In 2010, there were an estimated 3,390 million females living in the world, and this number is expected to increase by 20% to 4,082 million during the next 20 years. Among the female population in 2010, 66% of them (2,230 million) were over the age of 20, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Moreover, the aging populations in many countries will result in a marked increase in older women (>65 years old) from an estimated 294 million elderly women in 2010 to 532 million in 2030—an 81% increase! In comparison, worldwide, females from the age of 15 to 64 will increase by only 18% during this time period.
One health condition of interest to this segment of the population is osteoporosis. This is a bone disease that occurs frequently in older women. In this condition, there is a diminution of bone density that results in weaker bones that are more susceptible to bone fracture under normal skeletal forces, particularly in the bones of the spine, wrist and hip. Eighty-five percent of people with osteoporosis are women and one in three women over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporotic fracture. Osteoporosis in the U.S. alone is a health threat for 44 million people.
According to Fortitech’s talented formulation team, important nutrients to help combat osteoporosis are calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K. The three important minerals in bone are calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. In most diets, phosphorus is plentiful and does not act to limit bone health. However, calcium and magnesium intakes are typically low in most women. Many clinical trials have demonstrated the important effect of calcium supplementation on bone loss in elderly women with inadequate calcium intakes.
Important vitamins for bone health are vitamins D and K. Vitamin D has been well studied and is important to maintain optimal calcium absorption, renal calcium conservation and bone turnover. The mechanism of action of vitamin K on skeletal health is less certain, but many studies have shown that higher vitamin K intakes and status are associated with higher bone mineral density and lower fracture risk.
Osteoporosis is just one aspect of women’s health that we discuss in our tech paper titled “Thrive,” which can be downloaded at www.fortitech.com/freepaper.