Saturday, March 8, 2008

In addition, the gradual loss of bone mass that most women experience from the age onward is drastically accelerated at menopause. Bone loss results in part from the lack of estrogen as well as from inefficient absorption of calcium. A woman may lose 10 to 20 percent of her bone mass in the decade following menopause, with a slower but still significant loss thereafter. This thinning, or osteoporosis, increases the risk of fractures, which can lead to disability and pain.
When resorption occurs faster than formation, the bones becomes weak and extremely porous. Fractures can occur with little or no pressure.

Throughout childhood, bones grow in length and density. In adolescence bones build density and finish growing in length. Peak bone mass is usually reached in your 20s. The denser your bones, the lower risk of osteoporosis later. Once peak none mass is achieved, you can’t improve it; it is determined by genetics and nutrition.

Both men and women begin to lose some mass with increasing age. In women, the loss is greatly accelerated with the decline in estrogen production at menopause. Women of Mediterranean and african descent are less affected, perhaps because they tend to have more bone mass and typically get the sun needed to make vitamin D.
Moderate weight-bearing exercise can help the bones at any age; in fact, exercise is one factor that is known to improve bone strength in later life.

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