Having strong bones is an important part of staying healthy – especially as people age.
However, for millions of Americans, weaker bones are a reality – making fractures and other serious injuries more likely.
Research has found that more than 40 million Americans have low bone density of some kind. Other data says that by 2020, half of Americans over the age of 50 will be at a higher risk for fractures.
The impact of these injuries goes far beyond the fractures themselves. Information from the Surgeon General finds that 20 percent of seniors who suffer a hip fracture die within a year of the incident, with another 20 percent ending up in a nursing home or other similar residence.
The number of hip fractures is also increasing in other parts of the world. In the European Union, the number of hip fractures annually is expected to jump more than 130 percent by the year 2050.
Calcium and Vitamin D Needed for Bone Health
While improving bone health is an important step, it requires a balanced approach of nutrients and exercise. The body’s calcium absorption rate drops as a person ages, which means the calcium taken in by the body is used less efficiently. The addition of other nutrients, such as Vitamin D, magnesium and boron, also play a role in optimizing absorption, making it easier for the body to utilize the calcium consumed. Incorporating weight-bearing exercises such as walking and weight lifting can also help build bone density and keep them strong to protect against fractures.