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What exactly is it?

Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture).

Osteopenia is the stage before this happens and is the point when lower bone density can be improved, thus preventing osteoporosis.

Risk Factors:

  • taking high-dose steroid tablets for more than 3 months
  • other medical conditions – such as inflammatory conditions, hormone-related conditions, or malabsorption problems
  • a family history of osteoporosis – particularly a hip fracture in a parent
  • long-term use of certain medicines that can affect bone strength or hormone levels, such as anti-oestrogen tablets that many women take after breast cancer
  • having or history of undernutrition 
  • having a low BMI
  • not exercising regularly
  • heavy drinking and smoking

Prevention

Although some medications and genetics are unavoidable, breaking bad habits and promoting good bone health with a balanced diet and exercise is vital for everyone. Vitamin C, D and magnesium contribute towards the normal function and maintenance of bones.* Vitamin D also is required for the normal absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorous, and normal blood calcium levels.* 

* GB REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS