Proper nutrition can save broken women after menopause
In the course of the so-called menopause, the bone density in women can decrease. Affected women are more likely to suffer bone and fracture injuries. Researchers have now found that a Mediterranean diet can help maintain bone density in older women.
In their research, Ohio State University researchers found that a Mediterranean diet can help prevent women from having less bone density in their menopause. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Journal of Bone and Mineral Research".
What is menopause?
Menopause is the time of the last menstruation in a woman's life. At this moment the woman's fertility ends. Natural menopause usually occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55. Malnutrition and smoking can cause menopause to occur about 1.5 years earlier. In contrast, regular consumption of alcohol delays the occurrence of menopause.
Proper nutrition affects reduction in bone mass
From menopause, the bone density in some women decreases. A recent study from the USA now analyzed the data of 160,191 women between the ages of 50 and 79. The researchers found that women can influence their bone density through a healthy Mediterranean diet. In this way, possible osteoporosis is slowed down or stopped.
Health benefits from a Mediterranean diet
Numerous studies have previously found some health benefits from a Mediterranean diet. Such a diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed foods, the authors say. A Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The doctors participating in the current study believe that a Mediterranean diet could also promote bone health.
From the age of 50, many women suffer from osteoporosis
As they reach menopause, many women over the age of 50 develop osteoporosis. With this disease, the bones become weaker and weaker. This increases the risk of broken bones.
Study assesses risk of inflammation
The 160,191 women participating in the study had no history of broken bones between 1993 and 1998, the researchers say. With this study, the doctors wanted to assess the risks of fractures on the hip, forearm and other parts of the body. The diet of the participants was assessed three months before the examinations for their risk of inflammation. Younger white women who preferred so-called highly inflammatory diets had the greatest risk of fractures. This group of women was twice as likely to have hip fractures than women with the lowest inflammatory scores, the researchers explain.
Physically more active women may have an increased risk of fractures
However, no direct correlation was found between highly inflammatory types of nutrition and fractures in general. The researchers observed a slightly lower risk of lower arm fracture in women with the highest nutrition-related rates of inflammation. Women with lower levels of inflammation were probably more physically active, which in turn leads to an increased risk of falls, the experts suspect.
Increased physical activity before puberty can strengthen bones
A recent Swedish study found that increased physical activity (at least 3.5 hours a week) before puberty and during growth appears to promote bone development.
Maintaining bone density is important for aging women
Women with the least inflammatory diet had lower bone densities at the start of the study. However, these women lost less bone density compared to women with highly inflammatory diets. Maintaining bone density is important for aging women, especially after menopause, when bone density can drop drastically, doctors add.
These foods are good for your bones:
In conclusion, all factors that promote inflammation can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, the scientists say. A Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grain cereals and omega-3 can be beneficial for maintaining bone density, the authors explain. In addition, vitamin D is essential for the development and regeneration of bones, especially in people who exercise regularly. (as)