How to keep your bones strong and prevent falls

Following on from my recent article “Why are more people getting Alzheimer’s disease?”.

In that article I discussed how so many people are having falls on the same level due to slipping, tripping or stumbling – which are the most common cause of hospitalised injury. According to studies, about one third of fall injury cases resulted in injuries to the hip and thigh and the majority of these were hip fractures. After a hip fracture, surgery with anaesthetics is usually required.

But there is a condition called Post Operative Cognitive Dysfunction or POCD, which is “memory loss after anaesthesia” and is a common adverse event after surgery. Many studies have been conducted on this type of memory loss and they show that the age group from 60 years of age and upwards may be affected.

It is very important for your future health that your bones are as strong as they possibly can be, so that if you do have a fall, your chances of having a hip fracture should be much less.

You may have been taking calcium supplement or Calcium + Vitamin D3, thinking that either of these two supplements would be helping to keep your bones strong, but there is another vitamin that is missing and is absolutely essential for your bone health called Vitamin K2.

Ad. Article continues below.

Without Vitamin K2, the body cannot transport the calcium to where it is needed. The calcium will then reside in the soft tissues like the arteries, which can lead to a combination of osteoporosis and/or atherosclerosis.

Vitamin K2 is a little known vitamin that is involved in bone formation and repair. It has also been shown to inhibit calcium deposits in blood vessels. So Vitamin K2 is extremely important for bone health and as well as heart health.

Calcium + Vitamin D3 + Vitamin K2 – These three vitamins and minerals are essential for your bone health. Vitamin D3 needs Vitamin K2 and vice versa – they need each other to work properly.

CALCIUM

One of the best ways to obtain your calcium is from dietary sources. There are many foods that contain calcium, but these particular foods contain the highest amounts of calcium:

Ad. Article continues below.

Milk, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, yoghurt (plain), egg yolk, figs, olives, carob, parsley, soya beans, chickpeas, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, chocolate, molasses, tofu, scallops, kelp, broccoli, watercress, kale, onions, and brewer’s yeast.

There are many different types of calcium supplements and it is important to have a good quality supplement. If you are taking calcium, have a look at the label to see what type of calcium it contains.

If it contains calcium carbonate, this is the poorest form of calcium and it is essentially chalk. Calcium carbonate is usually very hard for your digestive system to break down and it gets deposited in all the wrong places. So this type would be best to avoid as it will not be helping your bones at all.

An excellent type of calcium for your bones would be calcium phosphate eg. Reparen, which is in a capsule form and easily digested.

VITAMIN D3  

Ad. Article continues below.

The best way to get enough of Vitamin D3 is by exposing your skin to natural sunlight. All you need is just 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight per day and it can make a huge improvement in your health. As a result of being advised to stay out of the sun, there are now many people with a Vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to osteoporosis, among other health conditions.

The best dietary sources of Vitamin D3 are: Cod liver oil, herring, oysters, mackerel, lard (pork fat), salmon, sardines, liver (beef), eggs (including yolk), and butter.

There are two different types of Vitamin D:-

Vitamin D2 – the synthetic form of Vitamin D and is not suitable as a supplement.

Vitamin D3 – the natural form that occurs in the human body and is nine times more effective than vitamin D2.

Ad. Article continues below.

VITAMIN K

There are two different types of Vitamin K – Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2

Vitamin K1 is the primary form of Vitamin K and is responsible for blood clotting. Food sources of Vitamin K1 are leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and cabbage.

Please note there is a CAUTION with Vitamin K1 and K2 if you are taking blood thinners, or anti-coagulants such as Warfarin. If you are taking Warfarin for example, it is a good idea to see your doctor to discuss how this can be managed.

Vitamin K2 is essential for bone strength, health of arteries and blood vessels and is also involved in tissue renewal and cell growth.

Ad. Article continues below.

Food sources of Vitamin K2 are only found in raw dairy products such as raw butter, Gouda, Brie and Edam cheese, Kefir, Natto and fermented foods such as Sauerkraut. Most people are deficient in Vitamin K2 and will need to take a Vitamin K2 supplement.

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is another mineral that is essential for strong bones and 64% of the body’s magnesium is concentrated in the bones. Magnesium helps to prevent fractures due to its ability to increase bone mineral density.

EXERCISE

Doing exercise every day is very important in keeping healthy bone mass. The bones are a living tissue which needs regular physical activity in order to renew and rebuild itself.

Ad. Article continues below.

Weight bearing exercise is one of the most effective things you can do to protect against osteoporosis and has outstanding benefits for your skeletal system. Strength training exercises help to stimulate the osteoblasts to produce new bone. Bones are quite porous and soft, and as you age, your bones may easily become less dense and more brittle, especially if you are not active.

I do hope you find this information useful. It is important to know and implement so that in the future, if you do have a fall, you can get yourself back up, brush yourself down and get back into life, instead of having a hip fracture, then surgery and possibly having Post Operative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD).

 

Tell us, have you ever had a fall? What do you do to increase your calcium intake?