Life Extension Update
|July 26, 2004|
|Life Extension Update Exclusive |
Undiagnosed osteoporosis widespread
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.)
Known risk factors for osteoporosis are:
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:
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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