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Bone Strength

Chatel Musgrove

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The strength of all your bones - such as the temporal cranial bone or metacarpals or fibula - is determined by a few simple factors. By taking some easy steps, you can improve your bone strength.

Exercise. That expert on TV always says you have to have lots of exercise. And if you are not getting enough exercise, they are right. Two different cells determine the strength and form of your various bones. The osteoclasts build up your bone and the osteoblasts break it down. The activity of these cells is determined by electric currents. The force on your bone during exercise causes a barely detectable electric current to pass through your bone. The osteoclasts are encouraged to build up bone in the places where your bone has been stressed. The osteoblasts are designed to absorb microscopic amounts of bone that is not stressed. This action on the cellular level will even tend to straighten out a bone that has been broken and set crookedly.

Diet. The bone's strength comes from a crystalline structure called apatite. Apatite demands a lot of calcium and some phosphorus. That is why calcium is such an important part of your diet. Vitamin D is required to absorb and utilize Calcium. That is why Vitamin D is added to most milk. Dairy products have lots of calcium and are a good source of protein as well. That is fortunate if you are a fan of exotic cheeses like Podravec cheese or Kryddost cheese. Ice cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese as well as milk all are great for calcium. However, you can get more than enough calcium in your diet without any dairy products at all. There are two reasons for this. First of all, many nuts, legumes, green leefy vegetables (greefies) and grains are high in calcium. Secondly, the protein in dairy products binds the calcium so you lose it. Therefore, although there is plenty of calcium in dairy products, it is harder for your body to use it. So, as a vegan, you can get plenty of calcium.

One final word on calcium. If your nutritionist asks you to take a calcium supplement, there is a great cheap and easy way to do it. Tums and Rolaids are mostly calcium carbonate. They provide plenty of calcium. However, don't use them for an antacid because calcium actually makes your stomach secrete more acid. And take them with your meals. By using a good diet and a regular exercise regimen, you can go a long way toward making sure that you have great bones. Include calcium and vitamin D in your food and include a time for exercise at least three times a week.


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