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Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is a complex condition characterized by reduced bone mass and weaker bone structure that increases the occurrence of fractures. Although bone strength, bone mass, and bone quality are mostly genetically determined, factors such as nutrition, environment, and life-style also influence bone.[1]

Nutrition is one important way of developing and maintaining bone mass, as well as of preventing and treating osteoporosis. Calcium and phosphorus account for approximately 80-90% of the minerals in bone. A diet for healthy bones requires protein which forms the collagen structure that holds the minerals together, plus calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, fluoride, vitamins D, A, C, and K. Many of these nutrients are co-dependent and simultaneously interact with genetic and environmental factors.

Exercise is one of the life-style factors that influences bone strength. Weight-bearing exercises have been shown to increase bone density and bone strength. You have to eat right and you cannot be a couch potato if you want to have strong bones.

[1] Jasminka Z. Ilich, PhD, RD and Jane E. Kerstetter, PhD, RD, Nutrition in Bone Health Revisited: A Story Beyond Calcium, University of Connecticut, School of Allied Health, Storrs, Connecticut

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