What's the best way to reduce the risk of bone loss and prevent Osteoporosis?

We hear so much these days about the risks of osteoporosis - especially in menopausal and postmenopausal women. We know it's a danger, and we think it's almost unavoidable … especially once we reach a certain age.

But we can do things right now to prevent and repair some of the damage caused by the disease. In order to understand what we should do, it's important to first understand what it is and what causes this degenerative disease.

What is Osteoporosis?

Throughout our lives, our bones act as a repository for important minerals, like calcium and magnesium. Constantly, our bones are going through a destructive and reconstructive process in order to harness these minerals for our body's use. Osteoporosis occurs when there's more destruction, rather than reconstruction, that occurs over a certain amount of time.

When our bodies lack the input of important minerals like calcium and magnesium, or vitamins like D and K and folic acid, it leads to a process of bone destruction.

Our bodies need the minerals, so they begin taking them directly from the bones. To build the bones back up, our bodies need the minerals (and accompanying vitamins and nutrients) in order to rebuild.

Thanks to oxidative stress and less access to important nutrients, these destructive processes happen sooner and more frequently than they have in the past. And because of doctors' bias agaist nutritional supplements we're left to believe that all we can do is pop a pill and wait for the inevitable.

Who's at Risk and Why?

Women over the age of 40 are at exceptional risk of developing osteoporosis. However, the destruction of the disease begins well before that age. It's very, very important for young adolescents to get the nutrients they need - right now - to help prevent osteoporosis in the future.

Up until a certain age, until just after puberty, our bones are constructing more than they're destructing. Due to the incredible degradation of our food supply, the minerals and vitamins we used to get just from eating healthy food no longer exist.

In addition, our diets are rich in foods that actually inhibit the absorption of very important vitamins and minerals. Thus, children are often (and surprisingly) malnourished in this day and age - malnourished in terms of healthy, nutritional ingredients they very much need.

Scientific studies have shown that when girls build solid bones rich in calcium and magnesium, they have less of a chance of developing osteoporosis later in life. Once puberty has passed, the ability to build new bone mass is greatly reduced - so there's a window of opportunity for complete prevention.

However, if you have symptoms of osteoporosis or are concerned about developing it later in life, there are things you can do right now to slow the process and keep your bones healthy. And the answer isn't just calcium and hormone replacement therapy.

The Dangers of Hormone Replacement Therapy

The decision to begin hormone replacement therapy is a very personal one for many women as they reach menopause. More often than not, doctors will recommend it, but they have to be forthcoming about the very dangerous side effects.

Studies have shown that women who take synthetic hormone replacement therapy have a 40% increase in breast cancer occurrence. Not to mention, some studies have shown that HRT actually increases chances for heart disease and heart failure, and in some patients it raises the LDL (bad cholesterol) in comparison to the HDL (good cholesterol). Truly, this represents a failure of prescription drugs - it may temporarily slow osteoporosis, but it greatly increases the chances for other, even more serious diseases.

What Can I Do Right Now?

The first thing you should consider is giving your cells optimal cellular nutrition. The basis on which the health of your body depends is how efficiently you clear out the bad stuff - free radicals - and introduce the good stuff - antioxidants - into your system. The quickest and easiest way to accomplish this is by starting a regimen of quality nutritional supplements. In order to prevent or slow the process of osteoporosis, make sure you're getting plenty of calcium - a supplementation of 800 mg to 1500 mg daily. But be sure to take quality vitamin D supplements with that, as well, as vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium.

Also, find a supplementation program that includes magnesium, manganese, folic acid, the B vitamins, and vitamin K.

There are two fantastically potent ways to get very effective antioxidants into your system, as well. These are grape seed extract and fish oil. Supplementing your diet with both of these nutritionally sound components aid your body in expelling free radicals before they can do more damage to your bones and your entire body.

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