Love your bones – real men build their strength from within!

World Osteoporosis Day falls on October 20, 2014, and within the motto of “Love your Bones,” this year’s theme is “Real men build their strength from within.” Real Men Build Their Strength from Within This theme was chosen to bring attention to the fact that although osteoporosis is more common in women, one in five men aged 50 and over worldwide will suffer an osteoporotic fracture. Read this brochure – A Man’s Guide to Osteoporosis Prevention here:  WOD14-patient_brochure 2

Older adults should eat diary and exercise to decrease risk of bone and muscle loss

Combining four nutrients found in diary products with regular exercise can help ward off muscle wasting and bone disease, according to researchers in Switzerland, France and North America.

Calcium, inorganic phosphate, vitamin D and protein interact together with physical activity to maintain healthy muscles and bones, say the experts in an article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition


“While bone health is often associated with calcium alone, Calcium’s interactions with inorganic phosphate, vitamin D, and protein are important components of beneficial dairy consumption,” says the article.

“Combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation has been shown to reduce the incidence of hip and other non-vertebral fractures among older populations, with some studies suggesting that vitamin D actually leads to lower rates of falling in subjects. Dietary protein, while often associated solely with muscle recovery, also promotes bone formation by stimulating both Ca and Pi intestinal absorption and the production of a bone growth factor. And while vitamin D deficiency is associated with muscle weakness, vitamin D and protein supplementation are required together to improve strength.

“Combining the four above-mentioned nutrients with physical activity decreases the likelihood of bone and muscle degeneration-related injury in older adults. Dairy products are a convenient way to work them into a diet, as they contain Ca, Pi, and protein at levels comparable to recommended intakes, and are fortified with vitamin D.”

High dose Vitamin D needed to protect against bone fracture

New York: Higher doses of Vitamin D are needed to protect older adults against bone fractures, according to an analysis of several recent clinical trials.
The New England Journal of Medicine which examined 11 such trails reveals a protective effect for high dose vitamin D supplementation against the risk of fracture in older men and women. While 800 international units (IU) or more of the vitamin was associated with reduced fracture risk, lower doses did not appear to be effective.
“Vitamin D supplementation is an efficient intervention for a costly injury that affects thousands of older adults each year,” remarked senior author and Tufts University School of Medicine professor Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD.
 “The average recovery is long and painful and deeply impacts quality of life. After a fracture, older patients may only regain partial mobility, resulting in a loss of independence that is personally demoralizing and that can place added stress on family members and caregivers.”
Dr Dawson-Hughes and her colleagues analyzed data from 31,022 individuals age 65 and older who were assigned to receive up to 2,000 IU oral vitamin D or a placebo in one of 11 randomized, controlled trials. Those who received the vitamin had a modest 10 percent lower risk of hip fracture and a 7 percent reduction in nonvertebral fracture overall; however, a stronger effect emerged for higher dose vitamin D when the participants were analyzed according to dosage. Among those whose vitamin D was among the top 25 percent of subjects at a median of 800 IU per day, there was a 30 percent lower adjusted risk of hip fracture and a 14 percent lower risk of nonvertebral fractures in comparison with those whose vitamin D intake was lowest.
 “Taking between 800 IUs and 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day significantly reduced the risk of most fractures, including hip, wrist and forearm in both men and women age 65 and older,” stated Dr Dawson-Hughes, who is the director of the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. “Importantly, we saw there was no benefit to taking vitamin D supplements in doses below 800 IUs per day for fracture prevention.”
“Evaluation of individual-level data is the gold-standard of meta-analysis,” noted lead author Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, MD, DPh, who is the director of the Centre on Aging and Mobility at the University of Zurich and Waid City Hospital, and a visiting scientist at the Bone Metabolism Laboratory.
 “Our results make a compelling contribution to the existing data on vitamin D and fracture risk in men and women age 65 and older, whose vulnerability to bone density loss and osteoporosis leave them prone to fractures resulting from thinning bones.”
High dose vitamin D is available at The Vitality Shop UK
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Why Vitamin D is vital, explains leading expert

The winter is finally here! The weather is colder and the sun sets before most of us even leave the office. How do you know if you are getting enough vitamin D and how much should you consume?


