What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by substantial bone loss. When the extent of bone loss reaches a critical point fractures may occur as a result of very minor stress. Osteoporosis affects the entire skeleton, but fractures occur most notably in the vertebrae, hips and wrists. The bones become so weak that normal workloads overcome their capacity. A simple fall can result in a broken hip. Spinal vertebrae can collapse and in extreme cases cause a "dowager's hump."


Calcium is the most common mineral in the human body. About 99% of the calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth, while the other 1% is found in the blood and soft tissue. Calcium levels in the blood and fluid surrounding the cells (extracellular fluid) must be maintained within a very narrow concentration range for normal physiological functioning. The physiological functions of calcium are so vital to survival that the body will demineralize bone to maintain normal blood calcium levels when calcium intake is inadequate. Thus, adequate dietary calcium is a critical factor in maintaining a healthy skeleton.


Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in many forms. The form utilized primarily by humans is vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Animals (including humans) can convert cholesterol to 7-dehydrocholesterol, which is a precursor of vitamin D3. Exposure to the ultraviolet light in sunlight (UVB radiation) converts 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin to vitamin D3. In fact, adequate exposure to sunlight can eliminate the requirement for vitamin D in the diet, making it only "conditionally essential." Vitamin D3 is not itself biologically active, but must be modified by the body to have any physiologic effects.

Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency 

    Infancy: Infants who have little or no sun exposure, and do not consume vitamin D-fortified formula are at increased risk, especially those born just before winter in northern or southern latitudes.

    Elderly individuals with minimal sun exposure: The elderly have reduced capacity to synthesize vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure, and are more likely to stay indoors or use sunscreen for the prevention of skin cancer. 

    Dark skin: Those of African or Indian descent with darkly pigmented skin living in northern or southern latitudes synthesize less vitamin D on exposure to sunlight than those with light skin .

    Covering all exposed skin when outside: Osteomalacia has been documented in Arab women who cover all of their skin at all times when going outside, for religious or cultural reasons. 

    Fat malabsorption syndromes: Cystic fibrosis and cholestatic liver disease impair the absorption of dietary vitamin D.

    Inflammatory bowel disease: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease appear to be at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially those who have had part of the smal intestine removed (small bowel resection).

    Kidney failure: Severe kidney disease can impair the conversion of calcidiol to the biologically active form of vitamin D, calcitriol.

    Genetic disease: A rare genetic disease affects the activity of the 1-hydroxylase enzyme in the kidneys that converts calcidiol to its active form, calcitriol.

    Seizure disorders (epilepsy): Long-term treatment with anticonvulsant medications, such as phenytoin, can affect hepatic (liver) metabolism of vitamin D



    Serving Size Price

    Calcium 600 + Vitamin D

    120 Tabs $10.95





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