Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones. It causes bones to lose mass and strength and makes them more fragile and easier to fracture. Even in normal development, bones become more likely to fracture with age. Bones reach maximum strength at about the age of 30, and bone mass decreases moderately after that time. However, some genetic traits lead to reduced bone strength, which increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, especially of the hips, forearms, and vertebra. This the risk grows with age.
Most fractures involve the hips, forearms, and vertebrae. In normal development, these bones grow throughout childhood and reach maximum strength at about age 30. After that time, bone mass gradually decreases, leading to somewhat more brittle bones. However, some traits in the genes that are responsible for bone formation can cause your bones to become unusually fragile overtime. As you age, this leads to increased bone loss and fractures. About 80% of osteoporosis cases occur in post-menopausal women, mainly because the body no longer produces the bone-protective hormone estrogen. The disease is very common: one in three women over the age of 50 is diagnosed with osteoporosis. As estrogen, the female sex hormone, plays a significant role for women in the formation of bone, women who have had lower estrogen levels throughout their life (e.g. due to a late start of menstruation or premature menopause) are, particularly at risk.
The osteoporosis is a common disease for men over the age of 70. Although women are more often affected by osteoporosis, this disease affects both sexes, and its development is accelerated by certain risk factors such as poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. Not only calcium, but also numerous other micronutrients (such as minerals, amino acids, and vitamins) are important in maintaining healthy bones. Bones have the capability to store calcium, but these reserves are depleted in the case of nutritional deficiencies, for providing the calcium needed for other important processes in the body.
Vitamin D also plays an important role in the absorption of calcium from food. In the case of the elderly, the conversion to the active form of vitamin D is poor; in addition, the vitamin D intake from food is too low. As such the vitamin D deficiency is a largely spread problem, but one that can be easily solved.
The incipient phases of the disease are sometimes not associated with any recognizable symptoms, and the diagnosis is made only when the first bone fractures occur. Previous to this point, the bone density is, however, compromised, and the bones may be fractured even in the case of low injuries or low effort, and can occur, for example, when bending or lifting a heavy bag.
If the disease is diagnosed at a late stage, treatment is based on preventing falls and increasing bone density as much as possible. This is achieved through a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, adequate exercise and by use of medication that promotes bone metabolism. The best defense against osteoporosis is and will remain, prevention. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the more quickly you can take action to stop bone deterioration. Preventing bone loss is always easier than recovering the lost bone. That is exactly what makes this gene test so valuable for preventative health care: you learn what your personal risk of disease is and can often completely prevent the disease from developing and following a prevention program tailored to your individual needs.
Genes relevant in the context of osteoporosis
So far, scientists have identified several genes and polymorphisms which can increase the general risk to contract osteoporosis. Through an analysis of all relevant polymorphisms, the risk of illness, as well as other pertinent genetic properties, can be determined. The following genes have an impact on the preservation of bone density:
LEGEND: rsNCBl = description of examined genetic variation, POLYMORPHlSM = form of the genetic
variation, GENOTYPE = personal analysis result
Summary of effects
In the case of osteoporosis, there are polymorphisms that protect against the development of the disease, and those that promote its development. Polymorphisms that negatively impact calcium absorption, also have an influence on bone density.
Here is a summary of the effects that the genetic variations have on your health and your body:
- Your risk of osteoporosis is 1.8 times increased
- Etidronate therapy is particularly effective
- Clodronate therapy is particularly effective
- Raloxifene therapy is particularly effective
- Your typical calcium absorption rate is normal
Nutritional Genes – Bones
Based on the nutrition relevant genes and the associated genetic strengths and weaknesses, you should increase or decrease certain food components and nutrients. These recommendations are calculated based on your genetic profile.
Your personalized recommendations based on this section:
GREEN ARROWS > this nutrient or substance is classed as being healthy for your genetic profile. Try to increase the intake of this substance.
RED ARROWS > this substance is classed as being unhealthy for your genetic profile. Try to reduce your intake of the substance.
NO ARROWS > The genetics of this section has no effect on the nutrient. PLEASE NOTE! This interpretation only considers your genetic profile of this section.
You have a moderate genetic predisposition for osteoporosis. It is important for you to take preventative measures in order to keep your bones as strong as possible. It is difficult to restore lost bone mass, and it is better to prevent bone loss in the first place. The following precautions will help you keep your bones strong:
- Make sure you take in enough calcium. Calcium is the raw material necessary for bone regeneration, and it is vital to make sure you are getting enough. Dairy products, as well as calcium supplements and some drugs for osteoporosis, contain calcium.
- Ensure that you take enough vitamin D. Your body produces this vitamin in the sunlight. so you should spend as much time as possible outdoors. However, vitamin D is also contained in food
products such as fish, and in lower quantities in milk, as well as in some nutritional supplements (ﬁsh oils).
- You should eat only limited amounts of foods that are high in phosphates, such as sausages,
chocolate, and meat. Phosphate extracts calcium from bone material and weakens bones.
- Any form of exercise, such as jogging or walking, will strengthen your bones by forcing them to develop.
- Several diseases, including hormonal disorders, gastrointestinal, liver, kidney and joint diseases,
cause osteoporosis. The disease should be treated to reduce symptoms.
- Alcohol and nicotine weaken bones, along with many other negative health effects. Giving up alcohol and cigarettes will reduce your osteoporosis risk.
- Get regular bone density scans from your doctor in order to track changes in bone density.
- lf you have advanced osteoporosis, medication can slow or even stop the progression of the disease. Talk to your doctor about your options for drug therapy.
- Numerous drugs can interfere with bone formation, and so people at risk for osteoporosis should consult their doctor before taking medication. Among the drugs known to inhibit bone growth are cortisone, antiepileptics, oral anticoagulants and heparin, aromatase inhibitors (AI) for breast cancer, androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, calcineurin inhibitors such as those for immunosuppression after organ transplantation, and gastric acid inhibitors.
- Certain components of food can also lead to bone mineral density loss and should be avoided if possible. Try to reduce food types that are rich in table salt, phytinic acid, the amino acids cysteine and methionine, and oxalic acid. The excessive consumption of caffeine also leads to a gradual decrease in bone mineral density.
Effect on relevant medication
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