Vitamin D and the Outdoors
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Having healthy levels of Vitamin D is vital to your overall health. But is spending time outdoors the best ways to absorb vitamin D? Check out this video for more information on Vitamin D and the outdoors.
Transcript: Vitamin D, often referred to as the 'sunshine" vitamin-since sunlight is the best source-is key to sustaining...
Vitamin D, often referred to as the 'sunshine" vitamin-since sunlight is the best source-is key to sustaining long-term health. Prevailing wisdom has been that we get sufficient amounts of Vitamin D from our everyday exposure to sun, but recent research has found that this is NOT the case. Basically, your body cannot make Vitamin D, but you CAN get it from food and sunlight. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on diet alone to supply enough vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight is the key to producing ample amounts of this essential vitamin. But don't take this as license to bake yourself to a crisp in the sun. Generally, your body will produce adequate amounts of vitamin D with 20-30 minutes of sun exposure on your hands, arms and face everyday-but here's the rub, sunscreen dramatically inhibits UV ray penetration, which is necessary for Vitamin D production, so go out with some of your skin sunscreen-free, and then apply after 20-30 minutes have passed.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-07 | Tags »
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Is milk necessary for strong bones? See what new research says in this video.
Transcript: More than ten years ago, the Harvard University Nurses' Health Study, which had more than 120,000 subjects,...
More than ten years ago, the Harvard University Nurses' Health Study, which had more than 120,000 subjects, found that consumption of milk and other dairy products DOESN'T actually protect against the bone fractures of osteoporosis. In fact, those in the Harvard study who drank 3 or more servings of milk a day ACTUALLY had a slightly HIGHER rate of fractures than women who drank little or no milk. And it's interesting to note that societies with the highest intakes of dairy-the USA, England, Israel, Finland, and Sweden-ALSO show the HIGHEST rates of osteoporosis. While milk is a good source of calcium, green leafy vegetables, like spinach and collard greens are MORE POTENT sources. And beans, nuts, grains, and cruciferous veggies like brocolli and brussel sprouts, have plenty of calcium too! So don't get get sucked into the milk myth, get your calcium in the vegetable section of your market!More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-08 | Tags »
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Osteoporosis is a condition that affects millions of people in the US. Learn more about osteoporosis by watching this video.
Transcript: In America, 10 million people suffer from osteoporosis. They're our grandparents, teachers, and friends,...
In America, 10 million people suffer from osteoporosis. They're our grandparents, teachers, and friends, yet many of us don't even know what osteoporosis is! Osteoporosis is a disease that thins and weakens bones, making people more susceptible to fractures. To understand this condition, it helps to look at the role bones play in a healthy body. Bones are composed primarily of calcium. In fact, 99 percent of the calcium that's present in the body is found in bones. However, calcium is also necessary for other bodily functions, like blood vessel contractions. When sources in the blood run low, a normal process called resorption begins. Resorption "steals" calcium from bones to be recycled for use in other parts of the body. During resorption, scavenger cells with saw-toothed membranes, called osteoclasts, attach to bone surfaces. There, they tunnel into bone and regurgitate calcium into the bloodstream for use by other body parts. Resorption is complemented by a normal process called formation. During formation, construction cells, or osteoblasts, move into the tunnels left by osteoclasts and release strands of collagen into the holes, effectively filling them. So how does this relate to osteoporosis? It's simple: Bone weakening and loss occurs when the osteoblasts cannot keep up with the osteoclasts. Put another way, over time, the bone-breaking cells continue about their business while the bone-building cells slow down. The result is bones that are too weak to carry their load, increasing the risk of fractures. The most common form of the disease, primary osteoporosis, is a result of normal bodily changes, like menopause or aging. Type 1 primary osteoporosis occurs in women in the several years prior to, during, and following menopause. During this time, decline of estrogen levels contribute to type 1 osteoporosis. Type 2 primary osteoporosis results from the normal, cumulative effects of aging. This gradual loss of bone density doesn't usually show up until after the age of 75. The other form of osteoporosis, secondary osteoporosis, results from certain prescription medications or medical conditions. Medical conditions like anorexia, alcoholism and type 1 diabetes can all lead to the development of secondary osteoporosis. Meanwhile, medications like corticosteroids, thyroid hormones and chemotherapy drugs also increase the risk of this disease. Although osteoporosis can occur from a variety of factors, its effects are the same: Weakened bones that often break easily. If you have concerns about osteoporosis, please see your doctor,More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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Millions of people suffer from osteoporosis without even realizing it, but the consequences of osteoporosis may even include permanent disability. Watch this video for more information.
Transcript: Although millions of people have osteoporosis, most are not aware how the complications of the disease...
