| GEO Health|
| Osteoporosis alert for women|
| Updated at: 1014 PST, Monday, July 05, 2010|
LONDON: When Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow revealed that she is in a primary stage of osteoporosis, or osteopenia, last week, the world was stunned.
Osteopenia is a decrease in the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the bone. This disease causes bones to be weak and brittle and increases the risk for broken bones.
The University of Michigan Health System says osteoporosis could prevail for many causes: cigarette smoking, low body weight, alcoholism, kidney or liver failure, too little calcium in the diet, intense exercise which reduces estrogen levels, eating disorder and others.
The movie star looked perfect externally ― she was tall, lean, toned and had enough muscle to make her look healthy and fashionable.
However, in her online news letter Goop.com, Paltrow said, "My doctors tested my Vitamin D levels, which turned out to be the lowest they had ever seen (not a good thing)."
The Daily Telegraph cited her macrobiotic diet consisting of non-meat and vegetables and protein-focused foods as the major culprit. Paltrow is an avid follower of what others call "alternative lifestyle."
As prescription, she said, "I went on a prescription strength level of Vitamin D and was told to…spend a bit of time in the sun. I was curious if this was safe, having been told for years to stay."
Paltrow's case could be quite alarming to women in Korea, too, since the number of people suffering from osteoporosis has risen 13 percent every year over the last four years, according to the National Health Insurance Corporation.
Prof. Song Young-deuk of the insurance corporation's Ilsan Hospital said, "Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis because their bone structure is much weaker than that of their opposite sex," advising females to watch out for the possible bone malfunction.
In order to prevent the disease, Song advised people to take appropriate regular exercise, conduct regular intake of calcium and vitamin D and get abundant sunshine to proliferate vitamin D synthesis. "Most of all, try not to hurt bones and take regular medical checkups," he said.