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Undiagnosed osteoporosis widespread
A report authored by researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine published in the July 26 2004 issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of Internal Medicine (http://archinte.ama-assn.org), estimates that millions of Americans have osteoporosis and don’t know it. Osteoporosis is a disease that occurs mainly in older women in which the bones become fragile and fracture more easily than healthy bone. Three and a half million patients visited their physicians during the past year for the disease, but at least this many more individuals may be undiagnosed. Many people only discover they have osteoporosis after a bone fracture occurs.
The authors used data from an ongoing national physician survey to arrive at their conclusions. They remark that although many cases of osteoporosis go undetected, recognition and treatment have improved over the past decade. Although newer and more effective prescription drugs are being increasingly used, a disturbing trend observed is a decline in the use of calcium supplements by osteoporosis patients, down from 46 percent of osteoporosis patients in 1994 to just 24 percent in 2003. Because the newer drugs were found to be effective when tested on people who were taking calcium supplements, they may not work as well without this critical bone-building nutrient. Lead researcher and assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, commented, "Physicians and patients may be so enamored of the new drugs that they are neglecting this important component of osteoporosis treatment.”
It has been recommended by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that all women over the age of 65 undergo bone density screening to determine if they have osteoporosis. Dr Stafford noted, “If a person's doctor hasn't diagnosed osteoporosis, there's no way they could be on optimal treatment for their bone condition . . . The gravity of fractures is often underappreciated when in fact patients with hip fractures go on to have deterioration in their health linked directly to their fractures, with a high probability of death or nursing home placement.”
The authors conclude that “As estrogens are no longer recommended for long-term use in postmenopausal women, greater attention to osteoporosis prevention is critical. This includes calcium use and physical activity as well as potential advancements in pharmacotherapy for osteoporosis prevention.” (Stafford RS et al, “National trends in osteoporosis visits and osteoporosis treatment, 1988-2003,” Arch Intern Med, 164, July 26:2004, 1525-1530.)
Osteoporosis is a debilitating, costly, and difficult-to-treat decline in bone density that occurs primarily in postmenopausal females. It causes a progressive marked reduction in bone mineral density that often results in fractures of a serious nature. Most commonly these are spinal and hip fractures. Osteoporosis is a major public health issue for more than 28 million Americans, 80% of whom are women. It is estimated that in the United States today, 10 million individuals already have osteoporosis, and 18 million more probably have a low bone density, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis in later years. Half of the women over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. Although osteoporosis is often thought of as an old person's disease, it can affect younger people who have hormonal difficulties, particularly women with anorexia, bleeding, or menstrual abnormalities in their 20s. Osteoporosis also occurs in men.
Known risk factors for osteoporosis are:
- Being female
- Thin or small frame
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Postmenopausal, including surgical menopause (i.e., hysterectomy including ovariectomy)
- History of anorexia or bulimia
- Prolonged amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods)
- Low calcium diet
- Lack of exercise
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive alcohol use
- Excessive caffeine use
Calcium is the mineral that automatically comes to mind when considering osteoporosis treatment. However, although bone contains large amounts of calcium, other minerals need to be considered as important in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. For example, other trace minerals (minerals needed in small amounts for specific tasks--usually enzyme activation) would include zinc, magnesium, boron, and silicon.
Many people in North America who consume an average diet have magnesium deficiency, and magnesium is important in bone structure. Magnesium deficiency comes about because most magnesium in our diet comes from the magnesium contained in the chlorophyll molecule found mainly in dark green leafy vegetables--not something that most people eat on a daily basis. Magnesium intake should be about half that of calcium, approximately 300-500 mg perday. If not provided in the diet, then magnesium should be supplemented. Some researchers are now also reporting that magnesium deficiency plays a significant role in the development of osteoporosis (Dreosti 1995). Studies have shown that women with osteoporosis tend to have a lower magnesium intake than normal and lower levels of magnesium in their bones. Recommendations for postmenopausal women to increase calcium intake can lead to an unfavorable Ca to Mg ratio unless the magnesium intake is increased accordingly; the optimum ratio of Ca to Mg is believed to be 2:1. A magnesium deficiency can also affect the production of the biologically active form of vitamin D, thereby further promoting osteoporosis. Some research shows that magnesium supplementation is effective in treating osteoporosis. Magnesium supplementation (over and above the current recommended daily allowance) may suppress bone turnover in young adults and some researchers speculate that it may also help prevent age-related osteoporosis (Dimai et al. 1998).
Bone Assure is a comprehensive formula that can help maintain bone mineral density by:
- Sustaining bone mineral mass by providing a potent amount of elemental magnesium and a highly absorbable form of calcium (bis-glycinate) that has been shown to assimilate 1.8 times better than calcium citrate.
- Maintaining the organic bone matrix with the minerals zinc, manganese, silica, and copper that are required for the formation of collagen and other living connective tissues. Manganese has been shown to specifically act as an anabolic catalyst in the development and maintenance of the organic bone matrix.
- Facilitating the absorption of calcium into the blood- stream by providing vitamin D3. Once in the bloodstream, vitamin D3 then acts as a hormone to direct calcium into the bone matrix.
- Preventing excessive urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium by providing the trace mineral boron.
- Lowering elevated homocysteine levels that have been shown to damage the organic bone matrix, by providing small amounts of folic acid, B6 and TMG.
DHEA 15 milligram capsules
Since 1981, thousands of studies have been published on DHEA’s possible benefits. One study investigated immune functions and DHEA using rats as test subjects. The scientists showed that DHEA administration to rats supports specific immune function known to be lacking in the elderly.
Another study focused on the various benefits of DHEA supplementation, and noted that DHEA’s protective effect could be of benefit to the normal aging brain. Some studies have reported DHEA may improve mood and alleviate melancholy. In fact, as highlighted in two studies, participants have reported that they feel better when taking DHEA.
In still another investigative study doctors noted that DHEA is one factor that determines lumbar spine density in aging men. In women, it has been shown that DHEA helps to protect bone mineral density. DHEA’s role in supporting a healthy circulatory system and joint/bone health was also highlighted in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand.
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