Britain is in the grip of a hidden brittle bone disease epidemic. Osteoporosis claims around three million victims each year and thousands more remain undiagnosed and untreated.
Women are most in danger after the menopause as there is a direct relationship between the lack of oestrogen during menopause and the development of osteoporosis.
One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will break a bone mainly as a result of osteoporosis. Worse still, of the 70,000 osteoporotic hip fractures each year, about 30% of patients will die within a year due to causes related to the fracture.
There are no early symptoms or warning signs and the first most women know they have osteoporosis is when their weakened bones cause a painful fracture. But prevention is possible and it is vital to keep your bones as healthy as you can to reduce the risk.
Weight bearing exercise and a healthy diet can help strengthen bones. Calcium and vitamin D are the two most important nutrients for bone health. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are essential to building stronger, denser bones early in life and to keeping bones strong and healthy in later life.
Calcium is a mineral that helps build bones and keep them healthy. But the body cannot produce calcium so it has to be obtained from our diet. Vitamin D plays an important role in protecting bones as it is needed by the body to absorb calcium. However as we get older we absorb nutrients less efficiently so we should often depend on supplements to ensure our diet is adequate.
Research has shown that calcium supplements reduce bone loss associated with advancing age and when vitamin D is taken plus calcium it appears to reduce the risk of fractures by as much as 43%.
BONE HEALTH IGNORANCE
A new study commissioned by bone health experts at KIRA Osteo Balance 50+ shows that although most women think about bone health and are aware of osteoporosis:
- 51% have no idea of the link between osteoporosis and the menopause
- 96% have no idea how much calcium or vitamin D you should have in your weekly diet.
DID YOU KNOW?
If we broke a hip, most of us would miss driving followed by going on holiday or shopping.
22% of us feel unsteady on our feet.
The study also found that less than one in five takes any supplements to help keep their bones healthy. Most of those interviewed said they depended on a daily diet to protect them although they had no idea how much calcium or vitamin D they consumed. Other study data revealed that:
- 70% of people do not eat the recommended weekly amount of oily fish such as sardines to help keep our bones and joints mobile.
Commenting on the results, women’s health specialist Dr Catherine Hood notes: “These latest study results from KIRA Osteo Balance are very interesting. Despite being knowledgeable, many seem unaware or reluctant to take positive steps to help protect their bone health. Three out of four women aged 41 – 65 had never taken supplements to help their bones and help reduce the risk of fracture despite many of them being in the high risk age range.
“The great news is that Kira Osteo Balance 50+ is a bone health nutritional supplement aimed at women over the age of 50. It not only helps support strong and healthy bones but aids the immune system and the skin and hair too. Each tablet contains 850mg of calcium along with other nutrients including vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid and copper.
“Vitamin B-12 has been looked at as a treatment for many diseases and conditions. These include fatigue, weakness, memory loss and other problems with the nervous system. Vitamin B6 is essential for the breakdown of food by the body, and turning carbohydrates, proteins and fat into energy. It’s also needed for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the immune system.
“Vitamin K is important for bone health while folic acid helps fight against fatigue, and copper is important in hair pigment and the slowing of grey hair.”