Vitamin D.jpeg

Dr John Cuomo, Executive Director of Research and Development at USANA Health Sciences answers important questions on why this vitamin is so important to the optimum functioning of the human body:


What are the main functions of vitamin D in the body?


Vitamin D appears to have many functions in the body.  Every cell, regardless of where it is located has a vitamin D receptor.  This would indicate that vitamin D has multiple functions and the scientific evidence backs this up.  The best documentation of the importance of vitamin D is in bone health. Absorption and utilization of calcium appears to be a vitamin D controlled process. Other minerals including magnesium, boron and silicon may also depend on vitamin D to be absorbed and deposited into the bone matrix.  The RDA data for vitamin D is based solely on the function for uptake and utilization of minerals for bone health.  So while bone health, and prevention of osteoporosis is an extremely important function of vitamin D, it is part of what makes vitamin D important to your health.  There are numerous studies showing that Vitamin D is also essential for overall immune system function and for muscle strength.  Epidemiological studies also show links to glucose metabolism, cell proliferation, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, impaired muscle function, infection, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, some cancers and CVD.


What are the best natural sources?


One of the best ways to get vitamin D is to expose your skin to sunlight.  15  to 30 minutes of sun exposure between the peak hours of 10am-2pm will make thousands of IU of vitamin D. Just be careful not to burn.  Dietary sources are lower.  Some product such as milk and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D, but the dose is usually low and the form is different than from sun exposure.  Some fish also have vitamin D but the amounts vary significantly.


-Is the vitamin D in milk etc a chemically made version and, if so, does it differ (like vitamin e) from the natural source? 


The story here is a little different than for vitamin E.  The form of vitamin D produced in skin naturally from sunlight is cholecalciferol or vitamin D3.  This is also the form used in most nutritiona
l supplements like USANA Vitamin D tablets.  Milk is fortified with vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol.  While it is naturally derived, it is not the same as the D3 that we produce naturally from sun exposure.  In addition there are several clinical studies on supplementation with D2 vs. D3, and it looks like D3 is more bioavailable, and a better choice.


What are the best ways to take vitamin D to ensure you’ve taken enough?


Dietary sources are not sufficient.  Even though milk, orange juice and fish do contain vitamin D, all of the data we have seen indicates that the vast majority of Americans are vitamin D deficient.  The two best ways to get the vitamin D you need are to get adequate sun exposure to exposed skin (without sun block) or to take a good vitamin D supplement.  In addition, the only good way to tell if you have adequate stores of vitamin D is to have a blood test run.  If your doctor asks for this test, be sure they measure the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in plasma, and the amount should be 40 – 60 ng/mL.


Does sunscreen stop us absorbing vitamin D?


Yes. To make vitamin D in the skin, UV light must hit the skin directly.  Sunscreen effectively blocks this, and almost no vitamin D will be produced if you apply sunscreen.


-How often should vitamin D be taken?


A daily supplement of 200 to 500

IU of vitamin D.


Why is vitamin D important?


It supports healthy bones, immune function, muscle strength, glucose control, and may help prevent auto immune disease and heart disease.



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Protect your smile


Dentyl_range_without_bg [320x200].jpgWe all know that as we get older our teeth will start to fall out. But is this one part of the ageing process we can skip?

      Gum disease is currently rife in the UK, with even children in their early teens showing signs of it. Now new research has pinpointed the reason for this – the majority of adults, around three quarters of the population, spend just 40 seconds brushing their teeth! Even those who brush two times daily still have plaque on 69% of their teeth surfaces. Shocking isn’t it?

