Calmax+™ is the complete calcium supplement. Not only does each tablet provide 600 mg of elemental calcium (each tablet contains 1,650 mg of calcium carbonate equivalent to 600 mg ele
Protection against Osteoporosis is now so much more than just Calcium.
Introducing the + Factor
Osteoporosis is a silent disease that causes bones to become brittle and fragile, often resulting in broken bones. It can happen to anyone – the disease has no age, gender or ethnic boundaries. Osteoporosis most commonly affects the elderly and postmenopausal women but men and women of all ages are at risk and even certain lifestyle choices can increase the risk. Osteoporosis affects millions around the world.
There is no one single cause of osteoporosis. The overall health of a person’s bones is a consequence of many things ranging from how well the bones were formed during one’s youth, to the level of exercise the bones have seen over the years, to the nature of one’s daily diet. During the first 20 years of life, the formation of bone is the most important factor, but after that it is the prevention of bone loss which becomes most important. Anything that leads to decreased formation of bone early in life, or loss of bone structure later in life, will lead to osteoporosis and fragile bones. The weakening of bones caused by osteoporosis can have debilitating effects such as bone fractures and chronic pain.
The Early Years
There is rapid formation of bone mass in the foetus and infant and during the growth spurt which accompanies adolescence. Adult levels of bone mass are achieved by one’s late 20’s.
Various hormones are important for formation of bones during the early years but there are also important life style factors which have an effect on normal bone formation, the most important being physical activity and good nutrition. Lack of exercise, low calcium intake, smoking and prolonged bed rest due to illness during the teenage years can all contribute to a decrease in the amount of bone that is formed and cause the bone to be less “dense”.
The Adult Years
The same factors which encouraged bone formation up to one’s 20’s affect the maintenance of bone mass during the adult years. Lack of physical exercise, low calcium intake, smoking, alcohol consumption and certain medications can all have a negative effect on bone density.
Menopause is one of the major risk factors of osteoporosis. Oestrogen, a female sex hormone, helps to maintain a woman’s bone density by keeping calcium in the bones. At menopause, oestrogen levels are reduced and consequently, the amount of calcium in the bones is reduced, leaving a person more prone to developing osteoporosis. Early onset of menopause increases the risk still further.
Smoking can increase the risk of osteoporosis by increasing the likelihood of entering menopause at an earlier age.
Calcium is a nutrient that is essential for building and strengthening bones and teeth and for supporting some of the body’s critical functions such as the control of blood pressure and the maintenance of a regular heart beat. 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in a person’s bones and teeth. Throughout one’s lifetime calcium is deposited and withdrawn from bones depending on the body’s needs. When the dietary calcium intake is too low, the body will withdraw the calcium it needs from the bones. Over time, if more calcium is taken out of the bones than put in, osteoporosis can develop.
To prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis there are 3 main activities that a person should start without delay:
¨ Increase calcium intake
¨ Exercise, preferably weight-bearing exercise.
¨ Stop smoking
Recommended calcium intake
Amount of Daily Calcium
|-Birth to 6 months||400 mg|
|-6 Months to 1 year||600 mg|
|-One to 10 years||800 – 1,200 mg|
|-11 to 24 years||1,200 – 1,500 mg|
|-Pregnant or Lactating||1,200 – 1,500 mg|
|-25 to 49 years (premenopausal)||1,000 mg|
-50 to 64 years (postmenopausal taking
oestrogen or similar hormone)
-50 to 64 years (postmenopausal not taking
oestrogen or similar hormone)
|-Over 65 years old||1,500 mg|
|-25 to 64 years old||1,000 mg|
|-Over 65 years old||1,500 mg|
Source: National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel, Optimal Calcium Intake, 1994.
If one does not consume enough calcium from food sources one needs to take a comprehensive calcium supplement to meet these daily requirements.
Osteoporosis can start developing early in life. To reduce the chances of developing osteoporosis, exercise, a healthy diet and calcium supplementation, all aimed at maintaining healthy bones, is recommended for men and women from their teenage years onwards.
In recent years the medical fraternity has come to realise that Folic acid is a vital nutrient for maintaining good health in both men and women, but in particular women of child-bearing age.
Studies show that all women of child-bearing age need to boost their Folic acid intake prior to conceiving as this B vitamin has been proven to decrease the risk of an unborn baby developing serious birth defects called neural tube defects. The brain and spine develop from the neural tube and defects can result in paralysis and mental retardation. Another example of a neural tube defect is Spina Bifida in which the spinal cord is not completely encased in the bone.
The most recent research now also indicates that Folic acid supplementation may help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Homocysteine is an amino acid produced as a normal by-product of the breakdown of methionine, an essential amino acid acquired mostly from eating meat.
High homocysteine levels are often due to the genetic alteration of a particular enzyme in the body. High levels can also be caused by malabsorption of vitamins while the body’s homocysteine levels also tend to increase with advancing age.
Elevated homocysteine in the blood has been linked to damage of the arteries, which may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems.
More recent research studies have now indicated a link between high homocysteine levels and the development of osteoporosis. In two large studies conducted in the Netherlands, it was found that the number of fractures involving bones other than the spine were doubled in people with the highest homocysteine levels.
These studies have concluded that an increased homocysteine level appears to be a strong and independent risk factor for osteoporotic fractures in older men and women (1).
At this stage it is not certain why increased blood levels of homocysteine raise the risk of osteoporosis. However, the studies support the concept that homocysteine interferes with collagen cross-linking in bone. Because collagen cross-links are important for the stability and strength of the collagen network, interference in the formation of cross-links results in an altered bone matrix, which then results in bone becoming fragile and prone to fracture (1).
Fortunately, homocysteine levels can be reduced safely and effectively with vitamins. Trials have shown that folic acid-based vitamin supplements can effectively reduce homocysteine levels (1).
It therefore makes sense to ensure that the diet (including supplements) contains enough folic acid to maintain homocysteine levels within normal levels.
The growing body of evidence suggests that, like Calcium supplementation, Folic acid supplementation is important in order to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.
Calmax+™ is the complete calcium supplement. Not only does each tablet provide 600 mg of elemental calcium (each tablet contains 1,650 mg of calcium carbonate equivalent to 600 mg elemental calcium), Calmax+™</strong