Dietary calcium, supplements better than prescription bone-building medsMay 3rd, 2011 - 6:05 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, May 3 (ANI): A study has found that increasing dietary calcium and vitamin D or taking calcium and vitamin D supplements is better than taking prescription bone-building medicines.
Karen Chapman-Novakofski, a U of I professor of nutrition and co-author of the study said that for many people, prescription bone-building medicines should be a last resort.
The study reported that adults who increase their intake of calcium and vitamin D usually increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk for hip fracture significantly.
These results were often accomplished through supplements, but food is also a good source of these nutrients.
The scientist said that prescription bone-building medications are expensive, and many have side effects, including ironically an increase in hip fractures and jaw necrosis.
“Bisphosphonates, for instance, disrupt normal bone remodelling by shutting down the osteoclasts-the cells that break down old bone to make new bone,” she explained.
“When that happens, new bone is built on top of old bone. Yes, your bone density is higher, but the bone’s not always structurally sound.
“Although the test reports that you’re fine or doing better, you may still be at risk for a fracture,” she said.
Lead author Karen Plawecki, director of the U of I’s dietetics program said, a woman in midlife can get enough calcium in her diet without gaining weight.
“Menopausal women should consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day. Three glasses of 1 percent to skim milk will get you up to 900 milligrams. The rest can easily be obtained through calcium-rich and calcium-fortified foods,” Plawecki said.
According to Plawecki, the number of foods fortified with calcium and vitamin D is increasing exponentially. Examples are cheese, soy milk, orange juice, yoghurt, crackers, cereal, bread, breakfast bars, and even pancakes.
She recommends a “portfolio diet” that contains a number of nutrients, not just extra calcium and vitamin D.
For bone health, the researchers also encourage consuming adequate protein, less sodium, and more magnesium and potassium.
“That can be done by following a diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables, has adequate calcium and protein, and is light on salt,” she said.
Chapman-Novakofski noted that the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends more physical activity. She suggests a combination of aerobic, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises with a focus on improving your core muscles so you can catch yourself if you start to fall.
The paper has been published in a recent issue of Nutrients. (ANI)
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