Submitted by Subeditor on Thu, 2016-01-14 11:18 Bengaluru: Vibha Dixit, 35, a Bengaluru based corporate executive was on a family vacation in Northern Kerala, when she slipped and fell down in a resort resulting in a fracture in her left leg. Little did Vibha know that the fracture was due to the looming osteoporosis in her which was left undiagnosed. Osteoporosis, also known as the “brittle bones”disease which occurs due to low bone density is now one of the major global health concerns. It is a condition wherein the Bone Mineral Density (BMD) decreases leading to the deterioration of the bone tissue. While the density of the bones depends on genetic factors, there could be adverse effects due to medications for chronic illnesses, lifestyle and environmental factors. In the recent years, it is being observed that the condition is even affecting women who are in their 30s, the same being more prevalent post-menopause. According to a survey done by International Osteoporosis Foundation during 2014, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men worldwide are susceptible to osteoporotic fractures and among a vast majority the condition is neither identified nor treated. According to the latest WHO study, nearly 300 million people suffered from osteoporosis in India and by the next decade, as much as 50 percent of the Indian population is likely to be a victim of osteoporosis. Bones are living and growing tissues made up of a protein called Collagen that provides a flexible framework, calcium phosphate mineral complexes that give strength and living bone cells that remove and replace weakened sections of bones. They also provide structure to the human body and act as an anchor to the muscular system. Throughout our life, there is a constant loss of old bone mass, making way for the new one. According to American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, an individual reaches his or her peak bone mass between the ages of 18 and 25. By 30 years of age, the person loses slightly more bone mass than the gain made. However, the higher bone mass reserve one has, there is less likelihood of developing osteoporosis as age progresses. Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder and Managing Director, Sami Labs, Bengaluru said, "Insufficient calcium can lead to osteoporosis in the elderly. Women are more prone to osteoporosis or thinning of bones than men.The amount of calcium one needs depends on gender and stage of life. Adequate calcium intake is crucial during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, as bones reach their peak mass at around the age of 30. About 99 percent of the body's calcium is stored in bones and teeth and the remaining one percent is found in blood. These days health/calcium supplements have become popular more than ever because of the changing lifestyle and food habits." Factors contributing to bone loss : · Sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes for osteoporosis. · Calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies increase the risk of the disease and this should be tested for when women turn 30. · Smoking, high consumption of alcohol or caffeine interferes with the calcium absorption. · Excessive drinking of colas/sodas lead to excess phosphorous in the blood that draws away calcium from bones. · Junk foods with excess salt and sugar will also remove calcium from bones. · Vitamin K and magnesium deficiency also contributes to bone loss to some extent. · Illnesses such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and over active thyroid are also known to cause bone loss. · Declining levels of oestrogen, which is associated with menopause, puts women at higher risk of the disease, besides low body weight and surgery removing both ovaries before menopause are also reasons for the onset of the “brittle bones” condition. Ways to prevent bone loss: · Increasing physical activity in one’s daily routine is very much essential to ensure that osteoporosis is kept at bay. · Inclusion of adequate calcium in one’s daily diet is a must. Good sources of calcium are almonds, broccoli, fish, dairy products, soya products, etc. · Adequate exposure to sunlight and consumption of egg yolk, fortified milk, green leafy vegetables, nuts, broccoli, fish will provide the necessary Vitamin D the body needs to absorb the calcium. · Health supplements such as those rich in calcium citrate malate and other suitable natural ingredient extracts taken daily, is a proven means to maintain good bone health.