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    Latest Osteoporosis News - Mayl 17 th 2010

    General Osteoporosis and Lifestyle News

    We will begin this edition of the osteoporosis news report with the finding that giving a single very high dose of vitamin D to elderly people may not be an effective way to improve bone strength. The research was carried out by scientists at the University of Melbourne and a really nice write up of their findings is given by Time magazine and reported on yahoo news.

    As you are probably aware vitamin D plays a major role in maintaining bone strength. Previous research had suggested that giving multiple high doses of 500,000 IU vitamin D over a short period of time increased bone strength and helped to improve balance. However in this latest research, which involved giving a single injection of 500,000 IU vitamin D to women of 70 years and over, actually resulted in 15 percent more falls than people who were not given the injections. The researchers were not totally dismayed however and suggested that it was likely that giving a single mega dose of Vitamin D as opposed to large doses of vitamin D at four month intervals (like in previous research) could be the reason why their experiments did not produce positive results.

    The Guardian newspaper has a feature on the use of martial arts as an aid for people with weak bones. The Osteoporosis Advice website is a fan of the martial art Tai Chi as it has been shown to reduce the risk of fractures by helping people improve their balance and by increasing muscskeltol strength. The report in the guardian takes a look at more physical martial arts and mentions that many of the moves may be benifical for people with thinning bones, and many may not. It suggests incorporating some of the more beneficial ones into your workout. It also suggests alternative exercise regimes for people with osteoporosis such as a combination of weight bearing exercises (walking, dancing, aerobics, tennis) and stength training (aquabatics and the gym).

    Don't forget that it is not only women who get and osteoporosis, this article in the Miami Herald reports that there are presently 2 million people in the US who have osteoporosis and that by the year 2020 around 20 million men in the USA are expected to be affected by thinning bones. The report also mentions some of the reasons why men may develop osteopenia, such as low testosterone levels and the skin condition psoriasi. It does not mention anything about diet and exercise, which are known to play a major role in the bone remodelling cycle.

    The HealthCare Website reports that people living in the United Kingdom will benefit from Vitamin D supplements. This is no surprise given that the combination of bad weather and short days in the winter means that many people will not get enough exposure to sunlight at that time of the year. The report suggests that as many as 60% of young people do not get enough vitamin D and this increase to as much as 70% in the elderly. More information on Vitamin D supplements and recommendations can be found here.

    Medscape reported the good news that the number of people over 65 being screened for osteoporosis in the US increased from 34% to 64% over a five year period. This is very good news, as with most medical conditions the earlier that osteoporosis can be diagnosed the greater the chance that available treatment options will be successful.

    Recommended reading from the osteoporosis Advice site

    Given the amount of times the importance of Vitamin D has been mentioned in this news roundup, I thought it would be ideal to suggest some reading about one of the other major nutritional contributers to bone health: Calcium.

    List of Calcium levels in common food

    Calcium and Osteoporosis

    Calcium and Vitamin D recommended allowances and supplements

    More Osteoporosis News