New research in the area of osteoporosis shows that bone loss increases with the level of inflammation in the body. This gives us new clues on how to help prevent osteoporosis. In addition to standard support like calcium and vitamin D, we can work to address excess inflammation in the body. Though short-term inflammation associated with an acute illness is a healthy process, chronic inflammation is now being tied to many of our modern illness including heart disease and now osteoporosis. You can tell that you are dealing with inflammation if you have any condition that ends in –itis, like arthritis or gingivitis. Once again everything is tied together so that an issue like gum disease can be far reaching in its effects on the body. Then when we improve these health issues, we get benefits throughout our body.
There are many ways of combating excess inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish or flax oil may decrease the intensity of inflammation. Since decreased inflammation is associated with less bone loss, regular consumption of fish or flax could help slow down osteoporosis. Another strategy for reducing inflammation is to increase our consumption of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that can neutralize free radicals, which can damage our cells. This cell damage in turn leads to inflammation. Fruits and vegetables are full of protective antioxidants. One vegetable that has been studied for osteoporosis prevention is tomatoes, particularly cooked tomatoes that are high in the antioxidant lycopene. The study results indicated decreased bone loss in women who took lycopene supplements or who drank tomato juice.