      There is a further dental related concern for ladies who have just come out of the menopause. One in three post-menopausal women over the age of 50 suffer from Osteoporosis, the condition in which there is a decrease in bone mineral density. The disorder leads to bone loss and the jaw bones are not exempt from this.

      The similarities in bone loss between gum disease and osteoporosis led experts to investigate whether or not osteoporosis was a significant risk factor in tooth loss. It was found that patients suffering from the condition had three fewer teeth on average than otherwise healthy control subjects (with age and smoking history taken into account).

      Therefore we should all do whatever we can, especially those ladies over 50, to reduce the levels of plaque in our mouths. It will be an ongoing task for our dental health professionals to re-educate the nation on how to brush their teeth. However, the benefits of using an alcohol free mouthwash twice a day would be a much easier message to get out into the public.

      We’ve been using the new Dentyl range of alcohol free mouthwash. The organisation recommends brushing your teeth for no less than 2 minutes followed by usage of their mouthwash.

      1. Using a small headed toothbrush and starting at the back of the mouth work across each tooth with a circular action, making sure the toothbrush gets under the gum lines. 

      2. For tight spots – use an interdental brush to get to those gaps between the teeth

      3. Use alcohol free Dentyl Active mouthwash twice daily…


      What our reviewers thought….

The fact that your plaque comes out in the sink as brightly coloured gunk might be slightly off-putting to some but at least it shows that the mouthwash is effective in removing plaque deposits, so we like it.

Our reviewers felt the mouthwash was very effective in a number of areas – it left a pleasant taste in the mouth, helped to speed a developing mouth ulcer away and did not affect the taste buds long-term. With alcohol based mouthwashes you seem to get a stinging aftertaste which lasts most of the day and impairs the taste of food, which did not happen with alcohol free Dentyl – another plus point.

The range includes new cherry and citrus flavours which, again, are quite controversial for a mouthwash but surprisingly nice.




Chocolate may increase bone health risk


Sydney: Scientists have discovered that chocolate may increase the likelihood of osteoporosis and bone fractures in women.

In a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition women who ate chocolate every day were found to have less dense bones than those who ate it less than once a week. according to scientists at the University of Western Australia.

Chocolate containing high levels of flavanols has recently been found to have beneficial health effects, particularly on the cardivascular system. But most chocolates do not contain high levels of this substance and manufacturers rarely label their products with health information.

In the Australian study, scientists monitored the amount of chocolate eaten over several weeks by 1,001 women aged 70 to 85. They then measured the bone density and strength of each woman using X-rays. The researchers found the women who ate chocolate less than once a week had significantly stronger bones than those who consumed the treat on a daily basis. Low bone density was found in the hips, neck, tibia and heel bones of the women surveyed.

The researchers believe the findings may be because chocolate contains oxalate, which can reduce calcium absorption, and sugar, which is linked to calcium excretion. Calcium is vital for maintaining healthy bones.

Premarin creates new low dose HRT pill

London: A new low-dose hormone replacement therapy for women who go through an early menopause after a hysterectomy may soon be available.

The oestrogen- only pill has been launched for women under 50 who face a premature menopause because of womb surgery. It contains half the hose of the oestrogen – the hormone responsible for most of the potential negative side-effects of earlier HRT including heart disease and cancer.

The new low-dose pill Premarin contains 0.3mg of oestrogen, less than half the standard HRT preparation of 0.625mg. The hormone combats symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. It also fights bone thinning which affects women after the menopause and can lead to osteoporosis and broken bones.

HRT is thought to offer a degree of protection to women from many of the diseases of ageing including heart disease, osteoporosis, hairloss and even Alzheimer’s Disease.

Once a year 15 minute therapy cuts risk of broken bones in post-menopausal women, new study finds

San Francisco: A study published today for a treatment that is given just once a year has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of broken hips and other broken bones, caused by post-menopausal osteoporosis.1

The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on 3rd May found that the active treatment zoledronic acid 5mg (Aclasta) cut the risk of broken hips by 41% and the risks of breaks to the spine (vertebrae) by 70% compared to patients on no treatment (placebo). Broken bones at other parts of the body, such as wrists, were cut by 25%.

