Your bones are continuously changing – new bone is made and old bone is broken down and throughout life, the balance of these two processes changes. When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. This trend continues to somewhere between the ages of 25 and 30, when most people reach their peak bone mass. After that, the balance begins to shift and over time you begin to lose slightly more bone mass than you gain.
This makes it crucial that we aim to build strong and healthy bones during childhood, adolescence and early adult life. All is not lost from age 30 though, and there are many ways you can can continue to promote and protect bone health in adulthood too.
A word on Osteoporosis
Bone is strong – pound for pound, it’s as strong as steel, but thanks to it’s collagen content, it is also flexible. Osteoporosis occurs when the loss of collagen and minerals (calcium and phosphorus) occurs more quickly than the body can replace them, making the bone both less flexible and more brittle. This loss of bone density or mass occurs silently and progressively, often without symptoms until the first fracture occurs.
Osteoporosis is common, it affects well over 1 million Australians. It is common but it is just one of several conditions that lead to bone weakening and an increased fracture risk.