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How Much Do You Know About Bones?

Are you a bone whiz or a bonehead? Take a bone quiz to find out.


7. The most common site of bone break seen in hospital emergency rooms is in the:

a. Wrist/hand/fingers

b. Skull

c. Ankle/Foot/Toes

d. Hip

Answer: a. According to data provided by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in 2004 the leading bone break seen in hospital emergency rooms was a fracture of the wrist, hand, or fingers, with some 1,093,000 cases in the U.S. Next in line were ankle, foot, and toe fractures (783,000), followed by lower arm fractures (763,000) and upper arm fractures (342,000).

8. Nutrients necessary for healthy bones include:

a. Calcium and vitamin D

b. Zinc and magnesium

c. Protein

d. All of the above

Answer: d. Though calcium is a key nutrient for strong bones, vitamin D is also necessary in order for bones to absorb calcium -- one reason why milk is often fortified with this nutrient. That said, zinc, magnesium, and protein are also found in milk and are important for strong bone health.

Among the best sources of calcium are low-fat or nonfat milk or cheese, yogurt, broccoli, almonds, and calcium-fortified foods such as orange juice, cereals, soy beverages, and tofu products.

9. Which of the following lifestyle habits affects bone health:

a. Smoking

b. Exercise

c. Excessive alcohol consumption

d. All of the above

Answer: d. While smoking and alcohol affect bones in a negative way, exercise can have a positive effect on bone health. Studies have shown a direct link between smoking and a decrease in bone density that in turn increases the risk of a bone-thinning disorder known as osteoporosis.

Excessive drinking can interfere with the production of vitamin D, which in turn interferes with calcium absorption. Alcoholism has also been linked to an increase in levels of cortisol, a hormone that can decrease bone formation and increase bone breakdown.

Meanwhile, exercise -- particularly weight-bearing workouts that force you to push against gravity, such as walking, weight lifting, and climbing stairs -- increases bone health to help slow loss of bone density as we age.

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