Zoledronic acid 5mg was given as a short infusion (at least 15 minutes) once a year in the three year study. All patients received daily calcium and vitamin D supplements which are essential for good bone health.

The authors state: “A once-yearly infusion of zoledronic acid (5mg) during a 3-year period was associated with a significant and sustained decrease in the risk of vertebral, hip, and other fractures. An annual infusion of zoledronic acid (5 mg) may provide a promising approach to reducing fracture risk. “1

The three-year study was carried out in 7,765 post-menopausal women, aged 65 to 89, from 27 countries including the UK. Approximately half received zoledronic acid 5mg and half placebo.

British women who took part in the study were treated at centres in Aberdeen, Sheffield, Liverpool and Glasgow.

The pharma, Novartis, is currently seeking a licence for zoledronic acid 5mg (Aclasta®) for post menopausal osteoporosis in the UK.

Over the three years, 88 (2.5%) of the women in the placebo group suffered a hip fracture compared to 52 (1.4%) of the women in the zoledronic acid 5mg group.

The researchers, led by Professor Dennis Black, of the University of California, San Francisco, said “During a 3-year period, an annual infusion of zoledronic acid 5mg significantly reduced the risk of fracture at all key osteoporotic fracture sites, including the two primary end points, vertebral and hip fractures.” 1

“A regimen of infusions once a year appears to ensure that patients will have a full treatment effect for at least 12 months.1

Despite the availability of effective treatments for osteoporosis, poor adherence to drug regimens reduces the benefits and presents a major challenge for health professionals. 4

Figures from the National Osteoporosis Society say that over 60,000 hip and 120,000 vertebral fractures take place each year in the UK. 22

The UK’s National Osteoporosis Society says that around one in five (18%) people die within three months of having a broken hip accounting for around 14,000 deaths per year in this country alone. A woman with a vertebral fracture has a four times higher risk of death than a woman with no vertebral fractures. 2

One of the authors of the study, Professor Richard Eastell, Professor of Bone Metabolism at Sheffield University’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said the findings provided potential good news for thousands of women suffering from osteoporosis.

Professor Eastell pointed out that “The ability to only have the treatment once a year does mean that it simplifies the whole regimen. You don’t have to remember every day to take this medication. There is no doubt that Aclasta reduces vertebral fracture, hip fracture and other breaks.”

Professor David Reid, Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Aberdeen, who led one of the UK centres involved in the study said that the hip fracture data was particularly relevant.

“Preventing hip fractures remains the holy grail of treating osteoporosis, as we know that six months after a hip fracture, nearly a fifth of patients will be dead. Reducing hip fractures by 41% is therefore highly clinically significant.”

Study Details

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 3889 patients were randomly assigned to receive a single 15-minute 5mg infusion of zoledronic acid and 3876 were assigned to receive a placebo infusion at baseline, at 12 months, and at 24 months; the patients were followed until 36 months. 1 All patients in the study also received daily calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

Primary end points were new vertebral fractures (in patients not taking concomitant osteoporosis medications) and hip fracture (in all patients). Secondary end points included bone mineral density, bone turnover markers, and safety outcomes.

Treatment with zoledronic acid 5mg reduced the risk of vertebral fracture by 70% over a 3-year period, as compared with placebo (3.3% in the zoledronic-acid 5mg group vs. 10.9% in the placebo group; relative risk, 0.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.24 to 0.38) and reduced the risk of hip fracture by 41% (1.4% in the zoledronic-acid 5mg group vs. 2.5% in the placebo group; hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.83).

Over the three years, 88 (2.5%) of the women in the placebo group suffered a hip fracture compared to 52 (1.45%) of the women in the zoledronic acid 5mg group.

The figures for vertebral fracture were 310 women (10.9%) in the placebo group versus 92 (3.3%) on zoledronic acid 5mg.

