Milk is the Best Supplier of Calcium

One of the biggest causes of osteoporosis is a poor calcium intake or poor milk intake in the 1st 30 years of a human life. These are the years of bone density building and we have to make the bone as dense as we can so that when the later years of bone breakdown come it won’t be so bad.

Milk in the diet is the biggest calcium source. The next biggest calcium source is greens and pulses- channa, rajma, moong, horse gram, etc. We require about 500mg calcium daily this is available in 500ml of milk/curd. Milk is the only food source that can be consumed in this amount daily. Normally greens and beans are consumed about 2-3 times a week in most households so it cannot be relied upon.

Many young people starting from teenagers have given up milk saying it is fattening and some say it is meant only for babies and small children. This could be one of the leading causes of osteoporosis and the rising dental problems as well as spine and neck problems.

I believe that everybody from birth to death requires at least 2-3 glass of milk/curd daily after the cream has been removed thoroughly or skimmed. The cream is fattening not the milk.

The second cause is lack of physical exercise. Poor physical activity causes increased calcium loss from the weight bearing bones and this leads to osteoporosis in later life. Today the walking habit has disappeared among most people and also children spending their evening playing and running about on the streets have vanished. Instead they are either in tuitions or in front of the T.V or computer. Also working hours or sitting hours has changed from 9-5 pm to 9-9pm. This has to be dealt with very seriously. We need to teach or train children to go for a walk like we train to brush teeth. We too must resist the temptation to say I had a long day and skip the walk. A walk a day will keep the bones in good sway (25 –45 minutes).

Some other factors are age, the bone density is built up to age 30, and then stays stable from 30-40 and after that break down starts. Women are more prone to osteoporosis and more so during menopause as this bone breakdown or demineralization is affected by hormone changes. Those who have removed their ovaries/uterus are even more affected.

Smoking has a very bad effect and if you do so please stop completely. Alcohol consumption too is bad so try to avoid it or limit it strictly. These factors tend to hinder the absorption of calcium into the body. Finally insufficient Vitamin D can also contribute to osteoporosis as vitamin D is required for the proper absorption of calcium from the food. Usually if you go out in the sunlight your skin will produce Vitamin D. If you are always indoors or avoiding the sun please be careful and consult your physician as to whether you need to take a supplement.

So make sure you are out for a morning walk daily, consume 2-3 glasses milk/curd, try to eat dhal or pulses at both lunch and dinner and have greens as often as possible.

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