What are Osteoporosis, Arthritis, Tryptophan.?

2 pages (500 words)

Biology Assignment

Osteoporosis: While many people feel that they understand all that there is to know about osteoporosis, there are many bits of information that are often left out of one’s knowledge base. One of the most little known facts about osteoporosis is that it is not a condition that can effect only the elderly, but people of any age. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, much to the point that a simple fall could fracture a bone, and many people have begun to associate this disorder with people of advanced age.

However, since the assumed primary cause of osteoporosis is a low calcium level, anyone with lower-than-average levels of calcium can develop the disorder. Though osteoporosis is more common in adults since their changing bones are becoming more frail, if children do not get enough calcium, they can increase their risks of developing osteoporosis at a young age (Erasmus 1). Another seldom known fact is that osteoporosis can be caused not just by an absence of calcium, but also by the addition of other chemicals. People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol or coffee, or who smoke cigarettes on a constant basis, are apt to developing osteoporosis (Erasmus 1). When these chemicals are mixed with low levels of calcium, a person really increases their risk of developing osteoporosis at some point in their life.

Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is considered to be the most common form of arthritis and it affects millions of people throughout the world. Osteoarthritis is caused when the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones are worn down over time (Plumbo 1). Osteoarthritis differs from other forms of arthritis because it affects the cartilage of the joints, and then the joints, whereas other forms of arthritis affect the bones and the joints directly. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint within the body, but the areas that are more usually affected are the joints of the hands, knees, lower back, hips and neck. Like all forms of arthritis, while there are methods of relief for osteoarthritis, there is no cure. However, treatments exist to help slow the progression of the osteoarthritis, but there has yet to be discovered a method to reverse the affects of osteoarthritis. If treatments are not sought, osteoarthritis slowly becomes worse over time; it becomes worse even with treatment, since none of the treatments are able to completely ward off osteoarthritis. A little known fact about osteoarthritis is that, even though older people are more likely to develop it, people of any age can develop osteoarthritis (Eustice 1). Even though it is unknown how osteoarthritis is caused, it has been shown that age does not matter in the developing of the disease.

Tryptophan: Tryptophan is one of the twenty most essential amino acids and is considered to be so because it cannot be created by the human body, and should be made a part of one’s diet. It is vital to one’s diet as it is required for “production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a role in relaxation, and may explain some of the recent observations of tryptophan on sleep and pain relief (Marin 1).” Sleeping is an incredibly important event for a person. Sleep allows their body to repair itself and the rest keeps them attentive and productive throughout the day. If people do not sleep, they become easily tired and increasingly sick, since the lack of sleep affects their immune system. Tryptophan can make a person sleepy, and it has become great speculation that after a Thanksgiving dinner, people are tired because of the tryptophan found in turkey. While it is very true that tryptophan aids people in feeling tired since it induces the production of the essential sleep chemical serotonin, there is only a marginal amount found in turkey, but not enough to make a person sleepy. However, a large amount of turkey, or any white meat, can make a person tired enough.

Works Cited

Erasmus, Susan. “Interesting Facts About Osteoporosis.” Health24. N.p., 12 July 2011. Web. 24 Nov. 2011. <http://www.health24.com/medical/Condition_centres/777-792-2207-2320,31105.asp>.

Eustice, Carol. “Osteoarthritis: 10 Things You Should Know About Osteoarthritis.” About Arthritis – Osteoarthritis. N.p., 15 July 2007. Web. 25 Nov. 2011. <http://arthritis.about.com/od/oa/a/osteoarthritis.htm>.

Marin, Leslie. “Tryptophan – Important In Sleep and Pain Tolerance.” Beauty and Health: Skincare and Nutrition. N.p., 26 May 2007. Web. 25 Nov. 2011. <http://www.beautynhealth.com/pages/Tryptophan-Important-In-Sleep-and-Pain-Tolerance.html>.

Plumbo, Ginger. “Osteoarthritis.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 13 Oct. 2011. Web. 25 Nov. 2011. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019>.