Secondary fracture endpoints of nonvertebral, and clinical (symptomatic) vertebral fractures were reduced by 25% and 77%, respectively (P<0.001 for all comparisons). Zoledronic acid 5mg was also associated with a significant improvement in bone mineral density and bone metabolism markers.

The majority of adverse events seen with the active treatment, including flu-like symptoms, were transient and resolved shortly after the treatment. Adverse events were similar in the two study groups. However, serious atrial fibrillation was seen more frequently in the zoledronic-acid 5mg group (1.3% vs. 0.5% patients, P<0.001). The observed association might be due to chance but is being further studied in other trials of zoledronic acid 5mg.

Risks of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a long-term disease with consequences such as broken bones that only become apparent long after the condition starts. 2

Osteoporosis, which literally means “porous bone,” is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. As the bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased. 2

One in two women will suffer a fracture after the age of 50. 2

The lifetime risk of fracture in women at age 50 years is greater than the risk of breast cancer or cardiovascular disease. 2

On the basis of current trends, hip fracture rates in the UK may increase from approximately 46,000 in 1985 to 117,000 in 2016. 2

The most common osteoporotic fracture sites are: lower vertebral fracture (120,000), hip (60,000) and wrist (50,000). 2

Compliance Issues

The total number of women prescribed medication for osteoporosis in the UK is approximately 480,000. 2

One year after an osteoporotic fracture, the majority of patients are not prescribed any pharmaceutical agents for the prevention of a further fracture. 2

A retrospective analysis of a large US population of bisphosphonate users (>35,000 women) who were followed for 2 years demonstrated a significant association with adherence to bisphosphonate therapy and risk of osteoporotic fractures3.

About Novartis

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in offering medicines to protect health, cure disease and improve well-being. Our goal is to discover, develop and successfully market innovative products to treat patients, ease suffering and enhance the quality of life. We are strengthening our medicine-based portfolio, which is focused on strategic growth platforms in innovation-driven pharmaceuticals, high-quality and low-cost generics, human vaccines and leading self-medication OTC brands. Novartis is the only company with leadership positions in these areas. In 2006, the Group’s businesses achieved net sales of USD 37.0 billion and net income of USD 7.2 billion. Approximately USD 5.4 billion was invested in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 101,000 associates and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit


1. Black et al. Once-yearly Zoledronic Acid 5mg for Treatment of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis. New England Journal of Medicine 2007 356;18; 1809-1822
2. National Osteoporosis Society. Osteoporosis facts and figures (version 1.1). (Accessed April 2007)
3. Siris et al. Adherence to bisphosphonate therapy and fracture rates in osteoporosis women: relationship to vertebral and nonvertebral fractures from 2 US claims databases. Mayo Clin Proc 2006; 81 (8): 1013 – 1022.
4. Compston. Treatments for Osteoporosis- Looking beyond the HORIZON. New England Journal of Medicine 2007 356; 18; 1878-1880

UK pharmacy Boots launches new test for bone disease

London: UK pharmacy Boots is to launch a new service to detect the risk of the bone disease osteoporosis.

This disease which makes more susceptible to breaks fand fractures affects three times more women than breast cancer (1).

Boots is trialing a new in-store osteoporosis screening service that will be in selected stores in Bournemouth and Birmingham for two months during March and April. This new service will offer Boots customers a painless, 10 minute bone density x-ray scan of the hip and spine whilst fully clothed, to identify their risk of osteoporosis

The Boots Osteoporosis Screening Service could be the latest addition to the current portfolio of Boots Pharmacy services available in-store. This new initiative sees Boots partner with New Medical Ltd the medical screening company that specialises in scanning for osteoporosis. The in-store scan will be performed by a qualified radiographer or nurse specially trained to use the specialist Dual Energy X-ray Absortiometry (DEXA) scanning system that uses less than one tenth of the x-rays used in a routine chest x-ray. Customers will receive their results straight after the scan and will be given advice about diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes as well as treatment options. They will also be advised to visit their GP to discuss the results if necessary.

