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Bone Up on Health - June is Dairy Month

Bone mass peaks between the ages of 25 to 30, and by the time you reach age 40, you will slowly begin to lose bone mass. Unfortunately, loss of bone mass can potentially lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disorder characterized by bones becoming very fragile and more likely to break. For most people, bone loss can be slowed by getting proper nutrition and regular exercise.

You may know that calcium and vitamin D are needed for good bone health, but what you might not know is that the process of building healthy bones requires many other nutrients. A few of the main nutrients involved in this process include:

  • Phosphorous: More than half of bone mineral is composed of phosphorus. High phosphorus foods include dairy products, meat, fish, and whole grains.
  • Fluoride: Most of the fluoride in your body is stored in your teeth and bones. Fluoride is known to stimulate bone formation. Most community water systems have fluoridated water. Tea and gelatin are other sources.
  • Magnesium: About 50 to 60 percent of the total magnesium in your body is found in bone where it influences the size and strength of bone crystals. It has been suggested that a magnesium deficiency could increase risk for osteoporosis. Magnesium is found in milk, oatmeal and some cereals, wheat bread, fish, and nuts.
  • Vitamin C: Collagen makes up 90 percent of the matrix of bone. Vitamin C helps with collagen synthesis by bone cells that are in charge of creating new bone. Vitamin C can be found in bell peppers, kiwis, citrus fruits, broccoli, berries, and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin K: Vitamin K helps to modify proteins so that they can bind to calcium. You can get vitamin K by eating green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and Brussel sprouts.

Many foods that contain one of these bone-building nutrients will also contain others. For example, milk is not only a good source of calcium, but also contains vitamin D, potassium, and magnesium. Dark green leafy vegetables, another good source of calcium, also contain carotenoids, and vitamins C and K. For information on recommended dietary intakes of these nutrients visit: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/bonehealth.html

 

Compiled by Allison Dhuvetter, Dietetic Intern, NDSU Extension Service

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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