Osteoporosis: Not Just A Woman’s Disease
Osteoporosis is not just a women’s disease. Men — especially men over 50 — need to protect their bone health, too. Even though men in their 50s do not have the same rapid bone loss that women do, by the time men are between 65 and 70, they lose bone mass at the same rate as women. By those ages, both men’s and women’s calcium absorption decreases, bones become more brittle and the skeleton becomes weaker.
Osteoporosis is a silent disease that can progress without symptoms until you get a fracture. Fractures occur most frequently in the spine, hip and wrist; and they can permanently disable you, accelerating your aging. In fact, men who fracture their hips are more likely to die from complications than are women.
It is important to start taking measures to protect your bone health early. Osteoporosis is treatable if detected before you lose significant bone loss. Focus on your lifestyle and vitamin D levels. Lifestyle factors that can improve your bone health include getting the right nutrition, doing weight-bearing exercise and being aware of medications you might take that cause bone loss. Managing your chronic diseases properly is important to protecting your bone strength as well.
Bone-Loss Risk Factors For Men Include:
- Taking glucocorticoids
- Low T
- Excessive Alcohol
- Lack of exercise
- Age (risk increases with age)
- Race (Caucasian men are at higher risk)
- Chronic diseases affecting kidneys, intestines, lungs and stomach
Nutrition For Bone Health
Focus on getting adequate vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium and to form the hormone calcitrol, which is known as the active vitamin D. When vitamin D is depleted, you cannot absorb enough calcium from diet and the body takes calcium from your skeleton. This weakens your bones and prevents you from forming strong, new bones.
Your body makes vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. But many men do not get adequate sunlight or adequate vitamin D production, especially as they age. Taking a vitamin D supplement is recommended. One daily supplement that contains vitamin D along with other natural ingredients that help regulate hormones and help with other aspects of aging male health is EveryDay Male. Changing hormones and a testosterone deficiency can cause bone loss, so taking EveryDay Male can protect against that bone loss with both vitamin D supplementation and managing your hormone levels naturally.
You may be surprised to learn that you should not take a calcium supplement. There are several health reasons to avoid calcium supplements, so you should be focusing on getting calcium through natural whole food sources. Food sources of calcium such as spinach, kale, broccoli, almonds, tofu, chia seeds, sesame seeds, figs and white beans supply the body with minerals and micronutrients that help assist calcium metabolism and benefit your bone health. Milk and dairy products, which have traditionally been touted as high-calcium foods, should be eaten in moderation, as they may increase risk of prostate cancer in men.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
There is much confusion about how much vitamin D a man needs. But what is very clear is that vitamin D deficiency is related not just to poor bone health but also linked to many other diseases (like heart disease and diabetes) and cancers (such as prostate cancer and colon cancer), so making sure your vitamin D is adequate is an important part of your health. In addition, vitamin D can help with your hair growth, brain function, weight and testosterone levels, which are all concerns of most aging men.
It is easy to remedy a vitamin D deficiency. Get 20 minutes of unprotected sunlight every day, and take a daily vitamin D supplement. Have your doctor check your vitamin D levels regularly to make sure you are on the right track. If you do not live in an area that allows you to get much sun, you may need to take more vitamin D than as person who is outside more.
The International Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that adults over 65 should take 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D each day. They also recommend that men who are obese, have osteoporosis, do not absorb vitamin D well or have limited exposure to the sun should take 2,000 IU each day. EveryDay Male contains 1,000 IU of vitamin D3.
The bottom line is to start taking care of your bone health and keeping an eye on your vitamin D and other hormone levels. Whether you are a younger male or over 50, stay active, keep exercising and eat a diet rich in non-dairy, calcium-rich foods. If you are in a high-risk group or over 70 years old, get a bone mineral density scan, which is one of the recommended tests for men over 50. Don’t smoke. And if you drink alcohol, drink no more than two drinks per day. It is important to manage any health conditions you have. Maintaining good, healthy bones is an important part of aging and will help keep you active and strong into your later years.