Alex Gourlay, Boots Healthcare Director comments:” This screening trial is an exciting project and the first of its kind. It demonstrates Boots’ commitment to providing relevant healthcare services to its customers and tackling the health issues that affect people’s everyday lives. It is estimated that osteoporosis affects 3 million people in the UK alone. The success of this trial could mean that osteoporosis screening could become an in-store service available at more Boots stores nationwide in the future.”

Dr David Berger from New Medical Ltd, says: “It is exciting for us to be teaming up with Boots on this project to make advanced diagnostic technology more accessible. Early detection is vital if people are to prevent osteoporosis from developing and reduce their chance of debilitating fractures. A simple bone density scan is a sensible precaution for anyone who may be at risk.”

Who is at risk?

Women who have been through the menopause are at greatest risk of developing osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures. The Boots Osteoporosis Screening Service will be available to the following ‘at risk’ groups of people:

All post-menopausal women

Females over the age of 40 that display at least one of the ‘at risk’ symptoms including excessive weight loss, infrequent menstruation or who are menopausal before the age of 45

Men over the age of 60

Any individual following referral by their GP
As a precaution pregnant women and anyone under the age of 18 will be excluded from screening.

Low oestrogen linked to hip fractures in men

New York: Low levels of the hormone oestrogen have been linked to an increased risk of hip fractures in older men, a new study in the US reveals.

The new study which is published in the May issue of the American Journal of Medicine, also states that those with low levels of oestrogen and testosterone are at the greatest risk. This study is the first to report the link between low estrogen and hip fracture in a study group of men from the general population followed over time.

It also found that men with low estrogen levels have an increased risk for future hip fracture, and those with both low estrogen and low testosterone levels have the greatest risk.

The study, of 793 men who had their hormone levels measured nbetween 1981 and 1983 and had no history of hip fracture, was conducted by Shreyasee Amin, MD at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart Study The men were monitored until 1999.

Thirty-nine men in the study experienced a low trauma hip fracture, such as that sustained by a fall. Those with low estrogen levels had 3.1 times the risk of hip fracture compared to men with high estrogen levels. There was no significant increase in hip fracture risk for men with low testosterone levels alone. But those both low estrogen and low testosterone levels had the greatest risk, with 6.5 times the risk of hip fracture compared to the men who had both estrogen and testosterone levels in the high range or midrange.

Though many people associate testosterone with men and estrogen with women, men possess both hormones, according to Dr Amin, who now works at the Mayo Clinic.

The researchers who undertook this study knew that low estrogen levels had been associated with low bone mineral density in elderly men, but any link to hip fracture, an important health risk in the elderly, was unknown. Hip fractures are worrisome in the elderly, especially in men, explains Dr. Amin. Up to 50 percent of men require institutionalized care after the fracture. Hip fracture also is linked to higher levels of mortality: up to 37 percent of men die within one year of fracture.

Routine tests on hormones are not performed in most countries and this study indicates the importance of such testing.

New sweetner with health benefits launches in UK


London: Perfect Sweet announces the launch of a new, completely natural, low carb, low GI sweetener with a host of health benefits, making it perfect for dieters, diabetics, children, dental patients, mums-to-be and women at high risk of osteoporosis – as well as anyone concerned about oral health and general well-being.

A deliciously sweet alternative to sugar for everyday use, Perfect Sweet is derived entirely from xylitol, a naturally occurring substance found in strawberries, plums and pears. Whilst it looks and tastes just as good as sugar, it offers a much healthier alternative.

Because xylitol releases its energy, much slower than any other sugar or sweetener, people who eat it in the place of sugar feel fuller for longer and are less likely to snack. This makes Perfect Sweet deal for diabetics or others for those on low GI diets who need to keep their blood sugar stable.

