Space Bones: Osteoporosis in Outer Space?

Cal-EZ Team Calcium and Bone Health Leave a Comment

We’ve been talking a lot about bone health and osteoporosis on the Cal-EZ blog lately. Here on earth, we have certain things we need to do to keep our bones healthy. But what happens when your childhood dream of becoming an astronaut comes true and you find yourself on a mission in outer space or being able to live on the International Space Station or end up like Sandra Bullock in Gravity?

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Well, your bones would be in jeopardy. That’s right. The “weightlessness” of space contributes significantly to bone loss experienced by astronauts. Without having to fight against the earth’s gravity, there is less stress on the skeletal system and progressive bone loss. So why do the earth-loving people that never want to go to space care? Because weight-bearing exercise is still being shown to be one of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis. In fact, when you take away all weight bearing, bone loss accelerates to 1% to 2% a month. The same amount that a post-menopausal women would lose in a year. Did you get that? An astronaut can lose the same amount of bone in a month that a post-menopausal woman would lose in a year.

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So exercise for your best bone health, watch what you eat so that you’re getting enough of the nutrients you need for healthy bones, and take a calcium and vitamin D supplement, if needed.

 

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