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Health expert Dr Michael Mosley shares two tips for avoiding osteoporosis

TV personality said he discovered his bones are ‘weaker than they should be’ during a scan

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 07 August 2023 06:46 BST
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Training at any age results in positive gains in muscle mass and strength, bone density and improvements to overall health
Training at any age results in positive gains in muscle mass and strength, bone density and improvements to overall health (Getty)

Health “guru” Dr Michael Mosley has offered his advice to those seeking to reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition characterised by weak or brittle bones.

The medical expert and former doctor is known for his regular appearances on The One Show, as well as his TV programmes on health and medicine.

Writing in his column for MailOnline, the creator of the 5:2 and Fast800 diets said he had found his bones were not as strong as they could be while filming a series about healthy ageing in 2022.

“Like many Britons, my bones are weaker than they should be,” he wrote. “While filming a series about healthy ageing last year, I had a DXA scan, which uses low-dose X-rays to see how dense (or strong) your bones are.

“Although I have a sturdy spine, my hip bones aren’t in great shape, though I don’t have osteoporosis.”

Dr Mosley explained that the key to avoiding osteoporis involves getting a healthy intake of both calcium and Vitamin D, as well as a short but effective burst of exercise each day.

“As well as obvious good calcium sources such as dairy and leafy green veg, you may want to top up on prunes,” he suggetsed.

“A study last October in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, involing 235 older women, concluded eating five to six prunes a day improved bone density. The theory is that anti-inflammatory compounds in prunes may slow bone breakdown.”

He also suggested that daily exercise could also help, citing a study that showed two minutes of hopping each day can improve hip bone strength.

In 2020, Dr Mosley claimed that men were “more deluded” than women when it came to their own weight and fitness, while fronting a Channel 4 series to help people who had gained weight during lockdown.

He told the Press Association: “An awful lot of people are unaware of how much weight they put on, particularly around the gut.”

Research shows that only 10 per cent of people who are obese know they are but that the figure is only 7 per cent for men, Dr Mosley said, while “women are more aware of it”.

He also denied that the show, which offers practical advice to overhaul viewers’ lifestyles, was about fat shaming: “Body shaming is awful. It is incredibly ineffective. Telling people they’re fat never, ever works,” he said.

“None of this is about fat-shaming. It is entirely about helping people who are obese and who want to do something about it. Any diet is only ever going to work if the person wants to do it.”

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