Xylitol contains 40% fewer calories than conventional sugar and has a GI (Glycemic Index) count of just seven, compared to conventional sugar (which has a GI of 49). That means you would have to eat up to seven times as much Perfect Sweet to have the same effect on your blood sugar – or your hips. For those on a low carb diet, xylitol makes an ideal companion too, with it having 75% fewer available carbohydrates than sugar.

Perfect Sweet has a number of other surprising health benefits, which makes it much more than just another alternative to sugar. Added to a range of food and drinks such as tea, coffee, smoothies, cereals, fruit puddings or snacks, Perfect Sweet can turn everyday drinks and food into delicious health products.

“We all know the consequences of our addiction to sugar: weight gain, mood swings, skin problems, diabetes, oral cavities and even infections such as overgrowth of Candida Albicans, which is though to lead to thrush and many other afflictions,” says Edward Baylis at Perfect Sweet. “But until now there just hasn’t been a satisfactory, non-chemical alternative to sugar. The most exciting thing about Perfect Sweet is that for the first time we have a 100% natural, completely healthy product, that is not only as delicious as the stuff we’re used to, but actually delivers a host of positive health benefits. This is the kind of product parents will be encouraging their kids to eat!”

Priced at £2.69 for a 225g pack, Perfect Sweet is available in selected Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Holland and Barrett and Waitrose stores. For more information

More benefits of Perfect Sweet

Oral Health
One of the major discoveries in respect to xylitol was the discoveryfinding that when it iwas broken down in the mouth and stomach it produces an alkaline environment, rather than an acidic one , which like like sugar does. This means thatIn this alkaline environment the bacteria that cause tooth decay can’t survive and decay is prevented. Thee alkaline environment which is created also favours calcium and mineral absorption so enamel decay is even seen to be reversed.

Increased calcium absorption in the stomach has led to studies observing a much improved bone density (stronger bones) when using xylitol regularly. This could be a potentially massive be a huge help for those living with conditions such as osteoporosis.

Bacterial and Yeast Infections
The killing of bacteria with xylitol, has further led to the discovery that ear infections, and other bacterial and yeast infections (such as thrush), can be prevented when using it. There has been particular interest in the use of xylitol to help prevent ear infections in young children.


Osteoporosis is a condition in which the density of bones reduces, leaving them more prone to breaking. It affects one in three women and around one in 12 men in the West. The reduction in bone density in women occurs when levels of the female hormone oestrogen diminishes from about the age of 35, at a rate of one percent bone mass a year. Oestrogen stimulates the growth of bone cells called osteoblasts, which help to build bone. Often there are no symptoms until the disease is in its more advanced stages, which is why is has been called the ‘silent killer’.

It is the cause of thousands of fractures in women every year. Around 15-20 per cent of women will die as a result of fractures. As it has hereditary links, women whose close family members have suffered from the disease are automatically at a higher risk. Women who begin menstruating relatively late – 15 and over – are at a higher risk of osteoporosis as are women who go through the menopause early – before the age of 45 – as they will have had less oestrogen exposure. Women who are tall and slender are at additional risk as are yo-yo dieters. Eating disorders increase the risk of osteoporosis. The onset of osteoporosis can be prevented by taking bone-building food supplements.

There are a whole battery of tests for anyone who is not sure whether they have symptoms. These include: DXA (Duel X-ray Absorptiometry) tests, the most common, are available throughout the UK; X-rays can detect and assess any minute fractures or hairline cracks; Bone Turnover Tests (BTT) for testing bone density, carried out over a period of a year. Hormone tests check levels of hormones important to building bone strength. Calcium metabolism tests will show up abnormalities in blood calcium levels.

As far as drugs are concerned the most commonly prescribed drug is Didronel, which is used in combination with a programme of calcium tablets, and can restore bone, though not all that has been lost. HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), can also reduce the incidence by between 50-75 per cent by raising oestrogen levels.

