Do you remember when you were a kid and fell off your bicycle? Chances are you would cry a bit, pick yourself up, get back riding again and all was well. Now, for those of us 50 and above? We fall and break bones. And for those advanced in their age, the fall can mean a broken hip and months in a rehab center.
We have cells in the body called osteoblasts that lay down new bone and other cells called osteoclasts that sort of eat up old bone. In our formulative years as we are growing, osteoblast activity exceeds osteoclast activity and that results in our bones getting bigger and stronger. From 20-40 or so the activities of these cells are sort of even but then as we progress into our later years, osteoclast activity exceeds osteoblast activity and hence the reason why we become shorter and more prone to fractures.
Years ago it was thought that obesity helped bones become stronger. The thinking was that the more weight the bones needed to carry, the stronger the bones would become. This would be similar to people prone to osteoporosis being advised to do weight lifting to strengthen their bones. However, more recent studies suggest that obesity may actually harm bone health. The reason: There may be fat accumulation around the bones themselves altering bone structure and adding to weakness.
Ensuring adequate Vitamin D and calcium intake may help bone health. If you have not had a DEXA scan to assess your level of bone health please consider visiting your doctor to have this scheduled.
Controlling weight helps a myriad of organs and body functions. Add bone health to this list.