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Young People Get Osteoporosis Too 

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Chinese medicine good for osteoporosis
Chinese research into more effective treatments for osteoporosis has favourably compared a combination of acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herb treatment to hormonal treatment for the degenerative bone disease.

Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease, causing brittle bones. It affects approximately 15 percent of Australian women aged 60 to 64 years, rising to 71 percent in those over 80 years of age. Incidence of the disease depends on diet and exercise, medical problems and genetic makeup.

Hormones are crucial to bone density, which can suffer during natural hormonal depletion during menopause. Osteoporosis primarily affects women, with men to a much lesser degree. However, current hormonal treatment for prostate cancer has been linked to new cases of osteoporosis in men.

Continual synthetic hormone treatment can interfere with the natural function of the pituitary gland to produce hormones necessary for calcium and mineral content necessary for strong bones.

The research project led by Anthony HS Tseng of the Jiangsu State Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, has compared the effects of hormonal treatment, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and a combination of herbal medicine and acupuncture in 100 mice. The mice's ovaries were removed to block natural hormone production and cause the disease.

After a month of daily treatment the mice's bone density was tested, showing the hormonal treatment increased the bone density slightly more than either acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine alone. However the group treated with the acupuncture and herbal medicine combination returned the highest bone density results.

Six months' research at the Jiangsu hospital among women with osteoporosis reflected these results, with patients reporting high pain relief with acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments.

Tseng is set to continue the research in the United States, concentrating on the combined acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treatments for osteoporosis.

The 1994 Australian National Consensus Statement on Prevention and Management of Osteoporosis predicts that if nothing is done to reduce the risks there will be 20,900 hip fractures in Australia by 2010.

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Young People Get Osteoporosis Too Organization
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Revised: 03/11/08.