There are a number of preventive steps that can be taken including: Diet – Calcium, essential for building strong bones is found in dairy foods, beans, nuts and fish, preferably consumed with their bones, such as salmon or sardines. The suggested daily intake for women between 20 and 45 and women over 45 on HRT is 1,000mg. Adding vitamin D, helps the body absorb the mineral/ In addition, other minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc and sodium all make up our skeleton and therefore must be included daily in our diet. You also need to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Vitamin C is also vital for healthy bones and can be found in citrus fruits and berries and vegetables such as broccoli and potatoes. Vitamin K is present in cauliflower, spinach and olive and soya bean oils.

As well as diet exercise also plays a crucial role in reducing the likelihood of developing osteoporosis because bones need regular load-bearing impact to stimulate the bone to grow. Swimming and cycling are not as good as jogging or step aerobics. You also need to do strengthening exercises and stretches.

Drinking excessive alcohol ie more than seven drinks a week interferes with the bone building activity of your cells because the toxins from the alcohol will prevent your bones from absorbing the maximum nutrients from food. In addition drinking more than four cups of coffee a day doubles the risk of hip fractures because it is a diuretic and removes water present in lubrication fluids for joints. Also women who smoke have significantly lower bone density because smoking reduces oestrogen levels.

Alternative treatments

The wild yam contains a compound called diosgenin, which is used to manufacture oestrogen and progesterone and may help replenish bone density on the same principle as HRT. The herb horsetale is sold as a tea or tincture and is rich in silicic acid providing silicon, which contributes to the formation of cartilage and bone.


The risk for men is much lower as they have a 25 per cent larger bone mass than women. This is because testosterone, the male sex hormone, also stimulates bone growth. But in common with women, their oestrogen levels fall in their late 30s and they start to loose bone mass at about 0.3 per cent of bone annually. The symtoms are the same as are the tests which should also include testosterone levels, Usually, low estosterone is a natural consequence of ageing. Indicators include a reduced libido or impotence, decreased facial and body hair and enlarged ‘breasts’. Also, men with a light frame and low weight have a higher risk of osteoporosis and medications such as steroids and diuretics may put men in a higher risk category.

For more information, contact the Women’s Nutritional Advisory Service on 01273 487366; and the National Osteoporosis Society helpline on 01761 472721;

About Elixir


Avril O’Connor is the Editor of Elixir News and Elixir magazine. It has been developed from a passion which began in 2002 when there was a proliferation of web sites selling anti-ageing products and services….but few with an independent voice.

In April 2005 Elixir News was born. It is editorially independent enabling consumers to better make informed choices about their health and anti-ageing products and services.

We do not accept payment to write endorsements of products and services or for the inclusion of experts and services in our directories. This enables Elixir News to be a credible and independent news source, as well as including all the services and professional experts that we consider relevant to our readership. Nevertheless inclusion is not an endorsement by us and should it come to our attention that any business mentioned on our site is being conducted in an illegal or unethical manner we will remove it from our directories.

Visitors to our site should also bear in mind that many claims are made for anti-ageing products and services that are not necessarily substantiated by scientific evidence and should always take the expert advice of a qualified medical doctor.

It is the intention of Elixir News to fairly report and investigate the facts. If we consider that any claims for products/services are bogus or unsubstantiated we will say so. If you have had negative experiences with businesses in this sector please let us know and we will take up the challenge. We also report on our positive experiences with products and services. Advertising or sponsorship is clearly labelled as such.

We hope that you will find our web site useful in arming you with knowledge that can help you live a longer and happier life. But once again we do advise anyone with persistent health problems to consult a qualified medical practitioner/doctor. Anyone embarking on a intensive anti-ageing programme should, in particular, seek the advice of a qualified specialist about the supplements they plan to take and in what quantities, as they may conflict with drug therapy and certain medical conditions. The doctor may advise certain blood and other tests to determine your individual needs.

Please do let us know about your experiences and feedback on the information within this site. Email us at