Osteoporosis

 

AGING POPULATIONS, OSTEOPOROSIS & DIET

HOW OPTIMISING DAILY DAIRY INTAKE MAY HELP

  • Aging increases the risk for osteoporosis, a major health hazard and socio-economic burden in a growing number of countries.

    The importance of dietary calcium intake throughout life to build and maintain healthy bones is well established.1

    Ensuring people consume a healthy, balanced diet with foods rich in calcium and vitamin D should be considered an essential part of the prevention/management of osteoporosis.1

AGING POPULATIONS, THE OSTEOPOROSIS ‘EPIDEMIC’ AND THE IMPORTANCE OF DIET TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN HEALTHY BONES

  • Increasing life expectancy means that osteoporosis is not only a growing problem for an increasing number of individuals, but is also becoming a major burden for the increasingly stretched healthcare resources in many countries around the world.

The need for adequate calcium and vitamin D intake to build and maintain healthy bones is well established.1 A higher peak bone mass is associated with a lower osteoporotic fracture risk in later life.1,2

  • Ensuring an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D through diet and supplementation is an essential component of osteoporosis prevention/management.1,3
  • Dairy products are recognised as being essential components of a healthy diet, according to nutritional guidelines in many countries, and are a rich source of calcium and other essential nutrients.
  • Studies conducted in the US and France indicate, however, that several age groups within populations do not reach the recommended levels of daily calcium or dairy intake.4,5

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones characterised by reduced bone density and the increased risk of experiencing fractures.1 While osteoporosis does not have any symptoms, a number of risk factors are associated with its onset. These include female gender, increasing age, family history, as well as malnutrition - specifically a diet low in calcium and vitamin D.

STUDIES IN THE USA6 (FIG. IA) AND FRANCE4 (FIG. IB) HAVE DEMONSTRATED THAT THE RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE OF CALCIUM IS NOT BEING CONSUMED BY THE MAJORITY OF THESE POPULATIONS.

A very large body of evidence suggests that calcium intake helps to build the skeleton during childhood and adolescence, helps to maintain bones throughout life, and reduces osteoporotic fracture risk later in life.1

There is a well-recognised role for dairy products in helping to ensure people receive sufficient calcium (and other essential nutrients) from their diet; however, many people do not achieve the recommended levels of dietary dairy intake.4,5

HOW YOGHURT CAN HELP

  • Yoghurts are particularly dense in calcium compared to other, non-dairy dietary sources.7
  • Absorption of calcium in the gut is much better for yoghurt than for many other calcium-rich vegetable foods, such as spinach or watercress.8
  • In some countries many yoghurts may also be “fortified” with vitamin D which also has a crucial role in building and maintaining healthy bones.1
  • Peak bone mass is achieved by early adulthood (ages 18-25), therefore ensuring that children and adolescents have regular and easy access to a good source of dietary calcium and vitamin D is essential for the development of strong, healthy bones.1 • Protein and phosphorus also play essential roles in bone structure and function. Around half the volume of the extracellular material in bones is made of protein, with the other half made up of calcium phosphate crystals.1
  • In addition to being good sources of calcium, proteins and phosphorus, yoghurt also contains other essential micronutrients, including zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A, B1 and B2.9,10
  • The easy digestibility and accessibility of yoghurt may help ensure that older populations, who are more at risk from osteoporotic bone fractures, benefit from the well-recognised nutritional value of dairy products.11

AGING POPULATIONS, OSTEOPOROSIS & DIET

HOW OPTIMISING DAILY DAIRY INTAKE MAY HELP

  • Yoghurt is a nutrient-dense, tasty, handy and easily-digested way to help people reach their recommended daily dairy intake and benefit from the bone building/bone preserving nutrients that they contain.

References:

  1. Heaney RP. Calcium, dairy products and osteoporosis. J Am Coil Nutr. 2000;19(2 Suppl):83S-99S.
  2. Bonjour RP. Calcium and phosphate: a duet of ions playing for bone health. J Am Coil Nutr. 2011:30(5 Suppl 1 ):438S-48S.
  3. Sunyecz J. The use of calcium and vitamin D in the management of osteoporosis. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(4):827-36.
  4. Etude nationale nutrition sante (ENNS). 2006. Available at: http://opac.invs.sante.fr/doc_num.php?explnum_id=3481. Accessed May 2012.
  5. Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAC). 2010. Available at: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dgas20l0-dgacreport.htm. Accessed May 2012.
  6. Miller GD et al. The importance of meeting calcium needs with foods. J Am Coil Nutr. 2001:20(2 Suppl):1685-855.
  7. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Available at http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/list. Accessed May 2012.
  8. Guerguen L and Pointillart A. The bioavaiiability of dietary calcium. J Am Coil Nutr. 2000:19(2 Suppl):119S-36S.
  9. World Health Organisation (WHO). Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition, Second Edition. 2004. Available at: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2004/9241546123.pdf. Accessed May 201 2.
  10. Bos C et al. Nutritional and physiological criteria in the assessment of milk protein quality for humans. J 2000;19(2 Suppl):191 S-205S.
  11. van Staveren WA and De Groot L. J Am Coil Nutr. Evidence-based dietary guidance and the role of appropriate nutrition in the elderly. 2011:30(5 Suppl 1 ):429S-37S.