Osteoporosis in a Nutshell

Jan 16, 2020

Do you feel

  Persistent back pain
  A decrease in height (lost ~6cm since young adult)
  Hunched back
  Bone fracture (typically wrist, spine, hips) after minor fall

If yes, you might have osteoporosis!

Our bones are living tissue consists of mainly calcium and other minerals. With the constant break down and regeneration of bone tissues, it helps to keep our bones strong and healthy. However, when bone tissue breaks down faster than it is replaced, osteoporosis or more literally “porous bone” occurs. This process happens gradually over the years, without a signal. Thus, it is often called a ‘silent disease’ as one may not be aware of it until one of their bone breaks. 1

Globally, well over 10 million people are suffering from osteoporosis, giving rise to more than 1.5 million fractures of the back, wrist, and hips.2 In Malaysia, it was estimated that we would suffer from 3.55 times rise in hip fracture incidents by 2050 compared to 2018.3

Am I At-Risk?

  Female gender
  Advanced age (> 50 years old)
  Asian/ Caucasian descent
  Family history/ previous fracture
  Early menopause
  Small body frame
  Heavy smoking
  Heavy alcohol intake
  Poor nutrition
  Sedentary lifestyle

OH NO! I am At-Risk of or Having Osteoporosis!

Depending on your doctors’ suggestions, you may receive different treatments for bone fracture due to osteoporosis, such as antiresorptive medications, hormone therapy, pain killers.2 Getting enough calcium and vitamin D from diet is also very important, whether you are at risk of or suffering from osteoporosis, as calcium is the core mineral found in bones, and vitamin D helps in calcium absorption. Based on Malaysia RNI 2017: 4

  • Adult (including pregnancy and lactating women) requires 1000mg calcium daily (equivalent to approximately 3-4 cups of 250ML milk)
  • Females above age of 50 require higher 1200mg calcium daily (equivalent to approximately 4-5 cups of 250ML milk)
  • Both adult and elderly (>65 years old) also require 15mcg and 20mcg of vitamin D daily respectively
  • The recommended upper limit for calcium and vitamin D is 2000-2500mg/day and 100mcg/day respectively

However, Malaysians are consuming an average of 357mg calcium per day, which is still far from achieving their daily requirements.5 Thus, if you wish your bones to remain healthy and last your entire lifetime, be sure to pick up on calcium-rich food when you’re at the supermarket next time!


Example of food sources Calcium content (mg) 4,6
1 cup Low-fat milk (250mL) 300
1 cup Low-fat yogurt (125g) 160
1 cup Soybean milk (250mL) 50
1-piece Tofu (152g) 206
1-rectangular piece Tempeh (70.9g) 49
½ cup cooked yellow dhal (95g) 163
1 cup Broccoli (94.5g) 38
1 cup Cabbage, Pak-Choy (88g) 72
1 cup Kale/ Kailan (62.8g) 112
1 cup Spinach (64g) 58
1 cup Watercress, Sai-Yong-Choy (76.8g) 154

Busy at work? No time for grocery shopping? Fret not, taking calcium supplement can help you to fill the gap of calcium insufficiency from your diet. Make sure to choose your supplement in the form of calcium citrate as it provides 2.5 fold higher absorption compared to calcium carbonate form, due to its water solubility.7 It’s also a better choice for those with low stomach acid, acid reflux and can be taken on an empty stomach.8 Be sure to top up with your vitamin D supplement to maximize calcium absorption. Also, don’t forget to keep yourself active every day, as exercising helps in muscle strengthening and improve in overall bone health.9

The amount of peak bone mass attained before the age of 30 partly attributes to your risk of developing osteoporosis as you age too. So, start storing up your “bone bank” before it’s too late!

Find out more on our Joint and Bone supplements at https://biolife.com.my/product/joint-bone-health/calcium-magnesium-plus-jbh/

  1. About Osteoporosis. Malaysian Osteoporosis Society. 2010 [cited 9 December 2019]. Retrieved from:
    http://www.osteoporosis.my/ aboutOsteo/about_whatOsteo.asp
  2. Osteoporosis. Arthritis Foundation. [cited 9 December 2019]. Retrieved from: https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoporosis/
  3. Cheung C, Ang S, Chadha M, Chow E, Chung Y, Hew F et al. An updated hip fracture projection in Asia: The Asian Federation of Osteoporosis Societies study. Journal of Osteoporosis and Sarcopenia. 2018;4(1):16-21.
  4. Recommended Nutrients Intake Malaysia 2017.
  5. Zainuddin A. Current nutrient intake among Malaysia Adult: Finding from MANS 20. Medical Journal of Malaysia. 2015;70(1).
  6. Malaysian Food Composition Database. MyFCD. 1997 [cited 9 December 2019]. Retrieved from: http://myfcd.moh.gov.my/myfcd97/
  7. Sakhaee K, Bhuket T, Adams-Huet B, Rao D. Meta-analysis of Calcium Bioavailability: a comparison of calcium citrate with calcium carbonate. American Journal of Therapeutics. 1999;6(6):313-322.
  8. Straub D. Calcium Supplementation in Clinical Practice: A Review of Forms, Doses, and Indications. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2007;22(3):286-296.
  9. Osteoporosis Exercise for Strong Bones. National Osteoporosis Foundation. [cited 9 December 2019]. Retrieved from:
    https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/ exercisesafe-movement/osteoporosis-exercise-for-strong-bones/