“Bone is power. It is bone to which the soft parts cling, from which they are helpless, strung…lest man be but another slithering earth-noser,” states Richard Selzer. No other material is as well-suited for our body needs as bone – it is one-fifth of body weight.
Bones provide structure, protect organs, anchor muscles and store calcium. Bones are always changing; for as old bone breaks down, new bone is made. Bone mass peaks around age 30. After that bone continues to renew, but you lose more bone than you gain.
Measures to help keep bones healthy:
- Calcium in diet. Adults age 19-50 and men age 51-70 need 1000 mg of calcium per day. Women need 1200 mg a day after age 50, and men 1200 mg a day after age 70. Sources of calcium include: dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products.
- Vitamin D – the body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium. The recommended amount is 600 International Units per day and 800 IU’s after age 70. Sources of Vitamin D include: oily fish (tuna, sardines), egg yolks and fortified milk. Sunlight helps the body to produce Vitamin D.
- Physical activity daily – weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, tennis, climbing stairs, etc.
- Avoid substance abuse. Do not smoke. Drink no more that 1-2 alcoholic drinks per day (or less).
If you feel you need vitamin supplements, talk with your doctor; but we can generally get enough of the vitamins we need with good nutrition.
Dr. Philip Brand, in the book Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, co-authored with Philip Yancey, states, “I find bone’s design most impressive in the tiny, jewel-like chips of ivory in the foot. Twenty-six bones line up in each foot, the same number as in each hand. …not all of us leap and kick, but we do walk some 65,000 miles, or more than 2 ½ times around the world, in a lifetime.”
Praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father for all He has done for us; we are His creation.
Blessings, Shirley Hess, Parish Nurse, 651-210-3380