Osteoporosis is a disease where bones become fragile and more likely to break. It’s important to understand that bones are not lifeless structures, but instead are complex living tissue.
Just like our skin, bones are constantly broken down and built back up with new, healthy, pliable bone. Two cells involved in bone maintenance are osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The osteoblasts are the “bone builders.” In contrast, the osteoclasts are the cells responsible for the breakdown of old, brittle bone. The ratio of these two types of bone cells must be in balance to maintain strong and healthy bones.
Due to the Standard American Lifestyle, your bones break down faster than new ones can be formed. In women, bone deterioration accelerates after menopause due to the fact that the ovaries stop producing estrogen, a hormone that protects against bone loss.
Your blood is a tightly controlled system that requires biochemical finesse in order to make an optimal environment for your cells and organs to function. Blood pH is of critical importance – if your blood gets even slightly acidic, then the critical enzymes would not function and death would occur.
In order to maintain proper pH, the body utilizes minerals to act as a buffering system. So, how does your blood get acidic? The answer is food and stress. When you eat lots of animal protein, refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta, white rice and sugar, these things add acid to your body.
When you eat vegetables and low-sugar fruits you neutralize some of that acid. The problem is you need 5 times as much alkaline food to neutralize 1 part of acidic food.
Stress also will cause excessive acid to form in the body. So what does this have to do with your bones?
Bones and Minerals
The bones are your body’s mineral bank account. If you aren’t giving it plenty of those green leafy vegetables, then your body will have to choose between death or osteoporosis. In this case, your body becomes like Robin Hood; it steals from the mineral-rich bones and gives to the mineral-poor blood and organs.
To maintain bone health, we should make sure that the bones have all of the necessary mineral building blocks. These building blocks feed the osteoblasts so as to keep new and healthy bone developing over your life.
A readily-absorbed bone mineral formula, such as OsteoPlus, will accomplish this. I would also suggest an additional 2,000-4,000 IU of vitamin D during the spring and summer and 4,000-6,000 IU during the winter months.
On top of this, adding a green drink full of concentrated green vegetables and superfoods will help keep your body alkaline by providing phytochemicals and organic minerals that neutralize acid.
To treat osteoporosis, the standard procedure has been to take drugs such as Fosamax to inhibit bone deterioration and to increase intake of calcium. In the short term, this approach may provide benefit to bone strength and fracture risk. There is some concern, however, of the long-term ramifications of such an approach.
How Much Calcium do You Need?
This approach may result in poor quality bone and thus could lead to increased risk of fractures years later. To avoid this, our goal is to increase bone formation and normalize bone deterioration.
We suggest that calcium, magnesium, boron, proteins, and other trace minerals be taken to help increase bone formation. The average diet consists of 600 mg of calcium, so most people should only supplement with another 600-800 mg of calcium daily.
There are many different types of calcium available; however, not all of them are efficient forms. Calcium carbonate, found in Oscal, Tums, and their popular little brother Viactive, is considered the worst form of calcium. This form does not absorb due to its buffering effect in the stomach acid. Calcium carbonate needs an acidic environment in order to dissolve.
Some good forms of calcium are calcium citrate, calcium citrate-malate, calcium MCHA, and calcium lactate.
We suggest that magnesium be taken in a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium.
Daily, 2,000-5,000 units of Vitamin D can be taken.
An intake of 3-6 mg of boron a day is recommended.
Vitamin K stimulates new bone growth. Vitamin K1 can be obtained by eating vegetables, however, this form has not been effective at improving bone density. Vitamin K2, produced through fermentation of K1, increases bone growth and normalizes bone deterioration.
Trace minerals can be found in many good bone-mineral formulas.
All these suggested supplements are primarily the elemental building blocks of bone formation. The body needs a stimulus for the bone formation.
This stimulus is in the form of weight bearing and resistance exercise. Walking is just not enough because it doesn’t put enough stress on the bones; the best exercise is weight lifting. In order to promote bone growth, you will need to stress the bones that are in need of growth. In other words, you can’t rely on a bicep curl to make the hip bone stronger. Placing a weight on the shoulders and doing squats may be a better option.
If you suffer from osteoporosis, you may need to do this under the supervision of a physical therapist. You may also want to purchase a weighted vest to wear while walking. This may help add more stress to the bones to stimulate their growth.
If you suffer from osteoporosis, you may want to purchase walking poles, which are ski poles that have been built for walking. This helps to stabilize your gait and increase the number of calories you burn. Be sure to check with your doctor.
If you have weak bones, such as with osteopenia or osteoporosis, here are the suggestions for building healthy bones:
- OsteoPlus By Progena – This is a comprehensive bone mineral formula that provides you with the calcium, magnesium, boron and other trace minerals in their best absorbed and utilized forms. Take 4 tablets daily in two divided doses.
- Vitamin D & K With Iodine – Vitamin D helps the body absorb and utilize the minerals. We suggest 1 capsule daily in addition to the vitamin D in your multi and bone mineral formula. We shoot for 2,000 – 5,000 IU on a daily basis, especially during the winter months. Vitamin K supplements are especially important in those that do not eat a lot of green leafy vegetables.
- Osteo-Sil Highly Bio-available Silica – 1 capsule twice daily. Silica is especially important in helping to deposit minerals into the bones, and research suggests that it is essential in the production of the collagen matrix that holds the minerals in the bones.
- Fructo borate – 1 Capsule Daily. Fructo borate is a highly bio-available form of boron that is similar to the boron found in fruits and vegetables. This form of boron has been studied and has been found to be superior to standard boron supplements for bone and hormonal health.