Listen up, gents: Osteoporosis affects you, too

Last week, I told you about some new research showing that resveratrol can help support bone health. The results were so impressive the researchers touted it as a weapon in the fight against osteoporosis.

I wanted to take a minute to repeat that news once again. Only this time, just for the men.

Why? Well, I recently read another interesting study that’s somewhat related to the one I just mentioned. It noted that there are a plethora of missed opportunities for medical professionals to educate men about the dangers of bone loss and fracture risk. I’ve broached this subject before, but this new study is so compelling, it’s worth bringing the topic up again.

The study, by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), notes that osteoporosis prevention and treatment efforts have historically been focused on post-menopausal women, and have largely failed to reach out to the male audience.

It didn’t surprise me, thinking about it. If you watch any TV you’ll notice the amount of commercials for bone medications. And they’re all geared towards women.

But the fact is, men are just as vulnerable to osteoporosis. In fact, according to this new study, “Given that the prevalence of fragility fractures among men is expected to increase threefold by the year 2050, adequately evaluating and treating men for osteoporosis is of paramount importance.”

That grim conclusion came after researchers analyzed data that revealed a shocking discrepancy in the sexes: following a wrist fracture, 53 percent of women had their bone mineral density measured, compared with only 18 percent of men.

Here’s another interesting statistic: 3 percent of men versus 22 percent of women started taking bisphosphonates following an injury. Bisphosphonates are a common drug treatment for increasing bone mass. This shows that those TV commercials geared toward women are doing their job. The problem is, many of these medications have been shown to increase, rather than decrease, bone fractures. (So this is one stat actually works in guys’ favor.)

The key, for both men and women, is to fight bone loss naturally. Kick the Boniva to the curb. Instead, take calcium (500 mg a day in supplement form, as well as from food sources like kale, sardines and salmon), magnesium (500 mg a day), vitamin K2 (90 mcg a day), vitamin D3 (2,000-5,000 IU a day, but if you’re over age 40, I recommend the dose I take myself—10,000 IU. And make sure to get your blood levels checked regularly.). Oh, and don’t forget that resveratrol—500 mg per day.


Distal Radial Fractures in Older Men: A Missed Opportunity? The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery2014; 96(21): 1,820-1,827