Considering the growing demands for health care and the constraints of providing for these services, a significant number of health initiatives have turned their focus on preventive medicine. Together with greater health awareness and proactive response among the public, has created the need for research and education regarding health supplements and early intervention programs. One of the health conditions that have garnered significant interest is osteoporosis which Rivlin (2007) attributes to independent researches highlighting its significance to morbidity rates particularly among the elderly women.
According to Pray and Pray (2005), osteoporosis-related fractures among men and women over the age of fifty have a prevalence of 50% and 25% respectively. In the case of hip osteoporosis-related fractures alone, 25% of all patients will require long-term care and worse, 25% can die directly from the hip osteoporosis-related fracture or conditions resulting from it. In addition to geriatric health care concerns, Rivlin’s (2007) research indicates that there is greater risk among non-geriatric population to develop bone-related conditions.
He advocates then that bone health intervention should extend to younger populations to crate more effective measures: research indicate that there is a direct correlation to bone condition in an individual’s juvenile and mature years and subsequent susceptibility osteoporosis-related fractures. Health, Vitamin D and Calcium As quoted from Joan McGowan, “Given the serious public health burden of fractures associated with osteoporosis, it is important to learn as much as possible about ways to prevent and treat bone loss,” (Women’s Health Initiative, 2006).
One of the interventions that are being investigated to reduce osteoporosis-related health risks and to improve general bone health is diet and supplements of vitamin D and calcium. The former, a fat-soluble prohormone, is needed in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus blood levels and enhances the immune system as well. On the other hand, calcium is the growth and maintenance of bone structures.
The minimum required level of calcium for health appreciates with age because of diminished ability to absorb the nutrient or to metabolize it effectively to the system. However, both nutrients have to manage effectively in patients because of their toxicity and complication if overdosed. Too much vitamin D has been linked result of hypocalcaemia, renal failure and gastrointestinal symptoms. Calcium on the other hand contraindicates cardio-vascular medication and has been associated to gastrointestinal irritations and toxicity (Pray & Pray, 2005).
Furthermore, there has also been debate on the mode of the nutrients into the diet. The concern for osteoporosis has motivated the marketing of a number of supplementary calcium medications however there have been more recent research indicating that suggest that calcium absorption is not as effective. However diet advocates have also recognized the difficulty in gaining sufficient amounts of calcium and calcium absorption aids such as vitamin D naturally from food.