Tag / Osteoporosis

Want Stronger Bones? Get Vitamin K2

Body Atlas, Human pelvic area

When it comes to bone health, calcium and vitamin D3 are considered “must have” vitamins but it appears there is a new kid in town that could be just as essential. Vitamin K2 has been in the spotlight for osteoporosis (i.e. degeneration of bones) research for the last two decades and there is a lot to say about it. Not to be mistaken for its very close relative Vitamin K1, which plays a significant role in blood clotting, vitamin K2 seems to make our bones stronger.

A report from the Nurses Health Study showed that women supplementing with at least 110 mcg of K2 are 30 % LESS likely to break a hip than women who aren’t supplementing[1].

Prevention is the Best Treatment for Osteoporosis

Grandparents in the Neighborhood

There are many things that affect your risk for osteoporosis, with the primary modifiable factors being smoking, drinking and a sedentary lifestyle. However, the following exercises can help prevent or limit the effects of osteopenia and osteoporosis:

Strength Training: By using resistance of some type, whether it be weights or bands, we strengthen the muscle and, most importantly for osteoporosis, we strengthen the bone where the muscle attaches. Many women, who are more at risk than men, avoid strength training but this type of exercise is crucial to building and maintaining bone mass and quality. It is key to strengthen the posterior chain (or muscles through the back portion of our body) to maintain good posture and prevent rounding of the upper back (“hunchback”, or kyphosis), which can lead to vertebral fractures for those with osteoporosis.

Preventing falls in the home

Prince Edward Island - Canada

Living independently in one’s own home is something that we all want and strive for. This is both for ourselves and for our aging family members. But as we age, it can be harder to do so safely. Although declines in hearing, vision, strength, and mobility are a normal part of aging, falls do not have to be an irrevocable part of getting older. In fact, there are many simple things that people can do to help reduce the chance of falling at home.

First, stay healthy! That is certainly something that is easier said than done but, in this case, it refers to the basics. Stay active for at least 30 minutes every day. Even light activity around the house will keep muscles strengthened and challenge the balance centres of your brain. You can also do targeted exercise prescribed by a health care provider or join exercise groups specific to improving balance such as yoga or tai chi.