New research suggests that a diet high in vegetables, fruits, fish and whole grains could increase bone health and prevent fractures in women.
When you think about it, the bones that make up the human skeleton are amazing. They’re constantly changing. Older bone tissue is constantly disappearing while new bone is being created. The amount of bone tissue in young people continually increases, which allows for growth. This growth continues until about the age of 30 when human bone tissue is as strong and dense as it’s ever likely to be.
While all that information is great for young people, the news changes with age, especially for women. Osteoporosis is a medical condition which occurs when bones lose too much tissue. When that happens, bones become less dense which makes them brittle, fragile, and more likely to break. The National Osteoporosis Foundation has estimated that eight million women in the U.S. have osteoporosis. Half of those over 50 will be the victim of broken bones because of that decrease in bone density. www.nof.org
It’s hoped that understanding the causes of osteoporosis can help prevent this disease that affects so many American women. Some of the suspected causes include:
• Low estrogen levels – especially associated with menopause
• Insufficient calcium levels
• Lack of vitamin D
• Inactive lifestyle
• Thyroid conditions
• Excessive alcohol use
Inflammation has also been added to this list of possible causes of osteoporosis. Research has established the fact that inflammatory markers in the blood are related to bone loss and broken bones in both women and men.
Scientists and the medical community have long suspected that certain foods increase the incidence of inflammation in humans contributing to osteoporosis. In fact, there is a Dietary Inflammatory Index which is used to rate foods and the affect they have on inflammation in the body. Low-inflammation foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, and whole grains.
Researchers at Ohio State University have released the findings of a new study in The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. Women aged between 50 and 79 were asked to track their eating habits for three months prior to the study. Inflammation scores were given to each of the 160,191 participants who enrolled in the study, based on 32 foods. Bone density data was collected from 10,290 women while fracture data was collected from the entire group.
One of the results of the study indicated that the impact of a high-inflammatory diet was greater on the younger women in the study. Caucasian women younger than 63 who consumed a high-inflammatory diet were 50% more likely to fracture a hip.
Results also indicated that women eating a low-inflammatory diet lost bone matter more slowly than women on a high-inflammatory diet.
Women who choose the healthy foods included in a low-inflammatory diet, may very well be lessening the impact of osteoporosis as they age. The last words may well be fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, & whole grains.