Strong Bones: Osteoporosis and Nutrition


Strong Bones: Osteoporosis and Nutrition: Osteoporosis is a generalized skeletal disease characterized by low bone strength which generates a bone fragility and predisposes to an increased risk of fractures. The most typical osteoporotic fractures are the femur, vertebrae, humerus and radius in the forearm but no other location is exempt.

As explained Infosalus Dr. Jaume Serra, author of “Strengthen your bones and joints‘ (RBA, 2014) and Masters in Human Nutrition from the University of Barcelona,​​” it is a silent and painless disease are possible fractures which cause clinical symptoms. low bone mass and structural alteration apart from other skeletal diseases. “

Serra points to consider two basic types of osteoporosis, associated with the decrease in estrogen that occurs in women after menopause and is an accelerated loss of bone mass, and that related to the aging process that appears more aged advanced with slower bone loss that affects both men and women.

Bone mass is generated during youth and reaches its peak between 20 to 30 years. This implies that this period of life is crucial for bone health throughout life. “The higher the quality of the generated reduced risk of bone fragility in later stages. Osteoporosis can be considered a pediatric disease determinism but geriatric clinical manifestations. Because True prevention is exercised, during childhood and youth,” said .

Serra also explains that osteoporosis is not just a disease of older adults and may appear as young, as in the cases of anorexia nervous, where food restriction results in significant damage to the bone structure.

In males, unlike postmenopausal women, hormonal changes such as decreased testosterone, follow a slower course and speed is less demine-ralization but overlapping with certain risk factors can accelerate the process.


The ratio of nutrients with a significant impact on osteoporosis are not confined solely to calcium and vitamin D. “However, a decisive factor is that the daily diet covers energy and nutrient requirements. A diet low in calories creates an environment metabolic risk for bone health, “Serra said. As for bone health, nutrients involved are calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, fluoride, magnesium, zinc, copper, proteins, vitamins A, C and K.

To understand the role of these nutrients in osteoporosis, Serra notes that one must know at least briefly some aspects in relation to bone composition:

* Bone consists of an organic matrix consists primarily of collagen and an inorganic binder in which calcium and phosphorus are concentrated as crystals of hydroxyapatite.

* The bone is a living tissue that is constantly renewed with a balance between formation by bone-forming cells called osteoblasts, and resorption, conducting cells called osteoclasts, which results in a coordinated manner to a constant remodeling process. When this balance is upset is when the process that can lead to osteoporosis begins.

* Proteins are very important because in addition to its structural role in the composition of the collagen matrix, are involved in processes regulating the deposition of minerals in the array. However, excessive protein intakes when matched with a low intake of calcium and vitamin D deficit situation, carry a risk of decreased bone mass.


Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients for life for bone health for both formative stages as maintenance. However, there are many nutrients and food components that affect the skeletal structure.

Numerous mentions are due to calcium is the most abundant mineral skeleton. In this structure is 99% of body calcium. But keep in mind that also contains 80% of the total phosphorus integrated into hydroxyapatite crystals.

“The skeleton is thus the largest organic calcium reservoir so that, if the income deficit of this mineral, the body mobilizes bone calcium even at the cost of damaging the bone structure,” said Serra. A vital level, humans can afford weak bones but not a low concentration of calcium in the blood.

The other main character is vitamin D which acts to facilitate gastrointestinal absorption of calcium level. Its presence in the body depends on the intake of foods containing it and subcutaneous synthesis stimulated by ultraviolet rays.

Apart from fatty or oily fish, very few foods with significant amounts of vitamin D unless they are fortified or supplemented, hence sunlight are quantitatively much more important than dietary allowances. UV-B type convert a precursor of vitamin D in a provitamin D that rapidly becomes active vitamin D after respective changes in the liver and kidney.

Physical activity has generally a positive effect on the mineral content and bone microarchitecture. It is very important that growing seasons are times of habitual physical activity is taking place since the formation of our bone mass.

“In adults, physical activity contributes decisively to maintain the bone mass achieved during youth,” says the specialist. “In postmenopausal women and the elderly, physical activity helps alleviate bone loss and to strengthen muscle mass, decreases the risk of falls and possible fractures of both a weakened bone,” he concludes.


“As important how to maintain a balanced diet in variety and energy, is to follow a healthy lifestyle that includes the maximum number of factors for proper bone mineralization,” said Serra. This basically means that regular physical activity, a reasonable sun exposure and avoiding smoking.

* Sun Exposure: enough about 20 minutes of exposure to sunlight in his arms and face and at times that do not involve the moments of maximum radiation. During this period, the skin should be free of protective since then cancels the action of UVB in relation to the synthesis of vitamin D. The level of heat from November to March in our country is not enough, so it is important to consider food consumption or supplementation with vitamin D as appropriate.

* Calcium is important to eat foods that provide, which also includes milk, green leafy vegetables, legumes, canned we usually eat thorn fish, and nuts, as well as food pasta and breakfast cereals . The effect of the presence of phytates or oxalates in plant foods that can decrease intestinal absorption of calcium can be minimized when the amount of calcium ingested throughout the day are recommended.

* Antioxidants: the presence of antioxidants in our daily diet is very important to minimize the risks of oxidative status for bone health. “Keep therefore a pattern of Mediterranean diet is a great diet to reduce the risk of osteoporosis strategy,” says Serra.