You Need More Than Calcium To Overcome Osteoporosis

by Michael Sellar

Thinning and brittle bones give rise to fractures. This affects a third of women and one out of every twelve men. It is a major cause of death.

Bone mass peaks at around age 35. From then it’s downhill all the way, especially for women whose bone mass is 10% – 15% less than men’s at skeletal maturity and then suffer with accelerated bone loss for 8 – 10 years around the menopause when hormone levels decline. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is not the answer. It increases the risk of blood clotting, stroke, heart attack and cancer.

Calcium Can Cause Problems

Calcium is known to be important. However osteoporosis is not a calcium deficiency disease. Taking a calcium supplement alone is not recommended. It won’t necessarily be absorbed into the bone. Instead it may remain in the blood and end up in the tissues causing its own health problems. While absorption is improved with vitamin D, it also has close relationships with other minerals.

Magnesium Is Also Important

Two-thirds of the body’s magnesium is found in the bones. It plays a crucial role in calcium and bone metabolism. Deficiency causes decreased bone strength and volume and poor development. A positive association with Bone Mineral Density (BMD) has been demonstrated in many population studies.

Strontium Can Stimulate Bone Formation

Early in the 20th century, studies were carried out that demonstrated that strontium in combination with calcium was more effective in mneralising bone that using calcium alone.

Boron Helps Bones To Heal

Calcium is better retained in the bone in the presence of boron. According to world authority on boron, Dr Rex Newnham, boron can speed up the healing of broken bones in half the usual time.

Manganese Is Needed For The Growth Of Bone

Manganese is required to mineralise the bone. Blood manganese levels in osteoporotic women were found to be only 25% of those without osteoporosis. Deficiencies lead to abnormal bone and cartilage growth and degeneration of vertebral discs.

You Need Zinc, Copper & Silicon

Silicon is very rigid and is used by the body at calcification sites of bones. Zinc is necessary if bones are to form normally. Copper works in conjunction with zinc. Depletion leads to bone defects and calcium loss. Iron may also play an important role in bone formation.

Let’s Not Forget Those Important Vitamins

Vitamin D is required for calcium to be absorbed in the intestines. It also helps regulate bone turnover. Deficiencies are quite common in the elderly since its status declines with age.

Vitamin K has an important role in bone metabolism. It is essential for bone formation, remodelling and repair. Several population studies show low dietary or circulating vitamin K is associated with low BMD or increased fractures.

Vitamin C is needed to make collagen within the bone structure. It may also offer some skeletal protection against free radicals and oxidative stress. This is especially the case for cigaretter smokers. Smoking is associated with an increase in the risk of hip fracture.

Vitamin A has an important role to play in bone remodelling. Deficiencies of this vitamin have detrimental affects on bone health.

A toxic byproduct of protein metabolism is called homocysteine. Studies suggest that the body is less able to convert it to less toxic compounds at the menopause. This means the body requires more folic acid to complete the task. Other vitamins which help lower homocysteine are vitamins B6 and B12.

And Finally

In conclusion, bone health depends on a sufficient supply of a wide range of nutrients that goes well beyond calcium and vitamin D. Such an approach is likely to be far more successful than current orthodox approaches which leave a lot to be desired.

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