Osteoporosis is a condition of fragile bone. Many people associate Osteoporosis with old age only. However it is important to recognise the influence of diet and lifestyle throughout the years of childhood (bone growth), adolescence, pregnancy and menopause.

Bone mass peaks at the age of 30-40 years and losses occur at a constant rate of 1-2% each year, this accelerates in women around the age of menopause to around 3-4% year. Male bone loss stays at the constant rate of 1-2% loss each year.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is caused by a reabsorption of Calcium from the bone which leads to an increased incidence of breaks and fractures

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by a decrease in the density of bone, decreasing its strength and resulting in fragile bones. It literally leads to abnormally porous bone that is compressible, like a sponge. This disorder of the skeleton weakens the bone and results in frequent fractures (breaks) in the bones. Osteopenia, by definition, is a condition of bone that is slightly less dense than normal bone but not to the degree of bone in osteoporosis.

Normal bone is composed of protein, collagen, and calcium, all of which give bone its strength. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can break (fracture) with relatively minor injury that normally would not cause a bone to fracture. The fracture can be either in the form of cracking (as in a hip fracture) or collapsing (as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the spine). The spine, hips, ribs, and wrists are common areas of bone fractures from osteoporosis, although osteoporosis-related fractures can occur in almost any skeletal bone.


  • Dowagers hump
  • Stooped posture
  • Loss of height
  • Backache, aching of long bones
  • Muscular soreness, muscle spasms
  • Fractures – radius, femur and spine


  • Ageing
  • Menopause – a decline in the female hormone oestrogen means that there is less bone protection and number of osteoclasts which build bone mass
  • Genetic – Northern European ancestry, fair skin, low body mass
  • Lack of exercise
  • Calcium intake in the diet in growth periods is vital to increase peak bone mass. If low levels of Calcium intake occur then the risk of bone loss is higher
  • A diet high in sugar and acids will cause leaching of Calcium from the bones to buffer the consequent inflammation formed due to a high sugar diet and acidic food intake.
  • Low Magnesium intake leads to Calcium loss from the bones
  • History of arthritis
  • Smoking and alcohol
  • High protein diets will contribute to Calcium excretion in the urine.
  • Some medications such as anti-convulsant drugs, corticosteroids, heparin, diuretics, antacids
  • Hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, adrenal overactivity, chronic renal disease, gastrectomy and diabetes


  • Increase weight bearing exercises to promote osteoclast activity (bone building)
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Avoid unnecessary medication use


  • Consider Calcium supplementation which contains other co-factors to bone health such as Vitamin D, Magnesium, Boron, Zinc and B Vitamins
  • Herbs which benefit bone health are Horsetail, Comfrey and Nettle
  • Consider mineral supplementation with Tissue salts of Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Flouride and Silica