When talk turns to issues around bone health as you age, most of us will think about calcium. For women in particular, the drop in the estrogen hormone experienced at the onset of menopause is directly related to the increase in osteoporosis, or a diminishing of bone density. Since women have thinner bones to begin with, bone health as you age can be a serious physical effect of aging as it could lead to injury in the event of an accident or fall.

Will drinking more milk and eating more cheese make a difference in bone health as you age? Get enough calcium from your diet certainly will, but a new study has concluded that ensuring you are getting enough protein will help protect your bone health as you age.

Calcium Plus Protein for Bone Health As You Age

Past studies concluded that a protein heavy diet, with the acid load that came with it, contributed to bone loss. Those findings, however, have been largely refuted.

A review of major research in the area of dietary protein for bone health by the European Society for Clinical and Economical Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has concluded that protein (animal OR vegetable in origin), assuming there is also sufficient calcium intake as well, is not detrimental to bone health.

The review also found that:

  • Hip fracture risks decreased with solid protein, combined with calcium, intake;
  • Bone density was improved with dietary protein;
  • Osteoporosis and bone strength do not get worse because of the acid load that is created by a diet that includes protein.

“Adequate intake of dietary protein, together with calcium, is needed for optimal bone growth in children and the maintenance of healthy bone at all ages. This message needs to be reinforced in view of currently circulating myths suggesting that too much protein causes ‘acid load’ and is damaging to bone health. In fact, in the elderly, we find that a common problem is not too much protein, but too little. This review of the literature confirms that a balanced diet with sufficient protein intake, regardless whether of animal or vegetable source, clearly benefits bone health when accompanied by adequate calcium intake. This is particularly important for seniors with osteoporosis, and individuals at risk of malnutrition due to acute or chronic illness, or recovering from an injury.” – Professor René Rizzoli, Professor at the Division of Bone Diseases of the Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine.

Protein Also Critical for Slowing Age-Related Muscle Loss

What we also know is that protein, in addition to remaining physically active, is essential to avoid the loss of lean muscle that starts to occur as we age, around age 40.   Boomer Nutrition Protein Powder, is a blend of whey and micellar casein which gives you a time released delivery of protein that includes fast acting proteins for muscle repair, after exercise, and slow acting proteins to help in preventing lean muscle loss, in general.

Combined with calcium sources such as milk, yogurt and cheese, or supplements (up to 1000 mg), protein is a powerful tool to keep your muscles, bones, and overall health up to par for years to come. Try a delicious protein smoothie to get your dose of both essential nutrients!

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