The role of diet in reducing the risk of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is most often associated with a loss of bone density, or the reduction in bone volume. It affects around 200 million people worldwide and 10 million people in the United States alone. It usually develops slowly, over many years, and is difficult to detect until a fracture or break occurs. It can affect men as well as women, but it is seen more commonly in women who are post-menopausal, especially older women.
While there are many factors that can lead to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis—including smoking, alcohol consumption, and certain medications—diet also plays an important role. In particular, diets that lack calcium and vitamin D have been shown to increase the risk of developing osteoporosis because these nutrients are essential for building strong bones and teeth.
While post-menopausal women have been found to be at higher risk for developing osteoporosis than younger women, younger women should still be aware of their diet as well because damage done to bones early on can increase their risk later in life.