like bending or taking a leisurely stroll become incredibly painful and often impossible to do.

Changes in lifestyle at a young age can have massive benefits in later life. It is possible to build bone mass by making changes such as eating a healthy and varied diet. Foods rich in calcium are of particular benefit for good bone health. Caffeine and alcohol are known to reduce bone density over time so consumption of these should be limited. Partaking in regular exercise is also very beneficial in bone maintenance. Weight bearing exercises are the best type to preserve bone mass and strengthen bones. Exercises such as weight lifting (with instruction if this is something you haven't done before), walking and jogging are all excellent for good bone health.

Finally within the lifestyle section of bone health another risk factor is smoking. Toxins that come from cigarettes remove substances from the body that help to keep bones strong. Smoker's bones are often found to be less dense than non-smokers and they are at greater risk of fractures as a result. It is therefore strongly recommended that you give up smoking for bone health and of course better health in general.

Supplements can be very useful to improve bone health.Bone Health

Calcium is known to be essential for healthy bones and teeth and if also used by the muscles, nerve cells and in blood clotting. It is therefore a very important nutrient for general health and should be taken in a supplement form if it is not possible to get enough in the diet. Calcium can be found in many dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, sardines, green leafy vegetables and also tofu. If there is not sufficient calcium in the diet a supplement is advisable and as always we recommend you buy a quality supplement from a reputable source. Calcium citrate capsules are a good example of this and offer the benefits of a regular calcium suppplement but are also more easily absorbed, particularly when taken on an empty stomach. Another excellent tablet to try is Calcium and Magnesium. In combination these minerals work together and the magnesium optimises the calcium making it even more efficient in maintaining healthy bones.

An important vitamin for bone health is D which is also known as the 'sunshine vitamin'. The best way for the body to synthesize Vitamin D is for the skin to be exposed to sunlight. In the UK it is not always possible to get enough sunlight onto our skin and also the use of high factor sunsceens whilst blocking out harmful rays also can prevent the synthesis of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more common in the UK and a good quality supplement is one way of ensuring we get enough. Vegetarians are at a greater risk of being deficient in Vitamin D and we advise a supplement like Vitamin D3 from just vitamins which is fully vegetarian. An alternative source of Vitamin D is from cod liver oil capsules which also contain Omega 3 fatty acids. Cod liver oil is great for bone health and is also good for brain function and heart and skin health.