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Osteoporosis is very common with one in three women experiencing it in their lifetime. Did you know that your bone density as a woman decreases after the age of 35? Bone loss starts to take over bone buildup, therefore producing less bone mass. The loss of estrogen women experience as they reach menopause has a significant effect on their bone density as well.
During menopause this becomes more significant due to the direct correlation between lack of estrogen after menopause and development of osteoporosis.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones, it causes loss in bone mass and density and leads to sudden fractures and breaks. Osteoporosis causes bones to become porous, meaning there are many larger holes in the bone, making breaks and fractures easier.
A study by Angus, R, M., et al, 1988 found pre- and post-menopausal women had bone mass loss caused by an inadequate intake of dietary iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium along with the loss of estrogen.
What can you do to stop osteoporosis?
- Avoid refined sugars, fatty meats and refined grains
- A study by Al-Anazi, A, F., et al 2011 found that increasing phytoestrogens helped combat osteoporosis, although it was noted that they did not recommend this as extensive use due to side effects. Some of these side effects are endometriomas, fibroids in the uterus and acute nonviral toxic hepatitis
- Increase foods with magnesium such as avocados, nuts, legumes and tofu
- Increase foods higher in iron such as spinach, legumes, shellfish and red meat
- Increase foods high in calcium such as cheese, seeds, yoghurt, sardines, beans and lentils
- Increase foods high in zinc such as red meat, shellfish, legumes and seeds
- Exercise on a regular basis; weight-bearing exercise is recommended, for around 30 minutes 3-4 times a week
- Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D as this is essential for your body to absorb calcium and vitamin K. This is a simple test by your health care provider
- Keep your hormones in check and replacing your estrogens, by diet if possible or you may need to look at HRT the synthetic form of estrogen as a replacement
- Reduce your intake of alcohol and smoking
If you need further guidance on supplementation during pre/post menopause please make an appointment to see one of our friendly nutritionists today.
Al-Anazi, A, F., Qureshi, V, F., Javid, K and Qureshi, S (2011). Preventative effects of phytoestrogens against postmenopausal osteoporosis as compared to the available therapeutic choices: An overview “Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine”. 2,2,154-163
Angus, R, M., Sambrook, P, N., Pocock, N, A and Elsan, J, A (1998). Dietary intake and bone mineral density. “Europe PMC “ 4,3,265-277.