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Bone health

Bone health is largely ignored by many Americans until one of two traumatic events happen: you break a bone or you score poorly on a bone mineral density test.  Either typically triggers an unpleasant lifestyle change, one that could have been easily prevented.

Bone-Health | ArticleBone accounts for about 20% of our overall weight and forms the rigid frame of our bodies.  Your skeleton must be both stiff enough to support your weight but flexible enough to handle impact and muscle contractions.  Contrary to the common perception, bones are living cells that change constantly.  As such, bone health is dynamic, with nourishment and waste removal needed as with any other cells.

In a 2004 report by the Surgeon General, of the U.S. department of Health and Human Services concluded the following:

  • Bone health is critically important to the overall health and quality of life of Americans. Healthy bones provide the body with a frame that allows for mobility and for protection against injury. Bones serve as a storehouse for minerals that are vital to the functioning of many other life-sustaining systems in the body. Unhealthy bones, however, perform poorly in executing these functions and can lead to debilitating fractures.
  • The bone health status of Americans appears to be in jeopardy and left Bone-Health | Articleunchecked it is only going to get worse as the population ages. Each year an estimated 1.5 million individuals suffer an osteoporotic-related fracture.
  • Great improvements in the bone health status of Americans can be made “simply” by applying in a timely manner that which is already known about prevention, assessment, detection, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • There is a large gap between what has been learned and what is applied by American consumers and health care providers. The biggest problem is a lack of awareness of bone disease among both the public and health care professionals.
  • An area of particular concern relates to serving ethnic and racial minorities and other underserved populations, including the uninsured, underinsured, and those living in rural areas. Closing this gap will not be possible without specific strategies and programs geared toward bringing improvements in bone health to all currently underserved populations.
  • The area of bone health is ideally suited to a public health approach to health promotion. This Surgeon General’s report is calling for Federal, State, and local governments (including State and local public health departments) to join forces with the private sector and community organizations in a coordinated, collaborative effort to promote bone health. This type of approach can serve as the primary vehicle for improving the bone health status of Americans. Some of the work has already begun, but much more work remains.”

Bone-Health | ArticleHow do you begin to build healthier bones?  Good food choices are the obvious first step, along with routine weight bearing exercise, moderate alcohol consumption and no smoking.  Calcium supplements, especially clinically effective brands  such as AdvaCAL, may help. It is never too early or too late to improve your bone health.