What is peak bone mass?

Peak bone mass is an integral part of bone health, and understanding this term may help you to gain a better understanding of how you can improve your diet to include vital nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D in your diet.

Throughout childhood, and especially during adolescence, our body busily builds bone structure. At around the age of 30, this mass reaches its peak as the end of the skeletal maturation process draws nearer. The amount of bony tissue in the body is known as peak bone mass. The final 10 years of maturation only account for a small amount of growth however, as 90 per cent of the skeleton is mature by the time females reach 18 and males reach 20.1 This means that while looking after your Calcium intake and vitamin D levels is essential during the younger years, it’s also still very important throughout your 20’s and beyond.

Further to this, those aged 30 and over should pay close attention to their bone health. While our bone mass remains largely unchanged for women over 30, this level can drop sharply during the onset of menopause, which can lead to osteoporosis. In fact, half of women over the age of 50 will experience a fracture, largely due to weak bones.2

It’s important to remember some lifestyle factors can have a negative effect on peak bone mass, healthy levels of regular physical activity can improve peak bone mass.3 If calcium intake is an issue, there are a number of ways to improve it, such as ensuring you’re getting enough vitamin D to allow the body to absorb calcium, improving the diet to include more calcium rich foods or considering a vitamin D and calcium supplement. For men and women alike, calcium is a vital part of overall health and the benefits of getting enough of this nutrient and other bone health minerals can’t be overstated.