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Volume V, No. 2 by Frank M. Jordan
Strong Bones vs Osteoporosis – A Battle You Can Win!
What is Bone?
Bone is a living lightweight yet strong and hard tissue that, together with cartilage, forms our skeleton. 65% of bone tissue is composed of the minerals calcium, phosphate, magnesium and carbonate; while the balance of bone tissue is soft and spongy collagen. When healthy, bone is almost brittle, but has slight elasticity due to the soft collagen content.
Two hundred bones make up the human skeleton, including five primary types throughout the body:
While bones come in a variety of sizes and shapes, all bone tissue has a three-layered composition. A spongy layer forms the interior with the inner spaces filled with bone marrow. Surrounding the spongy, inner layer is a hard, compact layer that functions as the supportive tissue of the body. The outer layer is a tough membrane called the periosteum, which sheaths the exterior of most bones.
Although bone appears solid, numerous extremely small canals in the bone allow passage of blood vessels and nerve fibers. The bone in the shaft is called “compact” while the enlarged and very strong ends of bone are designated as “cancellous.”
What are the Basic Functions of Healthy Bone in the Body?
Bones have many important functions:
Types of Bone Cells, Loading and Remodeling
The body contains three primary types of bone-related cells involved in bone remodeling and maintenance:
Bone is dependent on what is called regular “loading” for maintenance and this is why exercising with light weights, or “loading,” is so important to bone health, particularly as we age.
Remodeling in bone is the process of resorption (bone being broken down) by Osteoclast cells, followed by replacement of new bone by Osteoblast cells. The health issues involving bone deterioration often originate when the Osteoclast cells reduce bone volume faster than Osteoblast replace healthy bone (Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, etc.).
Bone and Skeleton Health Issues
The most common bone disease is Osteoporosis discussed in detail in a separate section. Next most common is Osteopenia involving a reduction in bone volume and bone structure quality. Many metabolic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, oversecretion of parathyroid hormones, anorexia nervosa and rickets damage the bones and skeleton.
A suppressed immune response, including that caused by organ transplants, can lead to reduced bone mass. Tumors in the bones and other sites can produce substances that cause the activation of Osteoclastic bone resorption. Other common diseases of the skeleton are diseases of the joints such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
As the body ages, bone mass decreases lead to an increased exposure to the risk of bone fractures, especially broken hips from falls. Bone fractures heal naturally, aided by restriction of movement with casts and slings. Significant bone loss occurs with prolonged bed rest, such as from a chronic disease or injury including hip fractures.
What is Osteoporosis and what are the Symptoms?
Osteoporosis, literally meaning “porous bones,” is a bone disease in which the mineral and bone density and architecture in the body are compromised.
Osteoporosis involves a net loss of bone due to Osteoclast cell bone resorption, with disposal of bone exceeding new bone formation by Osteoblast cells.
A known frequent cause of Osteoporosis in women is loss of circulating estrogen in the body after menopause. Thin and weak bones highly susceptible to fracture result caused by declining estrogen levels.
Osteoporosis causes pain in the joints and bones, in addition to potential fractures of the spine, forearm, hip and leg. Breaks in the hip and spine are particularly dangerous; always requiring hospitalization and surgery with all-too-frequent permanent disability and even death.
While Osteoporosis can occur to any gender or nationality, 75% of cases occur in women, particularly Caucasian and Oriental. An estimated 28 million women in the U.S. alone are affected, causing 1.5 million bone fractures (broken bones) annually.
Between the ages of 45 and 75, women lose about 30% of their skeletal structure, while men lose 15%. Female Osteoporosis typically begins with bone losses of about 1% per year about 15 years prior to menopause. At menopause, bone loss accelerates to 3-5% per year for about 5 years, after which bone loss continues at about 1.5% per year to total 30%.
Pharmaceuticals have spent millions with a fawning media to hype a market for drugs approved for the treatment and prevention of Osteoporosis, including Fosamax, Didronel, Calcitonin, Nolvadex, Evista and multiple others. Serious side effects include allergic reactions with closing of the throat and difficulty breathing and pain often with nausea and headaches. Take no other medicines within 30 minutes of taking these drugs. Taking these with NSAIDS (Advil, Motrin etc.) or aspirin can increase risk to the stomach. Osteoporosis, in spite of such heavy promotions, is not due to a lack of any drug!
A Test to Determine Your Status with Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis Risk Factors
Osteoporosis develops over a lifetime, influenced by risk factors. Count how many “Yes” answers you have for these Osteoporosis risk factors that relate to you:
Evaluate your condition based on the number of “Yes” answers:
What to Do Nutritionally and Naturally for Osteoporosis and Strong Bones
To nutritionally and naturally keep your bones strong and healthy, the following are suggested to avoid being susceptible to Osteoporosis (always check with your personal healthcare professional with any questions and testing):
While calcium is available from many dairy products, be aware many such products are high in unhealthy saturated fats and can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea in those with lactose intolerance. Natural yogurt (not flavored) and tofu are preferred choices plus daily supplementation with quality products.
Know your bone health status and begin a nutritional program with lifestyle changes and supplements to have strong and healthy bones while keeping Osteoporosis a threat and not a reality.
The statements in this Report have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.