250 million people suffer from bone deficiency worldwide. The number of fractures due to this condition is 1,600,000 per annum, to be precise: one fracture every 20 seconds. These fractures mainly occur in the area of the hip, spine and wrist, resulting in 1.5 million hospital admissions, 2.5 million medical visits and 200,000 placements in nursing homes. The cost of these fractures is estimated at more than €10 billion.
Weaker bones can lead to osteoporosis or bone decalcification. The bones then lose their strength. Their quantity and quality also decrease. Because the bones become more brittle, the risk of fractures increases.
As women have less bone mass on average and given that the production of bones decreases under the influence of the menopause, 1 in 5 women (over 65) suffers from osteoporosis.
Not only our hormones, but also our diet can inïfluence the risk of osteoporosis. In addition, tobacco and alcohol have an effect on our hormones, which have consequences for bone building and –breakdown. Caffeïine also causes higher calcium excretion, which is also not beneficial for our bones. That is why it's important:
- to have sufficient exercise every day
- to eat healthily
- to go out into the open air regularly
- to avoid tobacco
- to limit alcohol
The prevention of osteoporosis begins in childhood and lasts a lifetime.
Recommended daily amount:
|Children between 3 and 5||300 mg/day|
|Children between 6 and 9||600 mg/day|
|Children over 10 and adolescents||800 to 1200 mg/day|
|Adults (men and women)||800 to 1200 mg/day|
|Pregnant/breastfeeding women||1000 to 1200 mg/day|
|Women in the menopause||1200 to 1500 mg/day|
|Men over 55||1000 to 1200 mg/day|
crucial building block for strong bones
Calcium is an important building block for creating and maintaining healthy bones and teeth, during both the growth and adult phases. 40% of the weight of a human skeleton is made up of calcium. Our bones and teeth store as much as 99% of the calcium, while the remaining 1% circulates through our blood and tissues. It is this last minuscule amount of calcium that is intended to allow the blood to clot, muscles to contract, and nerves to function properly in order to carry messages to and from the brain. When the blood contains too little calcium, our body starts taking calcium from the bones and breaks down the bones themselves.
The main function of calcium is the mineralisation of the bones. Unless calcium in ingested in combination with vitamin D, it cannot be absorbed by the body. Even if ingested in large amounts, it cannot mineralise itself without the intervention of vitamin K.
Calcium can be found in dairy products and derivatives, as well as in many vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, whole-grain cereal products and, for example, soy products enriched with calcium. So milk is not the sole or main source of calcium. In fact, science is not yet 100% sure that dairy products lower the risk of bone fractures.
Caffeine, salt and meat increase the secretion of calcium and should, therefore, be consumed in moderation.
A balanced diet will normally give you sufficient calcium. If this is not the case, calcium can be augmented by means of supplements, such as the CalxPlus solutions.
Natural sources rich in calcium
Calcium is mainly found in dairy products, which are the best providers of calcium. However, soy drinks with added calcium and vitamin B12 can also be a healthy and good alternative. Vegetables (green cabbage, spinach, broccoli, …), fruit (dried figs), nuts (almonds & hazelnuts) and legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc. …) also provide calcium, albeit to a slightly lesser extent.
Not a milk lover?
one glass of milk can be replaced by, among other things:
- 1 glass of buttermilk
- 1 glass of chocolate milk
- 1 jar of yoghurt (natural or flavoured)
- 1 glass of drinking yoghurt
- 1 bowl of custard/blancmange
- 1 bowl of cottage cheese (natural or flavoured)
To reach the daily recommended amount of calcium, you should consume about four dairy products per day. For example, 1 glass of (chocolate) milk, 1 jar of yoghurt and 2 slices of cheese.