If you want to prevent or treat osteoporosis in as natural way as possible, you will be pleased to know that I now have an Android App available - OsteoTrack.
There are many companies that offer miracle cures for osteoporosis. One of the aim of this web site is to guide you in buying the correct minerals and vitamins (such as calcium and vitamin D), that will be beneficial for you, not to be conned by some miraculous cure. One of the vitamins that is known to play a major role in the bone remodeling cycle is Vitamin D. In addition to its role in bone health, this fat-soluble secosteroid is also known to have an essential role in the following conditions and processes (where low levels of vitamin D often have a negative impact on health): Rickets, cardiovascular disease, cancer, pregnancy, the immune system, and multiple sclerosis.
As the body is able to convert UV rays into vitamin D through synthesis, most people are able to obtain significant amounts through exposure to sunlight for a period of 15 to 20 minutes. If you are in an unfortunate case where you are unable to get access to sunlight then vitamin D can be sourced from foods such as fortified milk or by eating fish; or cod liver oil.
There have been many scientific reports that link the use of vitamin D with calcium regulation in the bone. It is widely reported that vitamin D has a positive role to play in the fight against osteoporosis; it is recommended that people who cannot get the RDA of 400 to 800 ID of vitamin D from other sources should take supplements.
Osteoporosis is known as the silent disease because it creeps up on people without them noticing it. This is mainly because people do not realize that they have osteoporosis until they have a fracture. Following diagnoses there are two distinct treatment methods:
1. Natural osteoporosis treatment
2. Medical osteoporosis treatment
The natural route involves a mixture of nutrient supplements (magnesium, calcium and vitamin D) and exercise and balance techniques. Having a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and regular weight bearing exercises is recommended for anyone who would like healthy bones, whether they have osteopenia or not. Further to this, many osteoporosis medications are taken alongside supplements of vitamin D.
One of the dietary supplements that should form part of a natural treatments is vitamin D, this vitamin, that is synthesized by the body when exposed to sunlight, is essential in the fight against osteoporosis.
Vitamin D is able to maximize the calcium absorption in the intestines, and a deficiency of the vitamin may lead to a condition known as osteomalacia (weak bones) that may eventually develop into osteoporosis.
Normally an exposure to sunlight for 15 minutes, twice a week is enough to supply a person with an adequate supply of Vitamin D. However, people who live in areas with short days in the winter, who work during the day, may not get an adequate supply of sunlight, and people with osteoporosis, or over the age of 50 may need to supplement their vitamin D intake.
The skin contains a compound called 7-dehydrocholesterol, when this is exposed to sunlight, the ultra violet waves interact with it and convert it to vitamin D3. Additional vitamin D activation then occurs in the liver and kidneys. As the efficiency of converting 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D3 decreases with age the recommended doses vitamin D varies with age:
1. Age under 50; 200 IU Vitamin D
2. Aged between 51 to 70: 400 IU Vitamin D
3. Aged over 70: 600 IU vitamin D
4. People diagnosed with osteopenia; 400 - 800 IU vitamin D
Going for a long walk in the sun is a great way of getting vitamin D and performing a bone-strengthening weight-bearing exercise at the same time. Vitamin D is also available in many foods. Nowadays milk is available fortified with vitamin D, and a liter of this kind of milk may contain about 400 IU of vitamin D (and is also a good supply of calcium). Cereals are also often fortified with vitamin D osteoporosis (~50 IU vitamin D). Other sources of Vitamin D include egg yolks, sea fish and liver. Vitamin D supplement tablets, creams, and drops are also available from many health stores.
If a person has been diagnosed with a known vitamin D deficit, then a doctor may prescribe a once weekly oral supply of 50,000 IU vitamin D3 for up to 3 months. The doctor will then measure the level of the vitamin in the serum; if the treatment has been successful then a daily dose of 800 IU is usually taken.
In summary, vitamin D is essential in the fight against osteoporosis as it helps the body to absorb calcium. It is naturally created by the body on exposure to the sun. As a person gets older their ability to create active vitamin D decreases and they require an higher dose of the vitamin, either through eating foods rich in vitamin D or by taking supplements.
Brender (2005) JAMA patient page: vitamin D. JAMA..: 2386 to2387
Mayes (2007) Review of post menopausal osteoporosis pharmacology. Nutr. Clin. Prac. 22:3: 276 to 285