A Personal Story of Recovery

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Gwyneth Paltrow is an American actress, model and business woman. As part of the Marvel cinematic universe she has starred in some of the biggest box office hits in Hollywood history. She won an Oscar for her leading role in Shakespeare in love in 1998. Then in 2008 she founded the lifestyle brand Goop which in early 2020 was valued at around $250 million.

What you may not know is that she was also diagnosed with osteopenia, the precursor condition to osteoporosis. Osteopenia is a condition where bone mass density is measured as lower than average, but not so low as to warrant an osteoporosis diagnosis. If left untreated osteopenia will develop into osteoporosis so it is very important that any low bone density issues get identified and treated as early as possible.


The diagnosis was made in 2010 when Gwyneth was 37 years old. She had suffered a leg fracture and the complications of osteopenia were picked up through the treatment of this fracture. As Gwyneth herself writes:

I suffered a pretty severe tibial plateau fracture a few years ago (requiring surgery) which lead the orthopaedic surgeon to give me a bone scan, at which point it was discovered I had the beginning stages of osteopenia. This led my western/eastern doctors in New York to test my Vitamin D levels, which turned out to be the lowest they had ever seen (not a good thing). I went on a prescription strength level of Vitamin D and was told to…spend a bit of time in the sun!

Genetic factors?

Interestingly, her mother Blyth Danner, who is also an actress, was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Blyth’s diagnosis was made in 2011 when she was 68 years old. Although we don’t know the details concerning the onset in either case, we do know that there is evidence of heredity when it comes to the onset of osteoporosis. Gwyneth and her mother are fortunate to have received prompt care and are both doing well. Gwyneth’s vitamin D level has been resolved and she has been busier than ever since that diagnosis. Blyth has changed her lifestyle and has begun advocating for the kind of lifestyle changes that GOF are promoting.

The silent disease

Gwyneth Paltrow was very young when her diagnosis was made, she received swift care and a resolution to the issues that she was experiencing. But osteoporosis is a silent disease, it is just as likely that her broken bone may not have resulted in such a detailed scan. It might have been overlooked or if the fracture hadn’t happened there may have been no other indication that there was a problem. Perhaps it would have been silent until she was the age of her mother when she received her diagnosis. Her story is clearly indicative of the fact that it is important to remain vigilant and look for the signs of the disease. Broken bones can just be the cause of accidents and trauma on the skeleton, they can also be signs of something more serious beneath the surface.

By changing our lifestyle we can ensure we are more resilient and look forward to a positive outcome like Gwyneth. Why not take our test and see which areas you can take action in to improve your bone health?

Have some questions about bone health and osteoporosis? Check out our FAQs section.