Every woman has to go through several life-changing episodes in their entire life cycle and menopause is one such critical phase. Menopause is a natural part of ageing in every woman and usually occurs between the ages of 45 to 55. In simple terms of understanding, it can be defined as the time phase in the life of women when her menstrual cycle stops or ceases due to the developing of ovarian oocytes as she ages. No longer will she have periods and is no longer able to be pregnant again.
Menopause brings in a lot of physiological and psychological changes in women and one such change that is also related to her ageing is the chances of developing osteoporosis.
Risk factors related to osteoporosis
Osteoporosis has both modifiable and non-modifiable risks attached to it. The main non-modifiable ones are age, female gender, any family history of the disease and alike. Women who have had hysterectomies can also be at a higher risk, as because of the hormones such as estrogen have a protective effect on our bone density.
There are certain medications, treatments and metabolic diseases that can also affect the body’s chemistry and the overall bone mass density. What we are most interested in, however, are the modifiable risk factors. These risk factors are mainly the lifestyle ones. Some such risk factors include: having a sedentary lifestyle, low body mass, smoking, lack of any physical activity, poor and certain dietary factors and challenges.
The relation between menopause and osteoporosis
The lack of estrogen supply in a women’s boy is the prime reason for menopause. It is an essential hormone for women’s body and its deficiency or absence make the body to adjust to a lot of difficulties and changes.
Research shows that lack of estrogen in the body accelerates bone loss slowly, yet considerably. Osteoporosis is a condition of the bone that is marked by the loss of bone mineral density, making the bones fragile and weak.
One of the main bone structure areas that get affected due to the loss of estrogen is our skeleton system – especially the ones that are affected by osteoporosis first. Osteoporosis affects in a slow a+nd gradual manner. As women continue to age their bones turn thinner and thinner and thereby weaker and weaker and turn vulnerable to easy breaking or fractures. The bones that get majorly affected are the ones of the wrist, hips and spine.
The relation between probiotics and menopausal osteoporosis
Menopausal osteoporosis happens after attaining menopause and continuous damaging the bones and women ages. In some cases, osteoporosis can even happen much earlier in women than and as early as 40 years. Probiotics have been attributed by any researches and scientists as a potent tool to fight and control osteoporosis in any condition and stage.
Bones have a special trait – they just not grow and stay the same way throughout life. They are constituted of tissues and living ones that continuously break and again gets developed into new ones. This process is continuous and slows down as we age. During menopause loss of bone mass is quick and therefore more risks of developing osteoporosis.
Probiotics stimulate the growth of gut bacteria that propels the production of a very important and particular metabolite called the butyrate. It is this butyrate that pushes the T cells in our bone marrow to produce the proteins that are needed for bone development and growth.
Probiotics can always affect the bone structure in a positive way.
Managing osteoporosis and low bone density
Much of the same advice and factors for the prevention of low bone density and osteoporosis is also used for its management. It is important to eliminate all risks so as to prevent fracture and other bone damages. Doctor’s may recommend medication and calcium and other mineral supplements. Unfortunately, many of these supplements and medications have unseen side effects.
As per the latest developments in the sector of health and science, probiotics and its supplements have been regarded as one of the most effective means of tackling the issue. However, the results have been very positive and encouraging, the whole episode is still under investigations and unknown.
The role of probiotics in bone health
There has been a lot of research work done on the subject of bone health and probiotics and indicating the beneficial role of probiotics in improving bone health. However, by which mechanism probiotics exert their effects on the bone hasn’t been fully elucidated.
It is well known that probiotics have the ability to influence the gut through regulation of luminal pH; secretion of antimicrobial peptides; enhancement of barrier function by increasing mucus production and modulation of the host immune system; and by modifying the gut microflora. But actually which amongst the many of these mechanisms are important for the beneficial effects on bone is not yet well known.
This article has been contributed by Dr. Prakash Chandra Bhatt, Founder of Billion Cheers and Fermentis Life Sciences.