Osteoporosis is an insidious bone disease. Over the years, bone mass breaks down throughout the skeleton, which changes the structure of our bones. As a result, human bones become more porous and unstable. Osteoporosis often goes undiagnosed for years because bone loss itself does not cause pain. It is estimated that one in three women and one in five men suffer from bone loss. The relevant sex hormones probably have an influence, because, for example, the production of testosterone in men decreases more slowly than in women, who already have a natural lack of estrogen after menopause.
According to the University Hospital Zurich, the following tips help reduce the increasing risk of osteoporosis:
- Move a lot and stay moving: Short, quick bursts like running and jumping would stimulate the body’s cells more than low-impact movements like swimming and cycling. In old age, you should move more, as well as train endurance and strength.
- Three servings of dairy products per day (e.g. yogurt, 30 g of hard cheese and 200 ml of milk) increase the daily need for calcium. But ice cream is also important.
- Sunbathing for about 30 minutes a day around noon is good for the intake of vitamin D, which ensures better absorption of calcium.
- Alcohol should generally only be consumed in small amounts. One beer (3 dl) for women and two beers (3 dl) for men per day are fine.
- According to the university hospital, smoking deprives the body of important vitamins and nutrients. It is better to stop smoking altogether.
- It is important to avoid being underweight or overweight. The ideal body mass index (BMI) is between 20 and 25.
Source: University Hospital Zurich blog post (full article)
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