Two nutrients that are particularly important in bone health are calcium and vitamin D. As you are aware, good sources of calcium are dairy products, green leafy vegetables, sardines, nuts (almonds) and calcium fortified foods such as, orange juice, cereal, bread and tofu products. It is recommended that you consume 800-1200mg of calcium per day, of course, this depends on your age and health. Good sources of vitamin D are dairy products made from milk; also, salmon, tuna fish, eggs, liver, sunlight and vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium (this is why milk is fortified with vitamin D). The recommended daily dosage of vitamin D is based on age; for those 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; for those 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; and for pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily. It has also been noted that for “fall prevention, more than 200-1,200 IU of vitamin D has been taken by mouth daily. For fracture prevention, 400-1,100 IU of vitamin D has been taken by mouth daily, 100,000 IU of vitamin D2 has been taken by mouth every four months for 36 months, or 10 micrograms of vitamin D3 has been taken by mouth daily for 24 months. For fracture prevention, 300,000 IU of vitamin D2 every 12 months has been used intramuscular for 36 months”.
Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis where the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints is noted. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. “Osteoarthritis commonly affects the hands, feet, spine, and large weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. Osteoarthritis usually has no known cause and is referred to as primary osteoarthritis” which occurs more frequently in women after the age 55. “Investigators at the National Institutes of Health have found that taking glucosamine did not significantly improve symptoms of osteoarthritis compared to placebo. Studies are underway to look at whether some glucosamine formulations may have advantages over others.”
“Research scientists have found that doxycycline, a tetracycline drug, has been shown to slow the progression of cartilage degeneration in the knees of patients with osteoarthritis. This effect seems to be a result of the drug’s affect on enzymes that destroy cartilage rather than on their properties as antibiotics. More studies are needed to determine the significance of this early but interesting work.” For further information go to http://www.niams.nih.gov , search osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis prevention may be impossible but there are life style factors such as, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, diet to include foods that reduce swelling and inflammation and rest.
Bone Health is particularly important as we age; that being said, you should take the time today to do your research and start a prevention program as necessary since osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are diseases which we should pay attention to.