Osteoporosis is a bone disease all women should know about. As a woman, you may feel tuned into your body's cycles. But one cycle you may not give much thought to is your bones' life cycle. Yet, changes in this cycle—particularly after menopause—can be very serious.

Osteoporosis thins and weakens bones, putting you at risk for broken bones. Normally, old bone breaks down and is replaced with new bone. Osteoporosis creates an imbalance in this rebuilding cycle when bone breaks down but no new bone forms. This process speeds up after menopause. Of the more than 10 million people in the United States who have osteoporosis, 80% are women.

Taking care of your bone health
You may think you do everything right to take care of your bone health. You eat a healthy diet. You exercise. But if you're past menopause, that may not be enough. The only way to know for sure if you have low bone mass or osteoporosis is to get a bone mineral density (BMD) test.

How strong are your bones?
To find out, ask your doctor about getting a bone mineral density (BMD) test. What you know today can help you protect your bone health tomorrow.

Macroelements in Moringa

Moringa leaves contain high amounts of calcium, 500 mg per 100 g of leaves, while the leaf powder can have about five times more calcium per 100 g. The daily recommended dose for an adult is about 1,000 mg, with more needed for pregnant or lactating women. Remember, calcium is consumed and excreted every day. Ideally and importantly, the consumed calcium should equal the amount of calcium excreted. Calcium is a vital mineral for numerous physiological processes, such as building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting and other various cellular functions (maintaining normal heart rhythm and the transmission of nerve impulses).

Almost all the calcium in the human body is stored in the bones and teeth, and when calcium is needed in the blood, it is released (borrowed) from the bones. Bones are living tissues, constantly formed and remodeled. Not getting enough calcium, will result in a condition where bone destruction exceeds bone production specially after the age of 30. This condition is known today as osteoporosis (porous bones).

Why should we get our calcium supplements from plant sources?
Dairy products are high in “bad” saturated fats that increase the risk of heart disease and other illnesses; many Asians, Hispanics, African Americans and especially children have lactose intolerance; galactose (a milk sugar) has been linked with a high incidence of ovarian problems, including cancer.

Moringa leaves contain approximately 25 mg per 100 g of leaves, while the leaf powder can contain approximately 370 mg per the same weight. Magnesium is similar to calcium in several ways; 60% is found in the bones and teeth and the balance is found mostly in the muscles. Magnesium is the second most abundant positively charged element found within the cells. Magnesium is extremely vital to health as: it stimulates gastric motility and intestinal function (it is a laxative); it is a relaxing ion for the nervous system and blood vessels, thus if fights stress, irritability and high blood pressure.

What does Potassium do in the body? It is involved in nerve and brain functions, muscle control and blood pressure. Potassium lowers blood pressure, acting as an antagonist of sodium. It works with sodium to maintain the water balance, which is very important for good health. It assists in the regulation of the acid-base balance and water balance in the blood. It also assists in protein synthesis from amino acids and in carbohydrate metabolism.

Moringa contains phosphorus, an important mineral which serves as the main regulator of energy metabolism in cells. It also helps the body absorb glucose (a type of carbohydrate found in foods as well as in our blood), and transport fatty acids. Moringa contains about 100mg of phosphorus in 100 g of leaves, while the leaf powder contains twice as much.

Is one of the most important but neglected nutrients, maybe more important than magnesium, iron, sodium, iodine, and even many vitamins. It has incredibly diverse roles; it is part of many proteins, boosts resistance to diseases, regulates blood sugar and helps detoxify the body. Moringa offers a good quantity and quality of organic, absorbable sulfur, from 140 mg per 100 g of leaves and pods, to more than 800 mg in 100 g leaf powder, making it an excellent source of sulfur for everyone.

Sulfur is a constituent of the essential amino acids methionine and cysteine, vitamin B1 and biotin (another type of vitamin B), the powerful antioxidant glutathione and the anticoagulant heparin. Sulfur is found in hormones in insulin, which regulates blood glucose levels.

Is composed of the three amino acids cysteine (containing sulfur), glycine and glutamic acid (two non-essential amino acids). Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants made by the human body. Low levels of glutathione are associated with heart disease and cancer. It also helps the liver detoxify dangerous chemical of all sorts. More than 90% of the non-protein-bound sulfur in the cells is found as glutathione.

Microelements in Moringa

Moringa has more iron than spinach. 100 g of leaves or pods, or 25 g (less than an ounce) of leaf powder could provide all the daily iron needs of an adult, about 10-20 mg. Iron is one of those finicky (difficult to please) nutrients that like good company in order to be absorbed and stay in your body.

While many foods contain iron, it is not easily absorbed unless certain nutrients such as vitamin C and others are present.

Zinc supports a healthy immune system, wound healing, normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence. Moringa leaves, pods and seeds contain zinc in amounts similar to those found in beans, while leaf powder has twice as much zinc per the same weight.

Copper plays a role in the synthesis and maintenance of myelin, as substance which insulates nerve cells to ensure proper transmission of nerve impulses, and as a cofactor for processes that neutralize the dangerous free radicals that would otherwise destroy our cells. We would not be able to produce energy without the help of copper and co-helper enzymes. Healthy muscles, including the heart, could not work without copper. Proper skin appearance and properties and bone formation also require copper. One hundred grams of Moringa leaves provide enough copper for the daily allowance in an adult (about 1 mg).

Manganese is mostly concentrated in the bones, liver, pancreas and brain. It is a component of several enzymes such as manganese-superoxide dismutase, which prevents tissue damage due to oxidation. Manganese also activates numerous enzymes involved in the digestion and utilization of foods, breakdown of cholesterol, sex hormone production and the function of bones and skin. The estimated adequate dietary intake for manganese is 2-5 mg for adults. Moringa has 5 mg per 100 g leaves or 50 g leaf powder, and thus qualifies as an outstanding source of manganese.

Selenium is an essential trace element with powerful antioxidant properties. Medical research has shown that increased selenium intake decreases the risk of many types of cancers including breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers. Selenium also preserves tissue elasticity, slows down the aging of tissues and even helps in the treatment of dandruff. Moringa contains about 8-10 mcg per 100g leaf powder.

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