For the estimated 1.4 million Canadians living with osteoporosis, many of which are not getting enough vitamin D, an innovative new treatment is now available containing both bone-building medication and vitamin D.
The new medication is called Fosavance, containing both Fosamax and vitamin D in a single tablet taken once a week, to help prevent fractures of the hip and spine.
Dr. Aliya Khan specializes in the treatment of osteoporosis.
"This is an important advancement for patients with osteoporosis. Vitamin D inadequacy is a significant issue in Canada, especially for people with osteoporosis, and it needs to be addressed. Effective treatment options help physicians to better manage patient's vitamin D intake and their bone health."
Vitamin D is essential to good bone health. Without it, calcium cannot be absorbed. However, it appears that many Canadians may be vitamin D deficient.
"A recent Canadian study found that more than 60 per cent of Canadians with osteoporosis had inadequate vitamin D levels," Khan said. "In another study, 97 per cent of patients hospitalized with a fracture from a minor fall had inadequate vitamin D."
Getting the necessary amount of vitamin D can be difficult for Canadians because of insufficient sun exposure. And unlike calcium, vitamin D is not as readily available through diet.
"It's very difficult for most people to meet their vitamin D requirements through diet alone," said registered dietitian Andrea Miller. "Most people, in fact, need a supplement in order to meet their adequate levels. Fortified cow's milk, fortified soy milk and fortified orange juice are all good sources. But again, without a supplement, it's very difficult to hit optimum levels."
For more about this new treatment from an osteoporosis sufferer, watch the video.
Osteoporosis and osteopenia can develop at any age as a result of celiac disease, whereby nutrients such as calcium cannot be absorbed by the body. Even in the absence of typical celiac symptoms – such as vomiting or diarrhea - you should ask your doctor for the blood screening test for celiac disease because calcium supplements and regular exercise will not solve the malabsorption problem if you have celiac disease.
- Source: Janet Dalziel, Canadian Celiac Association