In a recent study it was discovered that consuming both Vitamin D and calcium, from either food or supplements, can increase the lifespan of a person as well as prevent the chances of osteoporosis from developing as the body ages. It’s obviously essential to your senior fitness and health maintenance routine.
Recently, another study reported that Vitamin D and calcium supplements may also increase the risk of heart attack. With both reports coinciding with each other, it may be confusing as to what a person should do.
There will always be two sides to every story no matter what it is. If one research lists all of the benefits of one food, vitamin, or beverage then there will be one that solely focuses on the negatives. In most cases, it usually depends on how the body can handle whatever the subject at hand is. The only way to find out about how a substance can affect your body would be to consult with your doctor for advice.
Back to the topic of bone health, osteoporosis is a disease that can cause severe fractures that can render you completely disabled. Seek advice from your physician about whether or not calcium and Vitamin D can help, but even without those supplements you will need to take the proper steps to best prevent the disease from developing.
Although it is a disease most common in women, one in five men could develop it after the age of fifty. Both genders are at risk and should not take the disease lightly. The worst is not lack of mobility, but it can cause serious damage to your nerves and blood vessels while also infecting the tissues surrounding the bones. Preventing this disease should be a major priority, especially if you are nearing the age when most people develop it.
Exercise and Calcium Prevent Bone Loss
The two main methods of prevention involve getting a sufficient amount of calcium and exercise. The best types of workout to do would be one that will put enough stress on the bones and tissues to strengthen them. This will usually involve intensive strength training exercises. When performing these exercises you are not only strengthening the bones, but also increasing your muscle mass, improving joint conditions, boosting stability, and building up the density of your bones.
Most bone fractures occur in the spine, legs, arms, pelvis, hands, hips, and ankles. It would be wise to focus on exercises that target each of these areas to best prevent osteoporosis from developing there. Jason Kozma of High Performance Personal Training recommends that you consult with a nutrition expert in order to create the best possible prevention plan. “This way you will not only get an effective workout, but will also make sure that you exercise safely – a major concern if you already have osteoporosis or have suffered from fractures in the past.” Kozma states.
It is also suggested that you consume a diet rich in calcium as well. The best sources of calcium are from leafy vegetables, sardines, salmon, nuts, soybeans, and tofu. Calcium will prove you with the boost your bones needs and works much better when you are actively building up the strength of your bones. It’s difficult to eat enough vegetables to get the amount of calcium you need so taking supplements is a good idea.
Vitamin D and Fat Loss
Everyone these days seems to be talking about Vitamin D. It’s been a hot topic especially since Vitamin D deficiency is so common and is now linked to osteoporosis, depression, cancer, diabetes, and even weight loss. So what does it do for our bodies? It’s been known for many years that vitamin D is essential to the maintenance of our teeth and bones, but we have discovered more health enhancing effects of Vitamin D.
- Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin but a precursor hormone, the building block of a powerful steroid hormone in our bodies called calcitriol that assists in the buildup and breakdown of healthy tissue and regulates the processes that keep us well.
- Vitamin D works with other nutrients and hormones in our bodies to support healthy bone renewal – an ongoing process of mineralization and demineralization.
- Vitamin D also promotes normal cell growth (abnormal cell growth is bad) and differentiation throughout the body, working as an important element in maintaining balanced hormones and a strong immune system.
- Our bodies cannot create Vitamin D on our own.
Of course we can get plenty of Vitamin D through sun exposure, but with our obsession for blemish-free skin and love affair with sunscreen, practically every American is severely deficient in D.
So how much do we need? Some studies have shown that adults need as much as 3000-5000 IU per day, but the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board says 2000 IU per day is the max. But how does Vitamin D play a role in weight loss?
Since vitamin D is directly involved in calcium absorption, it becomes an important factor in how our bodies regulate weight. A study conducted at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis tested Vitamin D levels of 38 obese and overweight men and women while looking at a relationship between vitamin D levels and rate of weight loss.
According to the investigators, vitamin D levels predicted subsequent weight loss success in subjects on a weight loss diet. It was especially clear to scientists that Vitamin D was specifically related to abdominal fat and played a pivotal role in weight loss success rates when combined with a low calorie diet.
What can you do to get enough Vitamin D?
- Get at least 15 minutes a day of unprotected sun exposure in the early morning and late afternoon, especially between May and September.
- Eat a diet rich in whole foods and fish like mackerel and sardines.
- Take a top-quality multivitamin every day to fill in any nutritional gaps, preferably one that includes fish oil.
- Take a vitamin D supplement.
- Ask your doctor about Vitamin D testing.