Osteoporosis is a serious and disabling disease and it is the most prevalent metabolic bone disease in western societies. Fortunately, osteoporosis can and should be prevented and, when present, treated.
Osteoporosis, the silent disease of later life. Silent, in that there is usually no pain or sign included in this condition until it is very well advanced. A broken bone may be the first indication that your bones have become thin.
Osteoporosis literally means porous bones. Although the entire skeleton may be included, bone loss is usually greatest in the spine, hips and ribs. Since these bones bear a great deal of weight, they are then susceptible to pain, deformity or fracture.
Normally there is a decline in bone loss after the age of 40. This bone loss is accelerated in patients with Osteoporosis. Many factors can lead to excessive bone loss.
For example, many endocrine diseases like Diabetes are linked to Osteoporosis. Certain drugs are also related to Osteoporosis like Alcohol, Steroids, and Methotrexate, to name a few.
The most common form of Osteoporosis is seen in post-menopausal women.
Is Osteoporosis preventable? Yes, definitely. Recently there has been an incredible push for supplementing calcium in an effort to halt bone loss. While this appears to be sound medical advice, Osteoporosis is much more than a lack of dietary calcium; it is a complex condition involving lifestyle, hormonal, nutritional and environmental factors.
Lack of exercise causes weak muscles, which gives little support to the skeletal system and forces the bones to bear greater weight, as well as depriving the body of oxygen supply and circulation, which are needed for tissue renewal that slows aging. Physical exercise is vital in maintaining and restoring optimum bone density. A 45-minute to an hour walk, three to five times a week, is the minimum exercise for preventing Osteoporosis.
While bones use calcium, phosphorus and magnesium as building materials, the ability to absorb calcium into bones depends on vitamin D and is assisted by the trace mineral Boron.
The absorption of Calcium is dependent on a number of factors, firstly it needs to be ionized in the stomach by stomach acid. It has been found that up to 40% of postmenopausal women have not sufficient stomach acids to absorb calcium carbonate, to any great degree.
Patients with low stomach acid need to use Calcium citrate, Calcium lactate or calcium gluconate. About 45% of the Calcium is absorbed from Calcium citrate in patients with reduced stomach acid, compared to 4% absorption for calcium carbonate.
Another mineral that is necessary for bone growth is Magnesium. It seems that magnesium is as important as calcium for bone mass. Intake of dairy foods fortified with vitamin D, results in decreased Magnesium absorption.
Again take Magnesium in a citrate form for best results. Calcium citrate 1gram plus Magnesium citrate 500mg every day is the recommended supplementation.
Vitamin D is also essential for Calcium absorption. Vitamin D is made in the body in the presence of sunlight, another good reason to get outside for a walk. Supplementation may be necessary if you don’t get enough sunlight, 400 IU of vitamin D daily.
Vitamin B6, folic acid and vitamin B12 are also involved in the presentation of Osteoporosis. These vitamins are necessary to prevent the formation of Homocysteine which has been linked to many diseases. So take a Homocysteine modulation supplement to avoid high Homocysteine levels and Osteoporosis.