Bone Health (Osteoporosis) Test

Bone is a living tissue

Bone is a living, growing tissue that is continuously being regenerated at a rate of about 10% a year. It is made up largely of collagen, a protein that gives the bone its tensile strength and framework, and calcium phosphate, a mineralised complex that hardens the bone. This combination of collagen and calcium makes bone strong and yet flexible enough to bear weight and to withstand stress. More than 99% of the body’s calcium is contained in the bones and teeth. The remaining 1% is found in the blood.

Throughout your lifetime, old bone is constantly being removed (resorption) and replaced by new bone (formation).

During childhood, bone formation proceeds at a faster rate than bone resorption – so bones become larger, heavier, and denser. This bone mass increases to peak usually by your mid-20s. After this peak, bone formation slows and resorption begins to outpace it, resulting in a decline in bone mass with age.

Bone loss is accelerated in women in the first few years after the menopause and continues into the postmenopausal years.

What is osteoporosis?

When you’re losing more bone than you’re forming, you have a condition called osteopenia. This is when a significant loss in bone density occurs, such that the bone is markedly weakened and susceptible to breaks/fracture.

Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fractures, especially in the hips, spine, and wrists. Although it can affect anyone, the risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age, affects women significantly more often than men, and is most prevalent in Caucasian and Asian women.

80% of osteoporosis cases are women.

Risk is also higher in individuals with petite body frames who likely have a lower than average bone mass supply.

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?

Most of the people at risk for osteoporosis are not aware of it. It is called a “silent disease” because there are usually no symptoms until a person has a bone fracture. This breakage, frequently in the hip, the vertebrae of the spine, or in the wrist, can occur with very little pressure and can cause the person significant pain and protracted or permanent disability.

If other symptoms are present they may include joint pain, back pain and a stooped posture.

What increases the risk of osteoporosis?

So, osteoporosis is the loss of bone density. Risk factors for developing osteoporosis later in life include:

  • Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies during childhood
  • Certain medications that contain high-doses of glucocorticosteroids (although not the usual doses taken as inhalers to control asthma or nasal allergies),
  • Anorexia
  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Kidney disease
  • Hyperparathyroidism – the overproduction of parathyroid hormone (PTH), a hormone that controls calcium and phosphate levels in blood and calcium in bone
  • A family history of osteoporosis
  • Menopausal and postmenopausal women may experience an increased rate of bone mass loss with a decrease in the hormone oestrogen. Going through menopause early can exacerbate the loss. Some women can lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the first 5-7 years following menopause.
  • Men with decreased testosterone levels are also at risk for increased bone loss.

What our Bone Health (Osteoporosis) kit tests

Our kit tests for:

  1. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  2. Albumin
  3. Calcium
  4. Phosphorous
  5. Vitamin D

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme that’s naturally present throughout your body. It comes in many variations called isoenzymes. Each isoenzyme of ALP is different, depending on where in your body it’s made.

Your bones make an isoenzyme called ALP-2. Levels of this enzyme increase when your bones are growing or bone cells are active.

An ALP bone isoenzyme test can detect abnormal levels of bone growth that may be associated with conditions such as:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Paget’s disease of bone
  • certain bone cancers

The ALP test can be helpful in identifying conditions such as:

  • Osteoporosis or rickets (osteomalacia) – a weakening or softening of the bones in
  • Paget’s disease of the bone, a disorder causing major problems with bone destruction and regrowth
  • Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
  • Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
  • Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
  • blockage of bile ducts (from a gallstone, inflammation, or cancer)
  • Liver damage from certain types of medication
  • Cancer or tumours
  • Anaemia


Albumin is the main protein made by your liver and is the most abundant protein in the blood.

A large portion of the calcium in the blood is bound to albumin.  Low albumin levels generally means poor nutrition, especially too little protein intake, and protein is the major component of bone, so too little protein is a problem.

Albumin performs other important bodily functions, for example:

  • stops fluid from leaking out of your blood vessels
  • nourishes your tissues
  • transports hormones, vitamins, and other substances throughout your body to nourish tissue

An albumin test measures how well your liver is making this particular protein. A low result on this test can indicate that your liver isn’t functioning properly.


