3 Proven Ways to Save Your Bones
Osteoporosis can be a silent disease. If people aren’t screened for osteoporosis they can be walking around not knowing their bones are progressively becoming weaker until, one day, they break a bone. Medical guidelines emphasize the importance of building bone density to reduce fractures; however, there are many other proven and important ways to reduce fracture risk. Our top 3 are listed here.
1. Don’t Fall
The biggest risk for breaking a bone is falling. In fact, about 90% of hip fractures in adults occur because of falls. This seems obvious to most people, but unfortunately, many people aren’t doing everything they can to reduce their risk of falling.
Fall prevention begins with evaluating hazards in your home. Tidy up loose cords, keep clutter off the floor, and make sure your home is well lit. Build muscle strength and balance through exercise, and check with your doctor to find out if any of your medications might make you dizzy or more likely to fall. Read our fall prevention checklist for specific things you can start doing today.
2. Deal with Your Addictions
Smoking cigarettes undoubtedly increases your fracture risk. One study found that smokers had a 31% higher risk for osteoporosis fractures than nonsmokers. The good news is that when you stop smoking, your risk for fractures drops.
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of osteoporosis fractures. If you think you might have an addiction to alcohol, seek help through your healthcare provider or Alcoholics Anonymous to evaluate if you are an alcoholic and to help you stop drinking. If you’re not addicted to alcohol, social drinking about 3-3.5 drinks per week was shown in one study to reduce fracture risk, and wine may be more protective than liquor.
3. Take Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K2 (MK4)
When evaluating the benefit of taking dietary supplements for osteoporosis, the most important question to ask is whether or not that supplement will actually decrease your fracture risk. Many nutrients improve bone density but have never been shown in clinical trials to reduce fractures. Calcium, vitamin D, strontium and vitamin K2 in the form of MK4 have.
Calcium and vitamin D supplementation have been shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures by about 16%. Studies conclude that strontium may reduce fractures by about 45%. However, strontium may interfere with calcium absorption and causes false bone density test results. Clinical trials have evaluated the effect of vitamin K2 (MK4) on osteoporosis fractures and concluded that MK4 (45 mg/day) reduces fractures in people with osteoporosis. Research shows that MK4 (45 mg/day) may reduce fractures up to 87%.
Read our 6 Steps to Reduce Fracture Risk.
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The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that all women receive bone density screenings beginning at age 65 and all men receive screenings at age 70. Younger adults receive bone density screenings if they have a high risk for osteoporosis or have already...
Osteoporosis fractures happen without warning. One of the most common places for people to get hurt is in their homes. They trip on a loose throw rug, stumble over a box in their garage or slip on ice. There's no way to prepare yourself for the pain and disruption in...
One in 3 people over the age of 65 fall each year, and 10-15% of those falls result in a fracture. Of all hip fractures—the most debilitating and potentially fatal form of fractures—90% result from falls. Despite all other risks for osteoporosis fractures, falling may...