Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

Author -  Good Health

Considering our bones are the architectural building blocks of our entire body, most of us know very little about them. We’ve put together a crash-course in bone know-how, including how best to look after them. To start off, here’s some basic general knowledge…

Fun Facts About Your Bones:

  • Humans are born with 300 bones
  • Once we reach adulthood, many of our bones fuse together, so we end up with 206 bones (and 32 teeth) 
  • Over half of the body’s bones are in the hands and feet – each foot has 26 and each hand (including the wrist) has 54
  • The femur or thigh bone is the longest and strongest bone in the body
  • Our bones are built to take a lot of weight – pound for pound, our bones are stronger than steel 
  • Despite this, our bones are not the hardest substance in our body – tooth enamel is.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

Now that you’ve got the basics down, what causes bone weakness and how do you keep these very important building blocks in good nick?
 

Causes of Bone Weakness:

In children: Most of the body’s bone mass is attained during childhood and adolescence. During this time, our bones are sculpted in a process called modelling. Old bone is broken down as new bone forms, growing in size and shifting in placement. Nutrition is vital during the stage of bone mass development. Most of the calcium in our body can be found within the skeletal system, but if our calcium intake is insufficient, our body will steal what calcium reserves we have, to be used elsewhere. This can affect overall bone density, making bones weaker and more at risk of breaking. Vitamin D is also really important, as a deficiency could result in rickets, distorting the bones and often resulting in bowed legs.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

In women: By age 20, the average woman will have acquired 90% of her skeletal mass. The hormone, oestrogen protects against bone loss, ensuring that new bone is formed at a similar rate as old bone is broken down. Unfortunately, later in life when menopause takes place, oestrogen levels drop and bone loss is accelerated, affecting the density and strength of the skeleton. As a result, women aged over 50 have a higher risk of osteoporosis.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

In men: Likewise in men, testosterone helps to prevent bone loss, so as testosterone levels drop with age, bone density can too. Mens’ risk of osteoporosis is increased from age 70 onwards.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

How You Can Keep Your Bones Strong?

Diet: Calcium is everything when it comes to bone health; what most people don’t know is that there is a three-step process to ensure your body gets the most of this essential nutrient.

  1. Find a good source of calcium in the first place:
    New Zealand dairy (milk, yoghurt, cheese) is a great source of calcium, as is broccoli, green leafy vegetables, almonds and some fruits such as dried figs. Adding a supplement into your diet can also help if you’re struggling to hit your daily calcium quota. Good Health Hi Cal and Supercal both promote optimum calcium levels.
  2. Make sure you’re getting the necessary vitamins to absorb calcium:
    Without vitamin D, magnesium, boron, vitamin k, manganese and zinc your body can’t absorb calcium as well.
  3. Build up your collagen:
    Collagen is what holds the calcium in your bones and vitamin C helps to promote the formation of collagen. Incorporate lots of fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet to ensure you’re getting a good dose of vitamin C.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

Exercise: Just as muscles respond well to exercise, so do bones. Weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging and resistance training is best for making bones stronger (denser) and building muscle mass, which is necessary to support the structure of bones.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

We can’t prevent ageing, but we can slow down its affects on our bodies. With the right diet and exercise in place, you can lower your risk of osteoporosis.

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Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

Considering our bones are the architectural building blocks of our entire body, most of us know very little about them. We’ve put together a crash-course in bone know-how, including how best to look after them. To start off, here’s some basic general knowledge…

Fun Facts About Your Bones:

  • Humans are born with 300 bones
  • Once we reach adulthood, many of our bones fuse together, so we end up with 206 bones (and 32 teeth) 
  • Over half of the body’s bones are in the hands and feet – each foot has 26 and each hand (including the wrist) has 54
  • The femur or thigh bone is the longest and strongest bone in the body
  • Our bones are built to take a lot of weight – pound for pound, our bones are stronger than steel 
  • Despite this, our bones are not the hardest substance in our body – tooth enamel is.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

Now that you’ve got the basics down, what causes bone weakness and how do you keep these very important building blocks in good nick?
 

Causes of Bone Weakness:

In children: Most of the body’s bone mass is attained during childhood and adolescence. During this time, our bones are sculpted in a process called modelling. Old bone is broken down as new bone forms, growing in size and shifting in placement. Nutrition is vital during the stage of bone mass development. Most of the calcium in our body can be found within the skeletal system, but if our calcium intake is insufficient, our body will steal what calcium reserves we have, to be used elsewhere. This can affect overall bone density, making bones weaker and more at risk of breaking. Vitamin D is also really important, as a deficiency could result in rickets, distorting the bones and often resulting in bowed legs.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

In women: By age 20, the average woman will have acquired 90% of her skeletal mass. The hormone, oestrogen protects against bone loss, ensuring that new bone is formed at a similar rate as old bone is broken down. Unfortunately, later in life when menopause takes place, oestrogen levels drop and bone loss is accelerated, affecting the density and strength of the skeleton. As a result, women aged over 50 have a higher risk of osteoporosis.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

In men: Likewise in men, testosterone helps to prevent bone loss, so as testosterone levels drop with age, bone density can too. Mens’ risk of osteoporosis is increased from age 70 onwards.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

How You Can Keep Your Bones Strong?

Diet: Calcium is everything when it comes to bone health; what most people don’t know is that there is a three-step process to ensure your body gets the most of this essential nutrient.

  1. Find a good source of calcium in the first place:
    New Zealand dairy (milk, yoghurt, cheese) is a great source of calcium, as is broccoli, green leafy vegetables, almonds and some fruits such as dried figs. Adding a supplement into your diet can also help if you’re struggling to hit your daily calcium quota. Good Health Hi Cal and Supercal both promote optimum calcium levels.
  2. Make sure you’re getting the necessary vitamins to absorb calcium:
    Without vitamin D, magnesium, boron, vitamin k, manganese and zinc your body can’t absorb calcium as well.
  3. Build up your collagen:
    Collagen is what holds the calcium in your bones and vitamin C helps to promote the formation of collagen. Incorporate lots of fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet to ensure you’re getting a good dose of vitamin C.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

Exercise: Just as muscles respond well to exercise, so do bones. Weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging and resistance training is best for making bones stronger (denser) and building muscle mass, which is necessary to support the structure of bones.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

We can’t prevent ageing, but we can slow down its affects on our bodies. With the right diet and exercise in place, you can lower your risk of osteoporosis.

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bones

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