It is never too early to start thinking about the chances of getting osteoporosis. There are risk factors that cannot be influenced on. These include the age, family history, gender and ethnicity, just to name a few. However, some lifestyle choices like healthy diet, regular exercise, keeping fit and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes can be tipped into your advantage. Another important thing is getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. There are many myths surrounding these two elements and here are the ones that really deserve to be debunked.
Myth #1: You Should Take as Much Calcium as Possible
There is a certain daily intake of calcium that should be respected. While teens from 14 to 18 years of age need as much as 1 300 mg of calcium a day in their diet, adults up to 50 years of age are just fine with 1000 mg. The need increases to 1200 mg after the age of 50. These daily intakes can vary based on many factors, but these are some averages. Therefore, you can take too much calcium in your diet. However, it is rarely an issue. Hypercalcemia exists and it is usually the consequence of the thyroid malfunction which is rarely influenced by your diet. But, if this condition exists, you should be careful with your daily intakes.
Myth #2: The Only Way to Get Calcium is through Dairy Products
Traditionally, people drink a lot of milk when they want to increase their calcium intake. Obviously, milk is a great source, but far from being the only one, or the healthiest one for that matter. Many vegetables contain calcium, as well. You can get calcium from seafood, green, leafy vegetables, tofu, oranges, figs and legumes. Also, you should consider some plant based calcium supplements which can help a great deal.
Myth #3: Getting a Precise Ideal Daily Intake of Vitamin D
The truth is, there is no precise data or reliable researches that show precisely how much vitamin D you should take. Your doctor can prescribe certain amounts of vitamin D and the results of such therapy or simple dietary supplementation can be visible within months from the change.
Myth #4: Osteoporosis Only Hits Caucasian Women
While gender and ethnicity are important factors when it comes to osteoporosis, this disease is far from being exclusive to this particular group. Osteoporosis can happen with everybody, but Caucasian women over 50 are most susceptible to contracting it. Especially if they are regular drinkers or smokers who do not exercise often or have had some fractures in the past.
Myth #5: You Can Get Enough Vitamin D from the Sun
It is true that out body gets a certain amount of vitamin D by absorbing it from the sun rays through the skin. However, exposing your skin to sun for prolonged periods of time can do you more harm than good. Sun has become harsh during the previous decades and this practice will increase your risk of getting skin cancer. Your body will do what it can, but still, your vitamin D intake should be based on your diet. Milk, oranges, avocado and salmon are just some of the delicious foods that offer vitamin D.
Vitamin D also increases the ability of your body to use the calcium that it gets through the diet. Therefore, it plays a very important role in controlling your bone density and decreasing your risks of getting osteoporosis. Hormones and thyroid gland are very responsible for your body’s ability to use the calcium that it has and put it to work. Therefore, make sure that you check if your thyroid is working properly at all times.