About Us

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Sydney) is one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes. Garvan’s researchers pioneer studies into some of the most widespread diseases affecting the community today, including osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.

Garvan’s research is organised into six Divisions: Bone Biology, Cancer, Diabetes and Metabolism, Genomics and Epigenetics, Immunology and Neuroscience. In addition, Garvan houses the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, the southern hemisphere’s largest genome sequencing facility.

Osteoporosis Australia

Osteoporosis Australia is a national not-for-profit organisation.

We aim to reduce the burden of osteoporosis in to build a life without fractures. Our work focusses on community awareness and education programs, preventing broken bones in people at risk and assisting osteoporosis patients.

We lobby federal government to achieve better care for patients and work with health professionals to improve diagnosis of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis Australia also supports bone research.


What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become fragile, leading to a higher risk of fractures (or breaks) than in normal bone. Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them, leading to a loss of bone thickness (bone mass or density). As a result bones become more porous and less dense so that even a minor bump or fall can result in a fracture.

What is osteopenia?

Osteopenia is also known as low bone density. This is the range of bone density between normal and diagnosed osteoporosis, which means you need to take action to support your bone health. If you are found to have osteopenia your doctor will ensure you have adequate calcium and vitamin D, and recommend exercise for your bone health. He/she may also determine whether you have health conditions that might be increasing your risk and that could be addressed to reduce your risk.

What is bone mineral density?

Bone density is amount of bone mineral in bone tissue and relates to the strength of your bones.

What is a Bone Mineral Density Test?

A bone mineral density test is a simple scan that measures the density of your bones, usually at the hip and spine. You simply lie flat on a padded table and the arm of the machine passes over your body. The scan takes approximately 10-15 minutes. You remain clothed during the scan.

What is a T-score?

A T-score is the result that you get from having a bone mineral density scan. Your T-score is your bone density compared with what is normally expected in a healthy young adult of your sex.

Can osteoporosis be treated?

Osteoporosis can be treated and there are a number of effective and well tolerated therapies available and approved in Australia. It is most important that osteoporosis is detected and treated as early as possible to reduce the risk of suffering fractures. Once you have had your first osteoporotic fracture you have a higher risk of another fracture, but that risk may be reduced with effective treatment. So it's really important to find out more about your bone health and what you can do about it.

What is a fracture versus a broken bone?

A fracture and a broken bone are essentially the same thing. A fracture is a complete or partial break in a bone. Any bone can be affected by osteoporosis; common bones that fracture are in the hip, spine, wrist, arm, leg and pelvis. Fractures lead to pain, hospitalisation, additional fractures, loss of independence

What is meant by the term Fall?

A fall results in a person accidentally coming to rest on the ground or floor. Balance exercises can be very effective in preventing falls and subsequent fractures. 

What is a Calcium supplement

When it is not possible or convenient to get enough calcium from your diet, a supplement may be required (usually about 500-600mg). Supplements may take the form of oral tablets (swallowed), effervescent tablets, chewable tablets or soluble powder. Take supplements as directed and talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any queries.

What is a Vitamin D supplement

For people with low vitamin D levels, a supplement may be required. Most vitamin D supplements are 'Vitamin D3’ and the dose on the product is shown in International Units (IU). Vitamin D supplements are available as tablets, capsules, drops or liquid. Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate dose (generally around 1000 IU/day) for your needs and your pharmacist can also provide general advice on vitamin D supplements.

What types of exercise are effective for bones?

Resistance or muscle strengthening exercises are the most effective for bones, as well as weight-bearing exercises. Weight bearing exercise is done while on your feet, bearing your own body weight. Some examples may be jogging, skipping, basketball, tennis, dancing. It does not include swimming or cycling.


Vitamin D – an important ingredient to good bone health

Vitamin D – an important ingredient to good bone health

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Exercise & Your Bones

Exercise & Your Bones

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Win a Break! competition is now closed.

Win a Break! competition is now closed.

Congratulations to the lucky winners of the WIN A BR ...

Calcium supplements – how much is too much?

Calcium supplements – how much is too much?

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