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Osteoporosis is usually associated with older women, however most people don’t realise it can actually affect both men and women of all age groups. It is known as a “silent” disease because there are no signs or symptoms until the person breaks a bone.
 
Osteoporosis is the thinning of bones which means they break easily. 50% of women and 25% of men over 50 will break a bone from Osteoporosis. Low levels of vitamin D and calcium can both cause the disease. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium to absorb, however Irish people tend to lack this vitamin as it is generated from exposure to the sun.
 
More than one in two women in Ireland do not get enough vitamin D. The European RDA is 5 micrograms daily for adult women. 3.3 of these micrograms should come from diet (for women over 65 it should be 3.4).
 
To help tackle vitamin D and calcium shortfalls in Ireland, Yoplait is launching a new yoghurt – Cal-in+ which contains 100% of the EU RDA for vitamin D and 50% of calcium in just one pot (125g). Cal-in+ comes in three delicious flavours  - strawberry, vanilla and apricot.
 
A study was conducted on 60 elderly women living in care homes, with half eating two pots of Cal-in+ 125g every day. At the end of the trail (56 days) vitamin D levels increased significantly in the group eating Cal-in+ compared to the group who just ate non-fortified control yoghurt. The corresponding changes in the bone resorption markers CTX and Trap 5b significantly decreased in the Cal-in+ group compared to the control group.
 
Tackling Osteoporosis could save lives, as 20% of people aged 60+ who fracture a hip will pass away within 6-12 months due to complications. Not only could a hip break result in premature death, it can also result in disability. 50% of people who fracture their hip past 60 will not be able to wash, dress or walk across a room unaided.
 
This is why bone health is so important and is something we should mind from a young age – not just as we get old.
 
Cal-in+ has an RRP of €2.49 for a pack of four yoghurts. It is available in Tesco, Dunnes, Supervalu, Centra and Superquinn. Cal-in+ is formulated specifically for adults and children over the age of 10. Do not exceed the recommended daily maximum of 2 pots when consuming Cal-in+ regularly.
 
April 2013

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