you do about it?
From being thought of as a disease affecting a few little old ladies with hunched backs, osteoporosis has leapt into the public consciousness – and with it, the importance of nutrition in maintaining bone health. Yet there remains confusion in the minds of many health-conscious people about the right dose and form of even the most well-known bone health nutrients, while the importance of other key nutrients in keeping the skeleton strong remains largely unknown.
Bone loss accelerates suddenly in menopausal women because the drop in estrogen levels causes an increase in the resorption (teardown) of existing bone. But resorption is only half of the story. Age-related bone loss is also caused by a decrease in the formation of new bone tissue. Existing drugs for treating osteoporosis, as well as calcium and vitamin D supplements, work by reducing bone resorption. But they do not support the formation of new bone. These drugs and nutrients increase the mineralization of bone, but they do not help the body to build new bone tissue. And in fact, within weeks of starting use of antiresorptive drugs like Fosamax,® the body’s formation of new bone actually decreases. The resulting bone is less prone to fracture, but is not the same as youthful, healthy bone.
Often, since bone loss occurs in women after menopause, when hormones decline, it is suggested that they take estrogen. However, even though estrogen does inhibit bone loss, it actually does nothing to build new bone. The hormone that is responsible for bone building is progesterone.Click here to learn more about the bone building activity of progesterone
We have been having excellent results with a mineral that also promotes
osteo-blasts (the putting in of new bone). Please read on.......
Strontium is a mineral found along with calcium in most foods. Research has long suggested that it may be an essential nutrient required for the normal development, structure, function, and health of the skeletal system. Clinical trials going back into the 1940s have supported this conclusion, but recent studies have provided evidence that it can offer unique nutritional support against loss of bone structure and function. Animal studies have shown that Strontium supplements both decrease bone resorption, and increase the formation of new bone tissue.
•In animal models, Strontium (in various forms, such as chloride, carbonate, gluconate, and lactate) causes “baby” osteoblasts (bone-building cells) to multiply more quickly.
•Bone tissue cultures which are exposed to Strontium synthesize more bone matrix and new bone collagen. The same amount of calcium has no effect on these parameters.
•In bone tissue culture, Strontium reduces bone resorption at concentrations at which calcium has no effect, prevents the resorption caused by excessive parathyroid hormone, and slows the rate at which immature osteoclasts develop. Human clinical trials
also support Strontium’s ability to both support new bone formation and prevent excessive resorption.
•Bone biopsies from a small human pilot trial revealed an astounding 172.4% increase in new bone formation after six months of Strontium (gluconate) supplementation.
•The bone-building activity of osteoblasts can be measured using bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, while crosslinked N-telopeptide (NTx) and C-telopeptide (CTx) mark the degradation of bone collagen by ravaging osteoclasts. Unlike the range of side-effects that accompany antiresorptive drugs, no clinical side-effects have ever been reported that could be clearly attributed to Strontium.
Calcium and Strontium can both play key roles in the health of your bones – if you use them properly. On the one hand, animal studies suggest that Strontium is not effective, and may even be counterproductive, if your calcium intake is not adequate. At the same time, however, it’s important not to take your Strontium supplement at the same time as your calcium supplements. This is because calcium and Strontium use the same pathways for absorption in the intestinal tract, so that swallowing a calcium supplement along with your Strontium can dramatically reduce absorption.
The best protocol – and the one used in the most recent clinical trials – is to take your Strontium either three hours after your last meal of the day, or one hour before breakfast in the morning, or both. Because studies suggest that one last dose of calcium just before retiring can help prevent excessive resorption of bone overnight, it may be best to take all of your Strontium before breakfast and mid-afternoon (2 hrs away from a meal), leaving you free to take a calcium supplement just before you go to bed.
What is the best form of Calcium?
Ortho•Bone - Related Research
A superior nutritional supplement for bone health must be built on a foundation of ossein Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite Complex (MCHC) as the calcium source, and fortified with well-established nutrient cofactors such as Magnesium, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D3, as well as critical factors like
Menatetrenone (the mammalian form of vitamin K2) and Strontium, whose revolutionary effects on bone health have only emerged recently. Here’s a quick review of the controversies and recent discoveries.
• Get Enough Calcium. Current “official” recommendations suggest an intake of 1000 milligrams of calcium for younger adults, and 1200 milligrams for people over the age of 50. Some evidence suggests that a still higher intake (1300-1600 milligrams) of calcium is more effective for lowering fracture risk in the elderly. But remember that these numbers are your total calcium need. The more calcium you get in your diet, the less you need from supplements.
