Officials from the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Ministry of Health presented a recent study at the IOF Regionals Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting that found a correlation between carotenoid consumption and reduced hip fracture incidence among elderly, lean Chinese men. Carotenoids are fat-soluble nutrients found in fruits and vegetables that are converted into vitamin A.
During the study, researchers analyzed data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, which involved 63,257 men and women who were 45 years old. The research revealed that having a lower body mass index increased the likelihood of having a hip fracture, but consuming more carotenoids decreased the likelihood of hip fractures occurring. Carotenoids are most abundant in vegetables that are yellow, orange, red or green, such as carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
Vitamin D and bone health
While consuming carotenoids may help decrease bone fracture incidence, other nutrients, such as vitamin D, can also bolster bone strength. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin D is conducive to calcium absorption and increasing bone mineral density, and it has been shown to ward off osteoporosis and help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
A deficiency of vitamin D is linked to the development of certain conditions in adults and children. Children who do not get enough of the nutrient may develop rickets, which causes skeletal deformities. Deficient adults may develop osteomalacia, which causes muscle weakness and weak bones, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Some at-risk groups for vitamin D deficiency include elderly people, obese people, infants who are solely breastfed and people who do not get enough sun exposure. The source also notes that people who suffer from fat malabsorption syndromes like cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s may also be at risk.
People can get vitamin D from fortified cereals and milks, sun exposure and a Skinny D supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.
Healthy bone tips
The Mayo Clinic reports that one way to maintain healthy bones is to stay active by doing weight-bearing exercises and aerobic activities like walking, jogging and climbing stairs. The source also notes that substance abuse can contribute to bone loss and people should avoid smoking and drink no more than two alcoholic beverages a day.
Postmenopausal women may also want to consider undergoing hormone therapy. The Mayo Clinic reports that taking estrogen can help maintain bone density.