Osteoporosis in Women and Men

Osteoporosis Stages
BONES in the skeleton are the firm supportive structure of the body. Our bones are constantly being renewed. However, the renewal slows down as we age and bones may become porous and brittle. One of the most common bone conditions is osteoporosis. As people become older, their bones become fragile because of osteoporosis, leading to fractures. It has become a common disease among the elderly and women, as we all know, are more prone to the disease.

While osteoporosis has been associated with the elderly, there are cases where younger people have suffered from it under certain medical conditions. Some may be physically smaller than average or have osteoporosis as a result of their arthritis or on treatment with steroids. If they take steroids, they will suffer from steroid-induced osteoporosis. Also those who are anorexic, their bones will have low density and they are also prone to this disease.

What do you know about osteoporosis? 

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. As the bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased. The loss of bone occurs "silently" and progressively and is often called the "silent disease" due to lack of physical symptoms at early stages and can only be detected when fractures happen.

Changes in a Woman's Life

WOMAN is the epitome of everything that is magnificent and beautiful. Unfortunately, this persona is only skin deep. A woman goes through several physical and mental changes in her life.

Her body goes through changes that can affect her family life, her social life, her feelings about herself and how she functions at work. Complicated? Not really...

The beginning: For the first 15 years - from birth to childhood to adolescence - she is careless, free and wide-eyed with what the world has to offer her. She discovers womanhood when she comes of age. She will be more self-conscious and curious with the changes happening to her body. Life will be a voyage of exciting adventures. Every experience is new and fresh.

Pre-Menopause: Pre-menopause refers to the entirety of her reproductive life, from menstruation to menopause. Physical changes begin to accelerate in this stage which is immediately prior to menopause. She is most likely to experience visible physical changes due to the descent in hormone production.

Perimenopause: Perimenopause means "about the time of menopause". It concerns the two to eight years when hormone levels are changing. The most common indications of perimenopause are irregular menstrual cycles, anxiety and lack of energy or irritability caused by hormonal fluctuations. Women usually start perimenopause between the ages of 39 and 51 but this differs with every woman.

Yoghurt Drink - Yakult

OVER the years, scientists and nutritionists in Japan have diligently researched and developed all kinds of 'health' foods for the increasingly health-conscious Japanese people.

But a problem arose - how are the Japanese people to distinguish the real McCoy, the genuine health food, from the so many food products in the market which are not.

The Japanese government had established in 1991 a regulatory framework called Foods for Specified Health Uses (Foshu).

No longer can any food product make unsubstantiated health claims.

The regulatory framework acts as a health food labelling system and only products certified by it can claim certain health benefits.

Any food product carrying the Foshu label defines it as food that carries "active constituents which affect the physiological function and biological activities of the body".

More importantly, a certified product has to be that if consumed as part of one's daily diet, can provide the specified health benefit that it claims.

The Role of Probiotics

WHAT are probiotics and how can they help you? The definition of probiotics has been deliberated by experts from around the world.

A generally used classification, as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN), is that probiotics are "live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host."

Do not equate probiotics to prebiotics - food ingredients that are non-digestible, and selectively stimulate the growth or action of beneficial microorganisms already in people's colons. When probiotics and prebiotics are mixed together, they form a symbiotic.

Probiotics are now readily available in various foods and dietary supplements such as capsules, tablets and in powder form.

Some common foods containing probiotics are yogurt, milk, miso, and certain soya beverages. In probiotic foods and supplements, the bacteria may have been present originally or added during preparation.

A majority of probiotics consists of friendly bacteria that are similar to those naturally found in our intestines.