The majority of the common diseases of bones like osteoporosis and osteomalacia (impaired mineralization due to calcium and vitamin D deficiency) can be prevented by proper nutrition intake.
Nutrition and Bone
Calcium, vitamin D, and phosphate have a prominent role in defining bone structures and functions
Calcium Intake and bone health
Calcium is necessary for bone health and the recommended dietary intakes (RDA) vary throughout life. For individuals aged 19-50 years the RDA is 1,000 mg and for individuals, over 51 years of age, it is 1,200 mg. Optimum intakes of calcium help prevent bone-related diseases like osteopenia and osteoporosis.
High calcium bioavailability can be acquired from foods such as soybeans, kale, broccoli and bread whereas spinach and few other oxalate-rich foods are low in calcium bioavailability. Dairy sources such as cheese, milk and yoghurt and non-dairy sources such as almonds, tofu, green leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified milk and juices are excellent food choices.
Vitamin D Intake and bone health
The body requires adequate amounts of vitamin D for the calcium to be absorbed into the vascular system. The RDA recommends around 600 international units (IUs) a day for the age group of 19-70 years and 800 IUs a day for people aged above 71 years of age. Sunlight exposure, though critical for vitamin D synthesis, remains an insufficient source of vitamin D. Oily fishes such as tuna and sardines, egg yolks and fortified milk are excellent sources of vitamin D.
Role of Phosphate in bone health
A reduced concentration of phosphate in the blood serum is a disorder known as hypophosphatemia. Phosphorus deficiency causes bone diseases such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Phosphorus is found in elevated amounts in protein rich foods such as milk, meat and alternatives, such as beans, lentils, and nuts. Grains, especially whole grains provide phosphorus. Phosphorus is found in smaller amounts in vegetables and fruit.
Role of proteins in bone health
A high-protein diet is beneficial to the bone, particularly when calcium and vitamin D intake is limited. Dietary sources of protein include seafood, milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, beans, and soy products. In addition to calcium and an adequate supply of vitamin D, dietary proteins represent key nutrient components for bone health preventing osteoporosis.
Vitamin K Intake
Vitamin K is imperative for bone health. It helps retard bone loss in postmenopausal women. Sources of vitamin K include green leafy vegetables, fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals.
Cigarette smoking was primarily recognized as an attributable factor for osteoporosis decades ago. Studies have shown a direct relationship between tobacco use and decreased bone density. Women who tend to smoke have an earlier menopause than nonsmokers. In addition, studies on the effects of smoking suggest that smoking increases the risk of having frequent bone fractures.
Research has shown that chronic and heavy alcohol consumption can contribute to the decreased bone formation, increase fractures and cause a delay in the bone healing. Alcohol can suppress the synthesis of an ossifiable matrix interfering with fracture healing. Osteoporosis has been the main metabolic disease as observed in alcoholic patients