Tuesday December 10, 2019

Here’s how Sun Can Strengthen Your Bones

Get some sun for strong bones

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Sun exposure
Sun exposure can increase Vitamin-D levels in you body. Pixabay

Maintaining good bone health is prime for a healthy life. With the setting of the winter season, especially in cities like Delhi which has more pollution and little scope for sun rays to make its way through, natural vitamin D is hard to come by. Vitamin D synthesis in the body is reduced to a bare minimum because the quality of sun exposure is reduced. Dr. Vishwadeep Sharma Senior consultant, Arthroscopy & Sports injuries, Dept of Orthopaedics at Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital sheds light on the subject.

Many studies have been conducted to estimate the best time in the day to get sun exposure and how much of the sunlight is needed to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D. The Sunshine with UVB radiation is the Radiation essential in the synthesis of Vitamin D.

Broadly speaking about 20 percent of the body, especially arms and Legs if exposed to sunlight for a minimum of fifteen minutes a day can help in the synthesis of a good amount of Vitamin D. The next question to be addressed is the time of the day best suited for the exposure to sunlight. As against the myth of early morning and late evening sunshine, it is actually the afternoon sun between 10 am to 3 pm which is most apt for the synthesis of the vitamin D from the Skin of the human body. For this, the exposed area of the skin has to be free from any topical sun-blocking creams or other agents.

Sun light
Many studies have been conducted to estimate the best time in the day to get sun exposure. Lifetime Stock

Cities like Delhi with high PM content and pollution don’t have the quality of sunshine required for good exposure for the synthesis of Vitamin D, hence dietary supplementation becomes important for maintaining good bone health. The reason for sunshine not able to synthesize Vitamin D is because the pollution in the environment filters the UVB radiation.

Women especially pre-menopausal and the post-menopausal category are prone to osteoporosis and osteomalacia. Women who cover themselves fully (HIJAB) and with excessive use of sunblock creams have lower levels of Vitamin D with decreased bone density. Osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children are secondary to deficiency of Vitamin D. This chronic deficiency can cause a lot of disability for the particular age group. These conditions are entirely preventable by for measures like fortification of foods and dietary supplements

Children in the early years of growth have to have adequate dietary as well as good sunlight exposure. Children especially toddlers once weaned off the mother’s milk have to be supplemented with foods rich in Vitamin D.

Sun light
Bone health can be maintained by ensuring a good exposure to sun. Pixabay

Many years back ago the vitamin D research was not up to date, studies conducted on children with good sunlight exposure showed healing of their rickets sequel just by sunlight exposure.

Bone health can be maintained by ensuring a good amount of exercise in the winter season. Exercise impacts bone health directly by maintaining bone density which counters conditions like osteoporosis. This is based on the fact that bone metabolism is essentially a balance between the mineral deposited in the bone and the hormones in the body. The hormones with impact on bone health are PTH (Parathyroid Hormone), Thyroid hormone and estrogen, progestogen in the women.

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Vitamin D is also essentially a hormone with its action directly at the level, of the nucleus of each and every cell in the body. Personal habits like smoking, excessive alcohol use can have a severe effect on bone metabolism with worsening of Osteoporosis and are best avoided. (IANS)

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Here are Ways to Protect your Bones as you Age

Here's how to protect your bones as you age

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Bones
Here are ways to take care of your bones and improve your bone health as you age. Lifetime Stock

The skeleton system of our body plays a vital role throughout our lifetime. It acts as pillar of support for our body’s framework and protects our vital organs. Additionally, bones help in storing minerals like calcium and phosphorous, as well as support the muscles for locomotion. From birth to old age our bones go through series of changes.

By the age of 30, the bone mass density reaches its peak. After which it tends to lose more bone mass than it is deposited. Osteoporosis is a frequently occurring condition developed by people as they grow old. In this condition, bones become weak and fragile. Consequently, it becomes difficult to heal a broken bone after an osteoporotic fracture.

According to statistics, adult population above the age of 50 tends to break their bones easily. Where it is seen, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men fracture their bones due to osteoporosis. Hence, it is important to take care of our bones from young to old age.

Skeleton bones
By the age of 30, the bone mass density reaches its peak. Lifetime Stock

There are certain risk factors which may act as a catalyst for accelerating osteoporosis early. Lack of vitamin D and calcium in diet, lack of physical activity, being underweight, smoking and drinking, irregular hormonal levels and intake of certain medications are some common examples of risk factors.

The risk factors increase the vulnerability of osteoporosis as we age. Dr Harish Ghoota, Additional Director-Orthopaedics, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad shares the following steps to incorporate in your lifestyle to better bone health:

  • Incorporating food and drinks rich in calcium and vitamin D is a good step. For example, low-fat dairy, tofu, soy milk, green leafy vegetables, leguminous pulses, salmon and nuts are good sources for calcium. Exposing one’s body to sunlight for 10-15 minutes twice or thrice a week acts as a good source for vitamin D. Food products like fortified milk and cereals, salmon, tuna, shrimp and oysters are also good sources for vitamin
  •  Indulging in regular exercise for minimum half an hour keeps the muscles and bones strong. Strength building, weight training exercises and dancing are one of the best ways to keep fit and healthy bones
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol abuse. According to medical advice, women should not consume more than one drink per day and men should not consume more than two drinks per day
  • With increasing age, regular bone density tests and health check-ups with doctors helps prevent excessive bone density loss.
    Exercise bones
    Exercising everyday is beneficial for your bones. Lifetime Stock

    Taking care of your bones from a young age becomes essential to prevent poor bone health. During childhood and adolescent years, bones rapidly grow. These form crucial years for developing good bone health. Proper balanced diet with increased intake of calcium rich foods and minimum one hour of physical exercise everyday helps to maintain good bone health. Additionally, adults after 30 years of age must integrate healthy lifestyle practices. These activities help to prevent poor bone health after the age of 30:

  • Exercising daily for 30 minutes least
  • Being cautious from falls or accidents
  • Going for regular check-ups
  • Regular bone density tests. Especially, after age of 50 with a fractured bone

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  • Additional intake of calcium and vitamin D over the age of 50
  • Regular medication, if prescribed by doctor, for bone density
  • Periodic Dexa scan test for high risk or vulnerable patients. (IANS)