Osteoporosis — also known as the silent epidemic because it develops slowly and without initial symptoms — is a painful and crippling disease. It causes bones to weaken by dilapidated calcium stores and become brittle. It mainly affects women as they get older, but does affect some men too.
It is estimated that two million people suffer the illness in the UK. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of calcium can help prevent osteoporosis as this mineral helps to build up and maintain bone density.
A diet rich in calcium is recommended and this mean eating plenty of oily fish with bones like sardines – as well as broccoli, nuts and seeds and dairy products. Research also shows that drinking plenty of milk before the age of 25 can help to prevent hip fractures in later life because of the high amount of calcium it contains.
Taking a calcium supplement has also been proven to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis – and this can be implemented into a daily routine as soon as possible.
When it comes to the best type of supplement for osteoporosis, you have two main choices:
- Calcium carbonate
- Calcium citrate
Both are just as effective. Calcium carbonate is cheaper, but calcium citrate is gentler on the stomach and can be taken with or without food. So it all depends on what you prefer. Calcium citrate often reduces or completely stops the mild side effects like excess gas and constipation associated with calcium carbonate. However, it’s a personal choice and most people do not suffer the side effects in the first place.
If you are taking a calcium supplement you may also benefit from taking a daily supply of Vitamin D as this helps the intestine to absorb calcium.