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Senior Men and Women over 50 more Prone to Osteoporosis

 

Senior Men and Women Over 50 are More Prone to Osteoporosis

By Jerry Hickey, R.Ph. Follow on Google+

Bone density, the strength and thickness of bone, tends to depreciate with age, especially in those over 50. The International Osteoporosis Foundation reports that almost 44 million older US women and men – 55% of those aged 50 or more – are affected by Osteoporosis, the fragile bone disease, putting them at a major risk of bone fracture. This is the majority of the senior population! Nutritional associations with increased risk of Osteoporosis include smoking, lack of weight-bearing exercise such as walking, lack of Calcium and Vitamin D, and lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet.

Exercise enthusiasts are at risk for Osteoporosis also.

Previous research has shown that intense physical exercise over the course of a year decreases bone mineral density in cyclists. During intense exercise, the level of calcium in your blood drops for a number of reasons. As the level of calcium drops in the blood, the parathyroid gland (the regulator of the level of calcium in the blood) releases more of its hormone to release calcium from your bones. This helps to maintain adequate levels of calcium in the blood, but it also causes loss of calcium and other important minerals from the bones.

What is the most effective time for athletes to take calcium supplements?

Interesting new data from the University of Colorado shows that if male athletes are supplemented with 1,000mg of calcium and 1000 units of vitamin D thirty minutes before a timed 35 kilometer cycling exercise, there was less of a drop in calcium levels in the blood. As a result, parathyroid hormone levels that would leach calcium out of the bone were also lower. Therefore, it is possible that taking calcium before exercise will protect the bone health of athletes.

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