• Get the Right Kind of Calcium. Too many health-conscious people believe that conventional calcium supplements (or conventional calcium plus vitamin D) can put an end to bone loss. They can’t. As multiple studies have documented, conventional calcium supplements – such as calcium gluconate, calcium citrate, and calcium carbonate – slow, but do not halt or reverse, menopausal bone loss, whether taken alone or with vitamin D. You simply can’t force the bones to take in more calcium, and build more bone, by taking more and more calcium: the mineral itself can only provide the raw material needed to support your existing bone mass, or to allow other factors in your skeletal health program to build up new bone.
But there is one seeming exception. Ossein microcrystalline hydroxyapatite complex (MCHC) consistently halts, or even reverses, bone loss in controlled human trials. When put head-to-head against other calcium supplemental forms, MCHC consistently trumps conventional calcium supplements. But MCHC’s bone-building powers do not lie in the calcium itself.
True MCHC is not just a form of calcium, but is a calcium-based crystalline nutrient complex, which is how the mineral is actually stored in your bones. MCHC’s unique support for the skeletal system is probably due to a combination of its intact crystalline structure, and the vibrant blend of peptides, mucopolysaccharides, and growth factors which accompany the calcium in true MCHC supplements – factors which are not present in conventional calcium supplements, in bone meal, or in pure, synthetic hydroxyapatite (also known as calcium orthophosphate). The bottom line is that the unique bone health support provided by MCHC derives from the whole supplement, and not just from its calcium content.
Advanced Bone Protection
A study among healthy adult men was similarly impressive, as well as another study among healthy adult women in 2002. This particular double-blind, placebo-controlled trial measured radial bone mineral density, and once again the mean BMD value of the MBP group was 'significantly higher' than that of the placebo group.
A Summary of the Results of MBP Studies:
• In a study among healthy menopausal women, the MBP group reported a bone mineral density (BMD) increase of 1.21% while the placebo group recorded a 0.66% BMD decrease.
• In another study among healthy adult women, the MBP group gained approximately 70% more bone mineral density than the control group.
• MBP reduced the number of pits on the bone surface caused by bone resorption by approximately 85% in an in-vitro study.
• In yet another study among healthy adult females, the MBP group displayed a 3% increase in the BMD of the radius (a forearm bone near the wrist) compared to a 1.3% BMD decrease in the placebo group.
Citrate-Malate for Vegetarians.
Unfortunately, of course, vegetarians cannot consume MCHC because it is
an animal product (although premium MCHC supplements use free-range,
livestock from countries like New Zealand or Australia as sources for
raw materials). For vegetarians, the best calcium source is calcium
Calcium citrate-malate is not the same thing as calcium citrate, or as a simple admixture of calcium citrate and calcium malate. Calcium citrate-malate is prepared in such a way that a significant number of its calcium atoms are bound to both citrate and malate molecules at once. This unique form makes calcium citrate-malate six to nine times more easily dissolved in the stomach than plain calcium citrate.
This superior solubility may be at least part of the reason for the fact that calcium citrate-malate is considerably better-absorbed than calcium citrate. And calcium citrate-malate has been used successfully in many controlled trials to support bone mass and/or to lower fracture risk. Some of these trials have involved a direct face-off between calcium citrate-malate and other forms of calcium. Such trials demonstrate that, as might be expected from its greater bioavailability, calcium citrate-malate gives better protection to the bones than other vegetarian calcium sources – although its effects are still not as impressive as those of MCHC.
• Don’t fall for the “Coral Calcium” Hype. Some companies are making wild claims about the efficacy of calcium taken from coral reefs, not just for osteoporosis but for almost every ailment under the sun. These claims are simply bogus. There is nothing magical about “coral calcium:” it is actually almost entirely calcium carbonate, with a sprinkling of some trace minerals. Not one clinical trial has ever been performed to show that “coral calcium” is better absorbed or better utilized than other conventional calcium sources. Instead, astoundingly, the claims of high bioavailability for “coral calcium” are not based on controlled studies in humans, but on the stuff’s ability to dissolve in water; and as has been shown, such a silly test bears little relationship to the ability of a living body to absorb calcium.
Bottom line: take your calcium in the form of MCHC if you are comfortable with animal products; choose calcium citrate-malate if you’re not.
