How Vitamin D can Help Your Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease of the skeletal system that is characterized by the deterioration of bone tissue, along with the decrease in bone mass making bones fragile and more likely to break.
This is a silent disease affecting one in two women and one in four men over the age of fifty in Ireland, although all age groups can be affected.
The majority of people we see in clinic have inadequate levels of vitamin D initially so often we recommend clients have their vitamin D levels checked every 6 months to ascertain the correct amount required to support their bone health and offer supplementation to optimise these levels where needed.
Gut health also plays an important in role in bone health ensuring that you are absorbing the nutrients and their co-factors necessary to feed the bones. Deficiencies of some nutrients that support bone health are common, with many people self supplementing leading to further imbalances for example; excessive amounts of calcium intake daily can lead to deficiencies of other minerals .
Here are 3 ways vitamin D can support Osteoporosis:
1. Enables the absorption of calcium - Vitamin D is a steroid hormone which enables the absorption of calcium and phosphorus which all contribute to healthy bones and teeth.
2. Reduces fractures and improves bone density - Vitamin D has been shown to reduce fractures and improve bone density within a year of supplementation, improving muscle strength and balance, therefore reducing the risk of falls
3. Boosts the immune system - Studies show that vitamin D may decrease the inflammatory response, therefore promote healing.
Other ways to boost your Vitamin D naturally are:
1. Eat green leafy vegetables – As vitamin D is not produced naturally in the body it’s important to consume green leafy vegetables and mushrooms that are exposed to sunlight
2. Expose your skin to sunlight for up to 20mins - Vitamin D 3 is produced naturally in the body when UVB light hits the skin, we can produce up to 20,000ius of vitamin D3 in 20 minutes when we expose our skin to the sun, imagine that!
If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia it’s important to have 6 monthly checks on vitamin D levels and gut health to ensure the health of the immune system and absorption of all the nutrients needed to feed the bones.
References: 1, 2, 3
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Susan Boland is a Nutritional Therapist with Osteoporosis Clinic Ireland. She holds a diploma in Nutritional Therapy (DipIHS) in Ireland, is a member of NTOI (Nutritional Therapists of Ireland) and also studied in London with Patrick Holford at ION (Institute of Nutrition).
Susan Is a qualified Strength & Conditioning Coach with a qualified Certificate with British Weight Lifting (BWL) from 1987 (BAWLA) to date. She is a Sports Trainer and a member of P.E.A. (Physical Education Association) England I.E.T.A. (Irish Exercise Teachers Association) and holds many certificates in nutrition and fitness ranging from 1984 to date in both England and Ireland. Susan Is a qualified Strength & Conditioning Coach with a qualified Certificate with British Weight Lifting (BWL) from 1987 (BAWLA) to date.
With a special interest in bone health she founded Osteoporosis Clinic Ireland, in 2015 with her business partner Karen Byrne. Osteoporosis Clinic Ireland is a multi disciplinary clinic for bone health providing a unique triple therapy approach, including nutritional therapy, specific physiotherapy designed weight bearing exercises and testing, for people with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Susan Boland, Nutritional Therapist & Karen Byrne, Registered General Nurse are bringing the clinic around the country to facilitate their clients.
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