This test measures for the total amount of calcium in your blood and can indicate low levels (hypocalcaemia) or high levels (hypercalcaemia).

Calcium is important for preventing osteoporosis and bone disease, as it’s a major building-block of your bone tissue. Your skeleton houses 99% of your body’s calcium stores (the other 1% circulates in your blood in both ‘free’ and ‘bound’ forms). The calcium in your bones also acts as a reservoir for maintaining calcium levels in the blood, which is essential for healthy nerves and muscles.

The amount of calcium you need to consume changes at different stages in our lives. Calcium requirements are high in your teenage years with the rapid growth of the skeleton. With age, the body’s ability to absorb calcium declines, which is one of the reasons why seniors also require higher amounts.

Foods high in calcium include:

  • Green vegetables like broccoli, curly kale, and bok choy
  • Some fruits such as oranges, apricots and dried figs
  • Canned fish with soft, edible bones (the calcium is in the bones) such as sardines, pilchards and salmon
  • Nuts, especially Brazil nuts and almonds
  • Calcium-set tofu


Phosphorous is a mineral that is required to build strong teeth and bones. It’s found in many foods.

Phosphorus works with calcium and vitamin D in your body to keep your bones healthy and strong. To do this, your body’s phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D all need to be in balance.

When you have too much phosphorus in your blood, it causes your body to pull calcium from your bones to try and keep your blood balanced. This can cause your bones to become weak and unhealthy. Unhealthy bones put you at higher risk of breaks (fractures) and other problems.

Abnormal levels of phosphorous can occur in the presence of bone, liver and kidney diseases.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin, mostly produced in the skin by sunlight (up to 90%) although it is also absorbed from food & supplements. Its main role is regulating how the body absorbs calcium, phosphate and magnesium from the gut.

Correct levels of these minerals are vital for healthy bone growth and muscles. Without Vitamin D, your body cannot effectively absorb calcium, which is essential to good bone health.

Vitamin D is really not a vitamin. Vitamins are special nutrients that the body needs but cannot make, so they must be obtained from what we eat or by supplements. Because our bodies can make Vitamin D in our skin when it is exposed to good sunlight, Vitamin D is considered a hormone.

Order a Bone Health (Osteoporosis) Home Test Kit

Order a Bone Health (Osteoporosis) Home Test Kit. Our Bone Health home blood test kit checks the essential minerals, protein and vitamins involved in the production & maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.

Your bones are a living tissue that is constantly being broken down and rebuilt. Low levels of the minerals which contribute to bone density and strength can lead to osteoporosis and a marked increase in your risk of fracture.

Get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly and securely online.

This Arthritis Risk Test is advised if you:

  • are aged over 50, especially if you are a woman
  • are an Asian or Caucasian woman, who are at higher risk of osteoporosis
  • are currently menopausal, which can lead to deficiencies
  • are smaller framed or petite with smaller bones
  • are, or have been, a smoker
  • drink alcohol regularly or are a binge drinker
  • have family history of osteoporosis
  • have had fractures before, indicating your bones may not be as strong
  • have had gastrointestinal disease (e.g. IBS)
  • want the convenience of home testing without waiting for a GP appointment
  • need a high quality, clinically accredited test done in a professional clinical laboratory

What is tested?

  1. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  2. Albumin
  3. Calcium
  4. Phosphorous
  5. Vitamin D

Osteoporosis treatment

You cannot reverse osteoporosis but but you may be able to curb it. A realistic goal is to prevent fractures from occurring by strengthening your bones, protecting what bone density you have and maybe even building on it.Treatments include:

  1. Medication. There are medications that can prevent the loss of bone mass; stimulate bone growth; reduce bone reabsorption – but they have their side-effects
  2. Hormone therapy
  3. Supplements
  4. Change of diet, focusing on increasing calcium, vitamin D, protein, magnesium, vitamin K and zinc
  5. Exercise program focusing on strength-building and weight-bearing. These types of exercise help because they cause your muscles to push and pull against your bones, strengthening both.
  6. Stop smoking

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SYMPTOMS: weak, fragile, brittle bones; joint pain; back pain; stooped posture

May 7, 2020