Although millions of people have osteoporosis, most are not aware how the complications of the disease can affect them, often for life. People who have the weak, thin bones characteristic of osteoporosis often suffer at least one serious break, or bone fracture. While a broken bone may sound straightforward, the aftermath can be anything but! Because most people with osteoporosis are over the age of 50, healing from a broken bone is more difficult. In fact, two thirds of those who suffer fractures never regain full mobility. Osteoporosis-related fractures can occur anywhere, but the hips, wrists and vertebrae, or spine, are most often affected. The most common fracture suffered by people with osteoporosis is in the spinal area. Vertebrae fractures are usually not the result of a traumatic accident. Rather, the normal acts of everyday life, like coughing or bending over, often cause these breaks. Unlike other fractures, where a bone snaps, vertebral fractures usually manifest as a crumpling, or compression, of the spine. For this reason, they do not usually cause severe, or any, pain. Because discomfort is slight, or feels like normal back pain, spinal fractures are often not diagnosed until posture begins to stoop, and height is gradually lost. Fractures in the vertebrae can also cause a gradual rounding of the back, known as dowager's hump. Most people with vertebral fractures have more than one, and as the number increases, so do the problems. The abdominal muscles begin to sag, and the space between the ribs and the pelvis closes. This can lead to difficulty breathing, chronic heartburn and digestive problems. The most serious fractures generally occur in the hip. About one in five osteoporosis-related fractures are in this region. At best, a hip fracture can result in a temporary loss of mobility and confinement to a wheelchair or bed. More often, the effects are longer lasting. At least two thirds of people who suffer hip fractures have difficulty with everyday tasks, like standing up on their own or dressing themselves. Due to this decreased mobility, many people with a hip fracture end up needing home health care, or a move to an assisted living facility. Scarily, statistics show that almost 25 percent of osteoporosis patients who suffer hip fractures will die within a year of their injury, usually from complications like blood clots or pneumonia. Wrist fractures, which usually occur when a person tries to absorb the force of a fall, are the most common breaks. The most common wrist fracture, Colles' fracture, occurs when the force of impact snaps the end of the radius bone, which runs from the elbow to the thumb. After a wrist fracture, a cast or splint is applied and the bone is allowed to heal. Usually, broken wrists provide no further complications. Because osteoporosis has no symptoms, it is usually not diagnosed until after a fracture occurs. For this reason, it is particularly important to talk to your doctor about osteoporosis.More »
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There are certain tests that can be used for diagnosing osteoporosis. Watch our video to learn about these tests and find out which gender is more likely to get osteoporosis.
Transcript: Today, ten million Americans have osteoporosis and another 34 million exhibit the early stages of the...
Today, ten million Americans have osteoporosis and another 34 million exhibit the early stages of the condition. How are these people diagnosed. Osteoporosis is a condition where a person has reduced bone density, which is the amount of bone present in the skeletal structure. Most methods of diagnosing the condition do so by measuring bone density. Bone density grows during childhood and adolescence, reaching its peak mass around age 25. At this point, density remains steady for about ten years. After age 35, bone density will gradually drop at the rate of .3 to .5 percent each year. This is a normal part of the aging process and not the same as osteoporosis. One way to diagnosis osteoporosis is with a routine x-ray, since the bones in someone with the condition appear much thinner than healthy bones. Unfortunately, because x-rays can only detect large changes in bone density, they are not effective for diagnosing early-stage osteoporosis. A better way to diagnose the condition is with a more advanced scan known as a DXA. This short procedure uses a very small amount of radiation to measure the bone density of the hip and spine. The bone density of the patient is then compared to that of average young adults of the same sex and race who have peak, healthy bone mass. This comparison is written as a negative number called a T-score. A T-score greater than negative 1 is normal, or the same as a patient who has ideal bone mass. A score between negative one and negative 2.5 is classified as osteopenia, or "pre-osteoporosis," while osteoporosis is a number less than negative 2.5. Because it is impractical to test everyone for osteoporosis, doctors only perform DXAs on people with specific risk factors. The biggest risk factor for developing osteoporosis is being female. About 80 percent of people with the disease are women, largely due to the decrease in estrogen that occurs post-menopause. Women also have smaller skeletons, and experience bone loss earlier in life than men do. Advanced age is a second major risk factor. This is because bone mass begins decreasing more rapidly after age 65. As with many diseases, genetics play a role, too. A family history of osteoporosis and broken bones increases risk by up to fifty percent. Certain medications, like corticosteroids and chemotherapy drugs, can also increase the risk of bone loss.More »
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Osteoporosis is common as you get older, but it's preventable. Learn how to prevent osteoporosis now, to save your bones later.
Transcript: With 34 million Americans at high risk for osteoporosis-a number that is growing-it's important to be...
