Support your bones with proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle
The bones move, support and protect various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals, essentially enabling the body to perform and maintain specific duties.
Weakening of the bones results to bone diseases and osteoporosis, affecting the daily routine of an individual, which later leads to injuries and fractures.[pq]Bone strength is dependent on bone density and bone quality, such that bones are most likely to deteriorate as an individual ages, making them more brittle and likely to break.[/pq]
There are modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors of osteoporosis and bone fractures. The non-modifiable risk factors include age, sex, family history, personal history, bone structure and body weight, and menopause.
The modifiable risk factors of osteoporosis, on the other hand, include smoking which is the main cause of lifestyle-related deaths; excessive alcohol intake; sedentary living; inadequate calcium intake; caffeine; and medications like steroids, excessive thyroid hormone, anti-convulsants and antacids.
Smoking has been shown to reduce blood supply to the bones, slow the production of bone-forming cells, and impair the absorption of calcium, while excessive alcoholic beverage consumption has been shown to increase bone loss.
An estimated 8.1 million Filipinos have osteoporosis and many are unaware of the disease until fractures appear.
The good thing is that osteoporosis, as well as other bone-related diseases, are preventable. Prevention starts with taking adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, initiating a lifestyle change by quitting smoking and limiting alcoholic beverage intake, committing to regular load-bearing activities ideally four days a week or more, and taking care not to trip or fall to avoid injuries or fractures.
According to the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes (RENI) developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), female and male adults need 750 milligrams of calcium and 5 micrograms of vitamin D everyday.
Milk and milk products like cheese and yogurt, green leafy vegetables, anchovies, sardinesandtofu are some of the readily-available good sources of calcium in the Filipino diet, while sun exposure from sunrise is the most cost-effective and convenient way of obtaining adequate amounts of vitamin D in the body. For those who have lactose intolerance or are just plain non-milk drinkers, there are a numerous alternatives including calcium-fortified juices and drinks.
The 2012 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) developed by a team of experts led by the FNRI-DOST are primary recommendations to achieve good health and proper nutrition of Filipinos.
The fifth guideline, “Consume milk, milk products and other calcium-rich foods everyday for healthy bones and teeth”, is fitting for reducing the risk of bone-related diseases.
Moreover, the tenth guideline, “Be physically active, make healthy food choices, manages stress, avoid alcoholic beverages and do not smoke to help prevent lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases”, focuses on behavior modifications for a healthy lifestyle.
This guideline aspires to prevent high prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases like osteoporosis.
For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Num: 8372934 and 8373164; email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph.; FNRI Facebook page: facebook.com/FNRI-DOST; FNRI Twitter account: twitter.com/FNRI-DOST
– Jund Rian Doringo