How the Sun Can SLOW the Effects of Aging

By: Bel Marra Health | Anti-Aging | Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 12:21 PM

78486176It is a commonly known fact that as we age, our bones weaken and become increasingly fragile. This aging of the bones occurs naturally, due to a decrease in the calcium and mineral content of the bones.  Numerous studies have been conducted to find ways to slow down this bone aging process. From these studies, it is becoming increasingly clear that natural vitamin D supplements help keep our bones young. But there is more to that story than meets the eye.

How Aging Affects Bones

Throughout the aging process, the structure of our bones change. Over time, this results in a loss of bone tissue. A lower bone mass results in fragile bone tissue, and significantly increases the risk of bone fracturing or deformation.

There are several reasons why bones become less dense as we age, including:

  • A sedentary lifestyle, causing a slower metabolic rate which, in turn, causes low bone density.
  • Bone tissue losing calcium and other minerals, to compensate for shortages in other organ systems.
  • Hormonal changes; in both women and men, a gradual decline of sex hormones eventually leads to a loss of bone mass (osteoporosis).
  • Factors such as smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol.

However, there are ways to keep your bones strong and healthy , even as you age.  A recent study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine explains why bones weaken with age. The study explores the effect of the natural supplement vitamin D on aging bones.

Bones and the Sunshine Vitamin

The purpose of this study was to gauge the effect of vitamin D deficiency on aging bones.  Vitamin D is an extremely important natural supplement. Not only does it allow your body to properly absorb calcium and nutrients, but according to the recent study, a vitamin D deficiency can actually cause premature aging of your existing bone tissue.

Normally, the level of calcium in the blood stream is controlled. When the concentration of vitamin D in your body goes down, blood calcium levels also decline. To counter this, calcium content from your bone is removed into your bloodstream to maintain healthy blood calcium levels.  In adults, this process can cause a softening of the bone tissue (osteomalacia) that can result in extreme bone pain, muscle weakness, and an increased risk of bone deformation and fractures.

While the sunshine vitamin is beneficial, it is more important to know that a deficiency is damaging. For this reason, it is imperative that your body, specifically the bone tissue, has a constant supply of this natural supplement.

Drawing on the Natural Supplement for Strength

The truth is, as our lifestyles change, it is becoming increasingly hard to find healthy supplements naturally. In the case of vitamin D, however, getting a healthy dosage is as simple as taking a daytime walk in the park. Thirty minutes of unscreened exposure to sunlight is more than sufficient to get a good dose of the sunshine vitamin.

During the winter, or when the sun decides to take a holiday, a glass of fortified orange juice, or even some fatty fish, such as mackerel, tuna, or salmon, should provide you with a sufficient dose of vitamin D to keep your bones healthy. Natural vitamin D supplements are also available to purchase  in liquid form at most drug stores, for daily use.

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