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  • Osteoporosis side effects
  • Risk factors of osteoporosis
  • Advantages of vitamin d

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    Exercise and nutrition influences on posture and balance

    People who have a bone mineral density of -2.5 or less are described as having osteoporosis. This condition is a major health condition and approximately 44 million women in the USA alone are considered to have osteopenia. One of the main problems of having weak bones is that the person is more susceptible to fractures. In the European country of Switzerland there were over 18,000 people who had to attend hospital because of osteoporotic fractures in the year 2000; this was estimated to cost 234 million Euros in expenses. One of the common fractures resulting from osteoporosis are hip fractures, the effect of these on the sufferer can be devastating, with their mobility becoming severely restricted for a long time.

    Many Osteoporosis fractures are a result of falling

    Most fractures that are of a consequence of osteoporosis are due to falls. Unfortunately as people get older they tend to lose their sense of balance due to declines in sensorimotor control. One of the ways to strengthen ones ability to balance is to take exercises that involve themselves involve balancing; a recommended balance exercise for osteoporosis sufferers is Tai Chi.

    Exercising in elderly people

    It is known that carrying out home based muscle strengthening programs that also incorporate a balance control element may lead to a reduction in the chances of falling in elderly people. However many other considerations have to be taken into account when an elderly person starts a training routine. For example elderly people have a tendency to eat less, and therefore may not be getting much protein in their diet; as protein is required to build muscle it may be necessary for them to take protein supplements. As mentioned previously elderly people often have a reduced sensorimotor control, this means that many people may find the performance of weight bearing exercises difficult.

    Nutrition and the risk of osteoporotic fractures

    It is likely that vitamin D consumption has a correlation with the incidence rate of osteoporotic fractures. It is known that people who have low vitamin D and calcium intakes often have increased bone reabsorption secondary hyperparathyroidism; these are often associated with an increased risk of osteoporotic fractures. Furthermore a research paper by Bischoff and colleagues in 2003 suggested that a supplementation of vitamin D and calcium could reduce the risk of falls by half when compared against those who took calcium supplements alone.

    To investigate the links between exercise and nutritional intake Swanenburg and colleagues from the university hospital in Zurich, looked into the effects of giving calcium and vitamin D supplements to people with osteopenia who followed a set exercise program. Their findings are reported in the next section, nutrition and exercise part two.

    Bischoff et al (2003). Effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on falls: a randomized controlled trial. J. bone Niner. Res. 18: 343 to 51.
    Swanenburg et al, (2007). Effects of exercise and nutrition on postural balance and risk of falling in elderly people with decreased bone mineral density: randomized controlled trial pilot study. Clin. Rehabil. 21: 523 to 534