The World Health Organization defines osteoporosis as a bone mineral density 2.5 or more standard deviations below peak bone mass of the twenty-year-old healthy female average. Morbidity and mortality rates are significant in osteoporosis. One of the greatest concerns is a hip fracture in which around 13.5% of people die within six months and another 13% cannot mobilize without assistance. The underlying mechanism is an imbalance between bone resorption (osteoclast activity) and bone formation (osteoblast activity). How efficiently that process occurs is predicated upon a number of factors as described below.
The risk factors are a family history of osteoporosis, Asian or European ethnicity, petite frame, high steroid use, vitamin D, calcium and magnesium deficiencies, advanced age, sedentary lifestyle, excess alcohol intake, smoking and hormone deficiency. Osteoporosis is a disease of time. As we are living longer and longer, prevention is the best defense. The recipe for success is:
Follow a good diet like the Harvard Study Diet
Get a personal trainer – Weight-bearing exercise is critical
Bio-identical hormone replacement
Vitamin D 50,000 IU – Once every two weeks
Calcium (Not calcium carbonate!) – Twice daily (i.e. – Cal Apatite with Magnesium by Metagenics)
Magnesium (Not magnesium oxide!) – Twice daily (i.e. – Cal Apatite with Magnesium by Metagenics)
In the event osteoporosis is already present, the above regimen is still effective. In addition, treatment would typically include bisphosphonates prescribed by your physician. It is important to note that bisphosphonates only harden the bone, they do not increase bone density.
Shannon M. Maguadog, Pharm.D.