Over 22 million women aged 50-84 are affected by osteoporosis in Europe. Figures which should increase by nearly 23% by 2025. Projections give a figure of 22 million currently which should increase to 34 million.
About 1 in 3 women will face the problem in her life. Women are indeed paying a heavy price for osteoporosis in Europe. Of the 3.5 million osteoporotic fractures recorded in Europe, more than 2/3 involved women. 22,000 deaths are attributed to fractures, of which 50% for hip fracture alone.
In addition to the human cost of the disease, the associated public health expenditure, estimated at around 37 billion euros per year, should not be overlooked either! Osteoporosis also has a direct impact on the quality of life of older women. Thus, the total cost of osteoporosis in Europe has been estimated at 1,180,000 QALYs (Quality Adjusted Life Years) lost, with women twice as often affected as men.
The preventive measures to adopt to prevent osteoporosis and to stop it
Preventative measures like regular exercise and getting enough vitamin D are important for bone health at any age. These factors become absolutely critical after the age of menopause.
From a diet perspective, two main factors can help reduce the onset of osteoporosis:
– Reduce the consumption of red meats.
Women who follow a Mediterranean type diet, rich in olive oil and low in red meats, have a higher bone density than those who have a Western type diet
– Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Unlike meats, the consumption of plants such as fruits and vegetables leads to an alkalinization (decrease in acidity) of the blood. This helps maintain calcium in the bones.
Moreover, several studies have shown that a diet rich in plants was associated with higher bone density. Plants provide a high content of vitamin K. This vitamin plays an important role in stabilizing the structure of the bones.
The prevention of osteoporosis is another example of the benefits associated with a diet based on the abundant consumption of plants, combined with a reduced intake of red meats and regular physical activity.