• Rock Around the Clock. Several recent studies have suggested that when you take your calcium can make a big difference in terms of both the amount of calcium you’ll absorb, and the effects of that calcium on your bones. For starters, take your calcium with food, as doing so will increase absorption. It’s also important to spread your calcium supplements over the course of the day, which increases your total absorption of calcium and keeps parathyroid hormone (PTH) under control throughout the day. To get the best possible results, take the largest single dose of calcium later in the day, at dinner or with a late-night snack.
• Take Enough Vitamin D. Aside from improving calcium absorption, vitamin D is needed for proper muscle function, which may play a role in protecting against fractures by reducing falls. But you simply can’t rely on the sun to meet your requirements, especially in Northern climates. Even in sunny Spain, researchers have found that 80% of children have inadequate vitamin D levels in March and October. In fact, in one remarkable recent study, researchers at Creighton University were able to document that even North Americans who spend nearly all day in the sun during the summer (such as landscapers and agricultural workers) were still at a 58% risk of being too low in vitamin D to support optimal calcium metabolism by the end of the winter!
From what we now know, the old RDA of 400 IU will not protect you from vitamin D insuffciency except in the sunniest of climates. Studies show that a 400 IU vitamin D supplement is just not enough to keep serum levels of the active vitamin above the cutoff for insufficiency, and the use of 400 IU supplements have not been shown to reduce fracture rates. Even 600 IU has little effect on BMD. Instead, controlled studies show that vitamin D, together with calcium, helps to reduce the risk of fracture at a dose of at least 800 IU per day and recent trials suggest much higher dosages are needed to maintain optimal blood levels.
Take a magnesium you can absorb. Magnesium citrate is absorbed at 29.64%, but much better absorption is available from other forms – especially fully-reacted magnesium aspartate, with a remarkable 41.7% bioavailability. (we offer a magnesium citrate-malate in liquid form)
• Small Doses … Big Benefits! Just a small amount of some key nutrients can play a big role in the health of your bones. Among the most well-known are manganese, zinc, and copper, as well as other, even more commonly-neglected nutrients such as silicon, boron, and vitamin C. Methylating nutrients such as vitamin B12 and folic acid may also be important to bone health, perhaps because of the toxic effects of homocysteine on the protein fibers in bone.
More recently, Menatetrenone and Strontium have emerged as bone-building superstars. Menatetrenone is a specific form of vitamin K2, not to be confused with the common phylloquinone (vitamin K1) or even the bacterial menaquinones (which are also forms of vitamin K2). Multiple clinical trials show that megadose Menatetrenone supplements reduce fracture rates in osteoporotic women as well as Fosamax®-type drugs, without having much influence on bone mineral density; apparently, they work their magic by improving the quality of the bone itself. Strontium, the neglected bone health mineral, appears to be the first truly bone-building nutrient, as opposed to supplements like calcium and vitamin D (or even estrogen therapy) or bisphosphonates (such as Fosamax® ), which work primarily by preventing the breakdown of old bone.
Younger, healthier people looking to support their basic bone health should consider taking these nutrients at kind of doses equivalent to what’s found in the best diets: 5 milligrams of Strontium, and a few hundred micrograms of Menatetrenone. Clinical trials to treat women with full-blown osteoporosis use much higher doses: 45 milligrams of Menatetrenone, and 600 to 700 milligrams of Strontium.
• The Phosphorus Paradox. It’s widely believed that Western diets are too rich in this mineral, and that excess phosphorus is bad for bone health. But phosphorus is an essential nutrient, which makes up more than half of the mineral content of bone and which is needed for osteoblast function. Nearly a third of older Americans don’t get the new RDA of this essential mineral.
• The Bone Health Lifestyle. Beyond targeting your intake of specific nutrients, there are a lot of important choices you can make which can spell the difference between building strong bones and slowly sinking into osteoporosis. Fortunately, each of these choices also has positive impacts on other aspects of your health, so that they are part of an overall healthy lifestyle and not a whole new checklist of health practices. Eat an “alkaline-ash” diet, rich in fruits and vegetables. But get enough protein, which is necessary for building the collagen network in which bone mineral is embedded: the optimal intake of protein to support a healthy skeletal system appears to be in the range of 1.0 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body mass, or 0.45 to 0.68 grams of protein for each pound that you weigh. Keep active focusing on weigh-bearing exercise. Maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, and if you drink, do so in moderation.
The choices are yours to make. They’re simple to understand and easy to follow. And the greatest prize – your health – is yours to claim.
Testimonials from those who have reversed osteoporosis
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descriptions appearing on this website are for information purposes
and are not intended to provide medical advice to individuals. Consult
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Copyright © 2005, Advanced Orthomolecular Research
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