NEWS2U Health & Wellness
Living Healthy in an Unhealthy World

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Most Americans unaware of risk of osteoporosis

By Ben Wasserman

The majority of people in the U.S. are not aware of the prevalence of osteoporosis in the country, Opinion Research Corporation reported, citing results of a survey sponsored by GTC Nutrition, a nutritional supplement manufacturer.

The survey of 1,031 people found 86 percent of the respondents thought women are at higher risk from cancers in their reproductive system including breast, ovarian and uterine cancers, compared to the risk of bone fractures.

Bone fractures can result from osteoporosis, a condition that occurs in a woman with low bone mineral density. The risk of bone fractures a woman faces is far more common than that of all three reproductive cancers combined, according to GCT.

Calcium deficiency is one major cause often reported by the news media. But many other factors have been emphasized enough. Other factors known so far include vitamin D deficiency, lack of physical activity, hormone imbalance and acidic body pH.

One fact that many people may not be unaware of is that just because a food contains a lot of calcium does not mean one can absorb enough from the food. GTC says in its news release that only 30 percent of dietary calcium is absorbed.

According to the survey, more than two-thirds did not know that 90 percent of girls between 12 and 19 are calcium deficient.

Observational studies found that osteoporosis may be associated with consumption of dairy products and meats. In developing countries, women eat more plant food than animal derived food and they have low prevalence of the condition.

Research has showed that girls who ate more plant foods and less animal derived foods and did lots of physical exercise had higher bone mineral index, indicating they had healthier bones.