Osteoporosis and Early Menopause
I often harp on how important it is to take calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones, and a recent study reinforces why you shouldn’t delay this daily regimen.
The study found that women who experienced menopause before age 47 years were almost twice as likely to develop osteoporosis later in life compared with those who underwent later menopause (published online in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. They also experienced a significantly increased risk for fragility fractures and death.
If you’re premenopausal, you need 1200-1500 mg of calcium and at least 1000 units of vitamin D-3 in your diet every day. Postmenopausal women need 1500-2000 mg of calcium and at least 1000 units of vitamin D-3 in their diet each day.
The best way to get calcium is through food – like yogurt, cheese, milk, leafy greens, chicken and fish — but usually you’ll need a supplement.
It’s really so easy to get calcium. My favorite supplement is Adora Calcium — chocolate discs in milk chocolate or dark chocolate. You can find them at Whole Foods, among other places. Get your calcium and chocolate fix at the same time!
Personalized Breast Screening Recommendations
You’ve probably heard about the 2009 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations of starting routine mammograms at age 50, followed by a repeat every other year. Despite the rationale behind it (more “harms” than benefits), many women still took issue with delaying breast screening until age 50.
Well, a new analysis suggests that women who have a close relative diagnosed with breast cancer, or those who have very dense breast tissue, should have their first mammogram at age 40 followed by screenings at least once every other year. These women face at least twice the average risk of developing breast cancer in their 40s. The researchers found that this elevated risk outweighs the risks of early screening, such as false positives and unnecessary biopsies.
The research is published May 1 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Your Sleep Affects Your Weight
A new study suggests that the amount of sleep you get affects your weight.
Researchers studied over a thousand pairs of twins and concluded that those who get plenty of sleep – at least 9 hours a night – had more control over their weight through lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. Those who slept less were more influenced by their genetic propensity to be overweight.
The new study, which appears in the journal SLEEP, suggests that “the amount of sleep you get has an effect on your gene expression,” says Michael Weissberg, M.D., a sleep specialist and professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, in Denver.