With 34 million Americans at high risk for osteoporosis-a number that is growing-it's important to be aware of things you can do to prevent this disease. Holding on to bone strength is key to preventing osteoporosis, and you probably won't be surprised that the best way to do this is by increasing your consumption of calcium, a vital nutrient that isn't made in the human body. So why is calcium so important? When there isn't enough of it in the blood, scavenger cells tunnel into bones and regurgitate calcium into the bloodstream for use by the body. This results in bone loss. Calcium provides the foundation of strong bones, but less than 50 percent of us get the recommended daily dosage of 1,000 milligrams, a requirement that increases as we age. People over 51 need about 1,200 milligrams daily. Another great way to fight osteoporosis is by getting more Vitamin D, which allows your body to absorb calcium. To understand how, picture a locked door that separates the intestines and the blood stream. Vitamin D is a key that opens the door, allowing more calcium to enter the bloodstream. Without enough Vitamin D, calcium cannot enter the blood and perform normal bodily functions. Vitamin D is made in the body following exposure to sunlight. Ultimately, however, you may not be able to the get the Vitamin D you need from the sun, and since foods containing the vitamin are few and far between, a daily multi-vitamin can help. A less touted superhero in the world of bone health is Vitamin K, which helps produce osteocalcin, a protein instrumental in bone formation. Vitamin K also blocks osteoclasts and helps to regulate calcium excretion via the urine. Leafy greens, brussels sprouts, broccoli and other dark vegetables are all good sources of Vitamin K. Everyone knows that exercise is healthy, but did you know that it's essential to strong bones, too? Any exercise that involves working against gravity is known as "weight-bearing exercise" and is vital to bone mass. That's because sports like tennis, volleyball and running all put stress on bones, in turn causing them to strengthen. Strength training, which involves an opposing force that muscles must strain against, like free weights and resistance bands, is also vital to bone strength. An optimal work-out routine for osteoporosis prevention includes thirty minutes of weight bearing exercise three days a week, and thirty minutes of strength training three days a week. It's also important to limit caffeine and alcohol and cut out smoking-all three can lead to increased loss of bone mass. Preventing osteoporosis is entirely possible with a few lifestyle tweaks. But please remember to see your doctor before starting any supplement, dietary or exercise program.More »
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Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis. In this video you can learn how medicine for Osteoporosis can help ease this condition.
Transcript: If you've been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you're not alone-10 million Americans have this condition....
If you've been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you're not alone-10 million Americans have this condition. Still, you're probably wondering: Now what? Currently, there are a number of medicinal therapies available to treat the bone weakening and loss characteristic of osteoporosis. A group of medications called bisphosphonates are often used to treat and prevent osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates includes aldendronate, which is marketed as Fosamax, and risendronate, sold under the name Actonel. Bisphosphonates work by entering the body and binding to the cement-like substance in bones, hydroxyapatite. In doing so, the medication interferes with the activity of bone-destroying osteoclasts. By blocking osteoclasts, bone-building cells known as osteoblasts have an opportunity to play catch-up, filling in more holes than are being made. Both aldendronate and risendronate are approved to treat AND prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and aldendronate can also be prescribed for men. Bisphosphonates can also treat osteoporosis that arises from taking corticosteroid medications. When prescribed by your doctor, these medications should be taken first thing in the morning, with a full glass of water on an empty stomach. Afterwards, remain upright for half an hour, avoiding food and beverages. Following these instructions carefully can prevent heartburn, nausea and trouble swallowing, which are common side-effects of bisphosphonates. Another option available only to women is a drug called raloxifene, which is marketed under the brand name Evista. Raloxifene is a member of a drug class called selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMs. Raloxifene is approved to prevent and treat osteoporosis in women. It's also a good option for women with a high risk of breast cancer, as it can reduce cancer risk by up to 76 percent. Another drug that can treat (although not prevent), osteoporosis in both sexes is teriparatide, sold under the name Forteo. Teriparatide is the only treatment that can actually reverse bone loss. Teriparatide is a synthetic version of parathyroid hormone, or PTH, which is naturally produced by the body. It helps build new bone by increasing the number and activity of friendly osteoblasts. Teriparatide is available as a once-a-day injection and is only recommended for people who have osteoporosis AND a particularly high risk for fractures. Other medications, including hormone therapy and calcitonin, are also available to treat osteoporosis, although they are used less frequently. While taking osteoporosis medication, never underestimate the importance of prudent weight-bearing exercise, and the intake of calcium, in helping to prevent osteoporosis fractures. Remember: Not every medication is for everyone. It's important to discuss the pros and cons of every option with your doctor, and to follow your physician's instructions exactly.More »
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