Bones get brittle with age

brittle bones

As we grow older, our bones become thinner. By the age of seventy our total skeleton may have only two-thirds of the density if had in its prime. Calcium is a key factor in bone strength, but the body key factor in bone strength, but the body calls on it also to help blood clot and to make nerves and muscles work efficiently, makes nerves and muscles work efficiently.

For several reasons, the body’s calcium supplies fall off as we age. Sometimes, older people pay less attention to their diet, ignoring their needs for calcium, which comes mainly from dairy foods, eggs, leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. As well, they get les exercise; regular, brisk walking – at least three hour-long¬† a week – helps to maintain bone density.

To absorb calcium efficiently, the body needs vitamin D. That is why, when doctors recommended calcium tablets, they prescribe also cod-liver oil or some other rich source of the vitamin. Ultraviolet rays in sunshine enable us to make our own vitamin D. Because older people tend to spend more time indoors, they miss out also on this bone-maintenance factor.

When the body runs short of calcium, it draws on stocks held in the bones. That is why bones become thinner and some times more porous, a condition known as osteoporosis. The disorder is more common among women, particularly after the menopause. At this time they cease to produce oestrogen, the hormone that helps to form and maintain healthy bones. In the United States, oestrogen-replacement therapy has halved the rate of osteoporosis in older women.
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