Osteoporosis can be prevented by potassium salts, which reduce excretion of calcium in urine. The findings come from researchers at the University of Surrey who concluded that potassium salts – commonly found in fruits and vegetables – can help improve bone health. They discovered that potassium salts reduce bone resorption, which is the process where bones are broken down to keep them stronger for longer.
Lead author Dr. Helen Lambert said, “This means that excess acid is neutralized and bone mineral is preserved. Excess acid in the body, produced as a result of a typical Western diet high in animal and cereal protein, causes bones to weaken and fracture. Our study shows that these salts could prevent osteoporosis, as our results showed a decrease in bone resorption.”
Bone resorption is a naturally occurring process that allows the bones to break down, grow, and heal in order to become stronger. Over time, this process causes excessive bone breakdown and insufficient healing, resulting in weaker bones and thus contributing to osteoporosis.
The research study reveals that consuming high amounts of fruits and vegetables can help maintain strong bones – a good alternative for those who cannot consume dairy products.
Osteoporosis risk factors, tips to keep bones healthy
Osteoporosis is a bone disease, which affects women more than men, especially after menopause. Although gender and age cannot be modified, there are other risk factors of osteoporosis that are modifiable, and if you address these factors you can go about reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis regardless of your age or gender.
Among modifiable risk factors are lifestyle habits like smoking, exercise, caffeine consumption, weight and diet habits, which include poor nutrition and even eating disorders. These are all risk factors that can be changed and improved in order to be more bone-friendly and not bone-damaging.
Aside from age and gender, other risk factors that are unmodifiable include a family history of osteoporosis, ethnicity, and the incidence of previous bone fractures.
Some tips then to improve your odds against developing osteoporosis are:
- Stop smoking.
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption.
- Exercise daily.
- Eat a healthy diet with calcium, vitamin D, and potassium salts in fruits and vegetables.
- Pay attention to your medications as some of them can contribute to weak bones – speak to your doctor about medication and bone health concerns before stopping medications.
- Lose weight.
If you’re concerned about your bone health, especially if you have plenty of unmodifiable risk factors, speak to your doctor about what else can be done in order to protect your bones.