Bones are “the” critical part of skeleton system which provides strength to arms, legs and also acts as framework for cartilage in the movable joints.
Thus, it is very important to prevent any bone disease, as damage in the bones on any part of the body leads to the damage of skeleton system.
Various bone diseases
There are numerous of bone diseases existing in the world which includes: Non-neoplastic bone diseases; metabolic bone diseases and bone tumors.
Non-neoplastic bone diseases:
Osteogenisis imperfecta – This disorder is also called brittle bone disease or Lobstein’s disease. It is a genetic disease of skeleton and connective tissue which is caused by mutations in the genes that code for collagen.
Collagen is a protein which is the main component of bone matrix, tendons and ligaments. In this disease, the skeleton becomes reduced, porous and susceptible to fracture. The body cannot stand on its own weight and the disease also affects teeth.
Osteopetrosis – This disease is also called marble bone disease or Alberg-Schonberg disease. It ia genetic disease in which there is there is failure of resorption of bone by osteoclasts.
This leads to increase in bone density throughout the skeleton as a result of which bones become susceptible to fractures. Also, the persons become anemic with reduced level of erythrocytes and leukocytes.
Paget disease – It is an infectious disease in which the osteoclasts are infected with the measles virus. It may affect single bones or multiple bones.
In this disease, there is an increase in the resorption of bones by osteoclasts. The formation of new and abnormal bones replaces the old abnormal bone, thus forming enlarged and dense boned called Paget bone.
This affects the bones of sacrum, spines, skull, pelvis and tubular bones of arms and legs. It causes severe pain, leading to deformities and compression of spinal nerves.
Fibrous dysplasia – In this disorder, there occur mutation in the gene that codes the signal transducing G protein. It results in proliferation of fibroblasts that arises within the bone marrow.
These fibroblasts are converted into osteoblasts and thus there is formation of new and abnormal bones within the cellular mass. This result in tumor-like enlargement of the new bone formed which leads to bone fracture. It also results in skin pigmentation.
Sickle cell anemia – It is a genetic disorder which occurs due to abnormality in gene coding for hemoglobin. It results in the production of sickle hemoglobin.
When oxygen is released from sickle hemoglobin, it joins together to form long rods which damage the shape of red blood cell. In sickle cell anemia, the bones of the jaws are damaged which is painful.
Thalassaemia major– This disease occurs due to expansion of bone marrow of the skull. It results in enlargement of the diploic spaces of the skull and produces hair-on-end appearance and thin cortex. It can also cause bony malformations of the facial region.
Gigantism – Gigantism is a state in which there is overgrowth of the hands and feet and also there is thickening of the soft facial tissues. This occurs due to overproduction of pituitary growth hormone from pituitary gland.
Fluorosis – It is a condition in which there is severe mottling of the teeth and sclerosis of the skeleton system. It occurs due to calcification of intervertebral ligaments and muscle insertions which leads to stiffness of bones and causes pain.
The presence of excess amount of fluorides in drinking water leads to this kind of damage.
Metabolic bone diseases
Rickets: Rickets is a disease which is caused due to deficiency of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus.
Therefore, during bone development in infants, normal serum calcium and low potassium level leads to defective calcification. This results in broadening of the growing ends of bones, damage to the bones and thinning of the back of the skull.
Scurvy– Scurvy is a disease which is caused due to deficiency of vitamin C. This leads to defective formation of collagen and osteoid matrix (well calcified).
Small amount of osteoid matrix with well calcification leads to formation of long bones with sharp and well- defined ends. Scurvy results in weakness of connective tissue, swollen and bleeding gums and early tooth loss.
Giant cell tumor- This disorder occurs within all the bones of the skeleton. These affect bones of the jaws and tumors which are found in posterior to the first molar area.
The tumors consist of solid and cellular proliferation of fibroblasts.
Nutrients required for prevention of bone diseases
The above mentioned diseases can be prevented if we consume proper nutrition. Although genetic disorders cannot be prevented, but if we take nutrition rich diet, then we can minimize the effects of genetic diseases.
Thus, the nutrients required for treatment and prevention of bone diseases includes- collagen protein; minerals like sodium fluoride, calcium and potassium; steroids like phytosterols; vitamin D (calciferol) and C (ascorbic acid).
The daily intake of these nutrients should be- Calcium-800-1200 mg; vitamin D- 200-600 IU; vitamin C- 75-90 mg; potassium-3500-4700 mg, fluoride- 3-4 mg.
15 superfoods for treatment and prevention of bone disorders
The nutrients mentioned above can be utilized if we consume nutrient rich diet in the form of superfoods.
Superfoods are natural nutrient rich products that contain high concentration of essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, omega -3-fatty acids, probiotics and antioxidants) or either of these, with proven health benefits.
Thus, superfoods for bone health include:
Milk and dairy products
Milk and dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese are the richest source of calcium. Fortified milk with vitamin D is also the richest source of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is required for the absorption and metabolism of calcium within the bones. Therefore, once the calcium is absorbed, it maintains the bone mineral balance throughout life. Calcium is an important component for bones that maintains bones structure.
