What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones. Our bones are made up of many minerals that make them extremely hard and enable them to support our bodies. Though many Americans are aware that calcium is important for their bones, they are not aware that other minerals – such as magnesium, zinc, boron, manganese, and phosphorous – together with some vitamins are also necessary to maintain their bones and skeleton. If a deficiency of any of these minerals exist, it affects how bones develop. Bone is a living, very active tissue that is always changing. It is constantly in the process of being built up and broken down. If bones are being broken down faster than they are built up, it leads to osteoporosis.
The Osteoporosis Time Line
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects millions of Americans. Although it has been considered a disease of the elderly and women, it is known that it affects men and women of all ages. The fact that many Americans, from the time they are young, do not meet their body's calcium needs predisposes them to get osteoporosis. Bone reaches its strongest point by the time a person is 25-30 years old. It is very important to take in enough calcium and do plenty of weight bearing exercise from puberty to this point. The best time to prevent osteoporosis is between the ages of 12-25. After bone reaches its peak density at or around age 25, supplementation can only slow the bone loss. Don't get discouraged, a proper supplementation program along with adding calcium-rich foods to the diet can significantly slow down the progression of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis in the Elderly
When osteoporosis progresses enough, it causes bones to weaken and break when stressed. If an elderly person with osteoporosis breaks a bone, it is extremely difficult for that bone to heal correctly. Oftentimes, this means an extended hospital stay, which increases the risk of life-threatening infections and other complications.
The Balancing Game
Osteoporosis is often caused by a diet that is not balanced in calcium and phosphorous. If a person ingests more phosphorous than calcium, this imbalance will cause calcium to be pulled out of the bone. Over time, this leads to osteoporosis. Due to the large amounts of soft drinks and processed foods eaten by Americans, it is suspected that the calcium-phosphorous balance is tilted in the wrong direction in almost everyone's diet. Optimally, there should be twice as much calcium as phosphorous ingested to combat osteoporosis.
Other factors can also contribute to osteoporosis, such as menopause. A major change that occurs in women's bodies during this time is a reduction in the amount of estrogen she produces. This drop in estrogen greatly affects the absorption of calcium from the intestines. The lack of calcium absorption is the main reason why osteoporosis is greatly increased in women after menopause. Additionally, lower estrogen levels causes the bone itself to add less calcium to its structure. The third impact of lower estrogen levels is an increased loss of calcium through the kidneys. These are the reasons that post-menopausal women suffer the most from osteoporosis.
Supplementation Can Help
Once osteoporosis is advanced, it is difficult to reverse this condition. However, by supplementing the correct minerals along with proper eating habits, the process can be slowed considerably. Supplementation while a person is young can greatly improve one's chances of avoiding osteoporosis. It is recommended that 1500mg of calcium be ingested just to meet daily needs. However, it is important that the correct form of calcium be taken to achieve the best results. Most calcium products on the store shelves uses calcium carbonate, which is the least effective form of calcium because it is not as "bioavailable", meaning that it is not as usable by the body. Calcium chelate and calcium citrate are the best forms to take. Mag-Cal Plus is excellent source of dietary calcium and the other minerals and vitamins that help calcium be used properly. MD's Choice also highly recommends supplementation with one of our Complete Formula products.
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