ZOE Science & Nutrition

ZOE Science & Nutrition


The world’s top scientists explain the latest health, nutrition, and gut health research and translate it into practical advice to improve your health & weight. Join ZOE Science & Nutrition, on a journey of scientific discovery. Hosted by Jonathan Wolf.

Categories: Health

Listen to the last episode:

Did you know that every 12 years, our skeletons undergo a complete transformation? 

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:


Is there a nutrition topic you’d like us to explore? Email podcast@joinzoe.com, and we’ll do our best to cover it.

Episode transcripts are available here.

Previous episodes

  • 125 - What to eat to avoid osteoporosis with Prof. Cyrus Cooper and Tim Spector 
    Thu, 18 Apr 2024
  • 124 - The world's biggest intermittent fasting study - what we learned with Prof. Tim Spector & Gin Stephens 
    Thu, 11 Apr 2024
  • 123 - The best exercise routine, according to your muscle clocks with Professor Karyn Esser 
    Thu, 04 Apr 2024
  • 122 - 5 things you can do now to reduce dementia risk with Professor Claire Steves 
    Thu, 28 Mar 2024 - 0h
  • 121 - Three ways to prevent diabetes with Professor Naveed Sattar 
    Thu, 21 Mar 2024 - 0h
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