Are you prone to osteoporosis?
Well, you might be. One in three women and every four men fifth man will suffer a fracture in their lifetime where osteoporosis is a factor. Osteoporosis means reduced bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue which lead to a more fragile skeleton and increased risk of fractures.
Bone mass is measured as BMD, bone mineral density, which is a measure of how “porous” the bone is. Osteoporotic bone has lost its density and thus has a lower BMD than a normal bone.
How do you know if your have low bone density?
Bone loss usually occurs gradually over the years without symptoms. That’s why osteoporosis is called a silent disease. A fracture is usually the first sign of the disease, and typically occurs in the hip, spine or wrist. Other signs may be loss of height or a curved back.
How BMD decreases with age:
Risk factors for osteoporosis
There are a number of factors that increase the risk of osteoporosis, the two main ones being gender and age, where women and older people are more likely to develop the disease.
In women, estrogen plays a decisive role. When estrogen levels fall at the menopause, bone density falls more quickly, with the greatest reduction in the first ten years after the menopause.
Other risk factors include heredity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. People who suffer from eating disorders or have a low calcium intake also run an extra risk. Some medical conditions such as liver disease and rheumatism can also affect the incidence of fractures.
How common is it?
It is estimated that more than 200 million people worldwide are diagnosed with osteoporosis. In the US and Europe, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 are at risk of developing osteoporosis. In other words, osteoporosis and low bone mass are important threats to public health in the world.
There are a number of things in your daily life that you can do to prevent osteoporosis, where diet and physical activity are the two most important factors. To build strong bones it is important to get enough calcium and vitamin D, which can be found in foods like dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Fatty fishes, like salmon, contain both calcium, vitamin D and omega-3, all of which have benefits for you bones.
An active lifestyle has also proved to prevent osteoporosis. Activities such as jogging and tennis are good high impact weight-bearing exercises, but taking a walk will also have a positive effect on your bone health.
A new alternative
BioGaia Osfortis is a new, natural product for bone health. It is a combination of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 and vitamin D. Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones.