Bone mass and osteoporosis

Many of you may have seen the Anlene advertisement with a graph showing that women's bone mass peaks when they are around 25 years old and then declines continuously after that. We know that women are especially prone to osteoporosis after their estrogen levels decrease significantly on the onset of menopause. (For men, decrease in testosterone levels can also cause osteoporosis.) What the advertisement does not tell you is that merely drinking milk is not enough.

Our bones become stronger and denser by having weight or resistance placed on them. If you are still young, you can increase bone mass by performing weight bearing and resistance exercises at least three times a week but if you are way past the peak, there is a chance of increasing your bone mass slightly or at least maintain the current bone mass.

Here's how I had been trying to increase my bone mass:
- increasing my intake of calcium and vitamin D (by drinking more milk),
- engaging in more weight-bearing exercises (like running, rock climbing, stairs), and
- putting on weight (a hunky guy advised me to eat lots of tuna).
I've put on 4 kg over the past 15 months. Fortunately, it's not 4kg of pure fats. I would like to think it's mostly muscles and bone mass :P

I shared this with my friend over dinner and he mentioned that people who drink soft drinks often have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. I proudly declared that I hardly drink soft drinks, but then again, I realised 100plus is considered a soft drink too!

Working hard to increase my bone mass and then drinking 100plus, which I love, after that is counterproductive. After I finish this 6-pack of 100plus, I shall just drink water or other non-gassy isotonic drinks. Bye bye 100plus...

Other factors that increase risk of osteoporosis :
- malnutrition
- vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption. (You don't need to eat Vitamin D supplements. Some sun exposure is usually enough.)
- excessive consumption of alcohol
- smoking
- lack of physical activity
- too much exercise causing severe exhaustion


ColdTrickle said...

oh no... there goes MY 100+ too...

Shon said...

good post

De Maitre said...

I think you should do more resistance exercises.

Other than tuna, other "oily fish" such as salmon and cod are good too.

More veggie (fibre is goooood) and less sodium (hahaha, that should be your only reason for chucking out 100plus and other isotonic drinks).

Ultimately, I still think a balance is needed. So eat everything in moderation. =)You might end up with brittle bone if you carry out "Osteoporosis prevention" in extremes too!

Yu-Kym said...

De Maitre, I would like to do more resistance exercises but I don't have any weights at home and I'm lazy to go to the gym :P

I like salmon and cod too but they are expensive. Tuna can be eaten right out of the can. I heard the quality isn't great that's why it's cheap. Maybe one grade higher (or lower??) than what they use in cat food.

Ah... I hate vegetables but I still force myself to eat them. I don't know how high my sodium intake is now cos I always eat out. So your point on reducing sodium intake is a good reminder.

Agree that a balance is needed!

De Maitre said...

Use exercise ball! It's better for core workouts because you use your own bodyweight to train.

Ach, if you eat tuna out of the can, you might as well don't eat it (in my opinion). Most of the nutrition are gone once they are caned. If you really want to maximize the nutrients, you have to you eat your fish fresh. They are obscenely expensive so just eat twice a week. It's enough for most people as long as they exercise regularly.

I hate Veg too but they are necessary for bowel movement... =P Hah, find healthier sources of take out!

Anonymous said...

Hi, just came across this blog. How old are you Yu-Kym? just 25? 26?

What you blog is generally fine. (Haha you cry, you sigh! makes me wana cuddle and comfort you! keke)

But I think when you take steps like stopping 100plus just because there is some alleged influence on osteoporosis, you are taking things much too seriously. (i believe even if it's proven so it will have negligible impact on your bone mass formation unless you abuse or neglect big time in other areas).

If this translates into how you manage your life in other areas..and I think there are some signs to this effect, you will realise too late in life your futile and farcical habits when some other unknowns hit you. And if not osteoporosis, you may have some other infliction. Are you telling me you are going to take steps to mitigate all other possibilities that may affect one's health?

3/4ths of your life may be over by this time you realise your efforts are in vain. You will then reflect back...why didnt I moderate my consumption habits a bit instead of going to such extremes to deny myself completely what i enjoy?

Like 100plus for instance! I believe you work out, you replenish! Not that you consume soft drinks everyday!

tsk tsk Intelligence dont necessarily equate with wisdom! Just in case, know that I dont have any links with 100plus! lol

curious cat

Anonymous said...

"And if not osteoporosis, you may have some other infliction" ooops..infliction?...wats tt? affliction i mean. lol

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

What we eat daily matters. I used to drink 100plus every week but now I drink it about once a month. Men are less prone to osteoporosis than women so I can understand why you aren't as concerned about osteoporosis as I am.

Anonymous said...

No, you misunderstood me Yu-Kym. I understand a woman's more prone. What I am saying is you can continue with your once a week 100plus together with your workouts. Enjoy it, dont deny yourself. It's negligible if any adverse side effects.

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

I can't just take your word for it that it will do me no harm when research has shown otherwise. I have been underweight all my life (and now too) so I have higher risk of getting osteoporosis.

Anonymous said...

Ok Yu-Kym, Got it! I have done my part. Wish you a long strong upright life! keke

curious cat