What to eat to avoid osteoporosis

APR 18, 202467 MIN
ZOE Science & Nutrition

What to eat to avoid osteoporosis

APR 18, 202467 MIN


Every 12 years, our skeletons undergo a complete transformation.

Prof. Tim Spector and Prof. Cyrus Cooper discuss how to avoid Osteoporosis, a condition where bones become fragile, significantly increases the risk of fractures from minor incidents, often without any noticeable symptoms. Worldwide, it affects one in three women and one in five men over fifty, leading to pain, potential disability and loss of independence.

In today’s episode, Jonathan, Tim and Cyrus ask the question: How can understanding osteoporosis and implementing targeted lifestyle changes enhance bone health and reduce the risk of fractures?

Cyrus Cooper is a Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Southampton, where he is also the Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit and Vice-Dean of Medicine. In addition, he’s a Professor of Musculoskeletal Science at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford.

Tim Spector is one of the world’s top 100 most-cited scientists, a professor of epidemiology, and scientific Co-Founder at ZOE. Tim trained originally in rheumatology and epidemiology. 

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00:00 Introduction

01:21 Quickfire questions

03:08 What is osteoporosis?

06:10 Why might our bones become more fragile as we age?

08:10 Your skeleton renews itself all the time

10:30 Does menopause cause osteoporosis?

12:48 What's it like living with osteoporosis?

15:16 How common is osteoporosis in males?

16:04 What are the symptoms of osteoporosis and at what age should you get checked?

21:40 Some chilling statistics about osteoporosis

23:10 Common myths about the effects of calcium and vitamin D on osteoporosis

27:50 What is the latest science on vitamin D supplementation?

34:10 Can vitamin D and calcium ensure children’s bone density is healthy?

34:55 Osteoporosis treatment options, including new drugs    

37:20 The impacts of HRT on bone density

39:30 What are the downsides to some of these treatments?

43:00 Does physical activity help to prevent fractures?

44:30 Lifestyle impacts: diet and nutrition

49:40 Can exercise make your bones stronger?

55:20 Ideal exercises to prevent osteoporosis

57:10 Cyrus and Tim’s top 3 actions to improve bone health

59:10 Summary

Mentioned in today's episode:

Relevant studies:


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Episode transcripts are available here.