Calcium is also found in the plasma and it is the level of calcium within plasma that accounts for the mineral balance. Thus, dairy products, if consumed in proper concentration help in the treatment of rickets as they contain vitamin D and calcium in highest amount.
Soybean is the good source of collagen protein and richest source of steroids like phytosterols. There are four kinds of phytosterols found in soybeans which include- β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol and brassicasterol.
These phytosterols present in soybean help to prevent bone tumors as they activate the enzyme called capase that plays a key role in programmed cell death and thus reduces the formation of tumors.
A phytosterol called phytoestrogens also slow down the bone loss. Soybean contains genistein, a substance that promotes collagen production.
Hence, it helps in the treatment of disease called osteogenisis inperfecta. Soybeans also contain calcium which helps in the treatment of rickets as calcium maintains the mineral balance within the bone and bone structure.
Guava is a fruit which is the richest source of vitamin C. Vitamin C acts a co-factor in the hydroxylation of lysine and proline amino acids.
Therefore, it participates in cross-linking of collagen fibrils in bone. Thus guava helps in the treatment of scurvy as it consisit of vitamin C.
Kale is a vegetable which contains a pigment called lutein. Lutein is an antioxidant that helps to prevent the formation of free radicals that can interfere in the collagen production.
Thus, kale helps in the collagen formation, which is the main component of bone, tendon and ligament as it contains lutein pigment and helps in the prevention of bone diseases like osteogenisis imperfecta.
Kale is also rich in calcium , which helps in the treatment of rickets as calcium maintains the mineral balance within the bone.
Consumption of orange in the form orange juice is beneficial for bone health as orange juice consist of potassium. Potassium creates an alkaline environment within the body.
Therefore, consumption of orange juice, reduces the activity of skeleton salts to balance the acidic environment formed due to acid released from acidic foods since, orange juice consist of potassium which neutralizes this acidic environment by creating an alkaline environment.
This helps in maintenance of salt balance in the skeleton system and hence prevents the bone diseases. Orange juice is also a good source of vitamin D ; therefore it helps in the treatment of scurvy as vitamin D helps in the absorption and metabolism of calcium within the bone.
Spinach is the second richest source of vitamin C. It is also a good source of calcium and pigment lutein.
Thus, spinach helps in the treatment of diseases like scurvy as vitamin C participates in cross linking of collagen fibrils in bone and bone formation.
Spinach also prevents the disease like rickets as calcium maintains the mineral balance in the bone. The pigment lutein in spinach helps in the collagen production by preventing free radicals formation.
Eggs are the richest source of lutein pigment. It also consists of vitamin D . Hence, eggs help in the prevention of bone diseases like osteopetrosis as lutein in it causes production of collagen by preventing free radicals formation.
Eggs can also prevent scurvy because the presence of vitamin D can lead to absorption and metabolism of calcium and calcium is the important component of bone structure.
Broccoli is a good source of calcium and vitamin C. Calcium helps to maintain the mineral balance in the bone and thus broccoli can prevent the disease like rickets.
Vitamin C participates in the cross-linking of collagen fibrils in bone and thus helps in bone formation. Therefore, broccoli can help in treatment of disease like scurvy.
Salmon is a richest source of omega-3- fatty acid. This fatty acid helps in the formation of collagen protein and thus helps in the prevention of skin pigmentation caused due to fibrous dysplasia and also helps in treatment of osteogenisis imperfecta.
Kiwi is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C participates in cross-linking of collage fibrils in bone and helps in bone formation. Therefore, kiwi can help in treatment of diseases like scurvy.
Avocado is rich in mineral like potassium. Potassium helps in maintaining the salt balance within the skeleton system as it provides an alkaline environment to neutralize the level of acid released from acidic foods.
Thus, it does not allow skeleton salts to do such activity. Therefore, avocado can help in prevention of paget disease.
Garlic consists of sulfur compounds which is essential for producing collagen fibres. Garlic also has large amount of fatty acid- lauric acid and amino acid- taurine.
These fatty acids and amino acids are essential for rebuiliding of damaged collagen fibres. Hence, garlic helps in the treatment of diseases like osteogenisis imperfecta.
Fish oil is rich in vitamin D. Therefore; fish oil can help in the prevention of rickets as vitamin D in it helps in the absorption and metabolism of calcium.
Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene pigment. This pigment inhibits the formation of collagenases as collagenases are the enzymes that destroy collagen in the bones. Thus, tomatoes help in the formation of collagen and leads to prevention of diseases like osteogenisis imperfecta.
In the end..
The skeleton system is the base of all organs and organ system. Its damage leads to damage of our ability to do any kind of muscular effort. Therefore, it is required to be careful in our diet intake as any deficiency in nutrients can cause disorders of bones and skeleton systems.
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