Friday, April 11, 2008

Don't turn your back on calcium continue…

You may even be at greater risk if you consider the other factors that contribute to osteoporosis:

  • The decline in oestrogen. Up to half of women over the age of 45 have some degree of type 1 osteoporosis (bone loss is most profound during the first decade after menopause).
  • Smoking. It suppresses the activity of the osteoblasts (the bone-building cells) and also causes changes in oestrogen metabolism in women, resulting in an earlier menopause.
  • Being thin and/or fine-boned.
  • Excessive use of alcohol. This reduces calcium absorption and damages liver and bone cells.
  • Avery high intake of protein increases the amount of calcium lost by the body. Veganism. Avoiding all animal products means avoiding some of the richest sources of calcium.
  • Lack of exercise. Physical inactivity or prolonged bed rest are associated with the loss of bone density. Astronauts experience noticeable bone loss when in space, due to the effects of weightlessness.
  • Excessive, long-term use of salt, in addition to being bad for your health in general, leads to increased calcium loss from your bones.
  • Pregnancy and lactation. If there is insufficient calcium in your diet while you are pregnant or breasffeeding, calcium will be drawn from your bones and teeth to provide for the growth of the baby.
  • Little or no exposure to the sun. Housebound people, elderly folk and office workers often don't enjoy enough sunlight to assist their skins in the manufacture of vitamin D, which is needed for the absorption of calcium from the gastro-intestinal tract.
  • Unbalanced diets. Not only quick-fix slimming diets are low in nutrients. Our average, modern-day diets often lead to an insufficient intake of nutrients. Although you might be taking in sufficient calcium-rich foods (like cheese!), you might be taking in too little of the other bone-fortifying nutrients such as vitamin D, magnesium (soy, dried beans, nuts), zinc (chicken heart and liver, beef liver, lamb), copper, manganese and boron, found in a large variety of other foods.
  • Genetic inheritance accounts for 80% of the variance in peak bone mass. Blacks have a higher bone mass than whites and Asians, and men have a higher bone density than women. A strong family history is a risk factor for osteoporosis - daughters of women with osteoporosis have been shown to have lower-than-expected bone density.
  • Certain health conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Cushing's syndrome, amenorrhoea resulting from anorexia nervosa and/or excessive exercise, gastrectomy, immobilising diseases, male hypogonadism (low testosterone levels), chronic liver disease or malabsorption.
  • Consumption of large amounts of black coffee over a long period of time.
  • Hyperthyroidism and over-treatment with thyroxin.
  • The prolonged use of drugs such as corticosteroids (cortisone).

What is the role of calcium in theJody?

Everyone knows that calcium is required for healthy bones and teeth, but most people believe that calcium is only important in childhood. Wrong! There is a need for calcium throughout one's life in order to build and maintain calcium levels in bone.

Diet Start

Calcium acts as a metabolic regulator. Changes in the level of calcium within the cell result in the switching on and off of the processes of muscle contraction and nerve excitation.

Calcium is also involved as a co-factor in many enzyme processes. It is needed in cell division, the immune system and is also required in order for blood to clot.

More recently there has been some evidence to suggest that calcium has a positive role to play in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Clearly, calcium is an essential nutrient and a major role player in our general wellbeing; good health being an essential prerequisite for shedding weight successfully and permanently.

Dietary sources of calcium

The major foods in the diet that contain calcium, include milk, cheese, yoghurt, white bread, white flour, and green vegetables. The absorption of calcium by the body is dependent on many factors, including the form of calcium in the food. The best sources of available calcium are dairy foods. Green vegetables and whole grain cereals contain phytates that bind calcium and prevent absorption.

A balanced diet is important for the provision of calcium and other bone fortifying nutrients throughout your life.

... andjoyohoxing