Health Talk
Past Issues:

Investing in Healthy Bones

Strong-bonesAs we are living longer we must invest more to health for a better and happier life. Building up healthy bones early in life through proper diet and exercise will help prevent osteoporosis later on, and this is why it is considered a disease of childhood that manifests in old age.

Chronic diseases, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, are becoming more common-place. Osteoporosis, a disorder characterized by porous and fragile bones, is a serious public health problem. North American rates of osteoporosis are among the highest in the world with ¼ of Canadian women and 1/8 Canadian men over the age of 50 has osteoporosis, another great many have osteopenia, or low bone mass, which precedes osteoporosis.

Bone loss occurs as part of the normal aging process, particularly in postmenopausal women due to decreased amounts of estrogen. Many factors increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, including gender, being thin, inactivity, advanced age, smoking, excessive alcohol intake and having a family history of osteoporosis. Dietary intake is also a huge contributor in that optimal nutrition helps provide the building blocks for strong bones and connective tissue.

The good news is that with a healthy lifestyle, optimal diet, structured physical activity and the help of your doctor and local experts, you can naturally prevent and manage this condition.


Leafy Greens – Veggies can easily become an important contributor in our diet because they are very high in both calcium and magnesium. Look for low oxalate options, such as bok choy, broccoli, collards and kale.

A Word About Dairy – Although dairy products were once considered necessary for the prevention of osteoporosis, new research indicates that this may not be the case. Milk is very low in magnesium, which is needed for the absorption of calcium.

Studies have shown that countries with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis, while countries that consume very little dairy have almost no cases of osteoporosis.


Healthy bones need more than just calcium supple-ments. Many other nutrients are equally important, including: Vitamin D, protein, Magnesium, Boron Copper, Zinc, Vitamins D, K, C, B12 and folic acid.

Calcium is absorbed more efficiently when small amounts are consumed throughout the day. Two main forms of calcium supplements are carbonate and citrate. Calcium carbonate is more commonly available, inexpensive and convenient. Individuals with reduced levels of stomach acid can absorb calcium citrate more easily.


Exercise, exercise, more exercise… Regular exercise, both weight-bearing and resistance, are key to the development and maintenance of healthy bones throughout the life cycle. Activities such as walking, running that works against gravity, and calisthenics   that involve weight.


by Ryan Corrigan, Registered Nutritional Counsellor
Hooper’s Pharmacy & Vitamin Shop