This post is a wee bit long but you need all the info you can get to make a good decision about preventing bone loss.
Humans need bones to stay healthy throughout their life. Anyone who is an athlete or exercises knows the importance of keeping those bones strong. And, when one breaks it definitely puts a crimp in your lifestyle. What many do not realize that once we are out of our twenties, we start losing bone mass. As part of the aging process the body tends to reabsorb more calcium and phosphate from the bones than is maintained within the bone for new bone formation. Bone is living tissue that is constantly undergoing bone removal (osteoclasts) and bone formation (osteoblasts).
Without going into the biological methodology that supports these processes, we all assume that calcium is the bone maker, but taking too much calcium can have negative repercussions. The reason being; the co-factors that help improve bone density may be missing, and thus allow calcium to be deposited in unwanted places instead of being properly utilized by the bones. These co-factors include vitamin D because it promotes calcium and phosphorus absorption by simulating bone calcium mobilization. Phosphorus is essential to be taken with calcium as it builds bones more effectively. Magnesium is a key co-factor which keeps the calcium dissolved in the blood instead of having it congregate as kidney stones or arterial plaque. Clinical studies have shown that people with osteoarthritis have low magnesium levels. Bones are more likely to break easily without sufficient levels of magnesium because that element helps make them more pliant, as with calcium alone bones can become brittle. Magnesium to calcium ratio should be 1:1. Vitamin K-2 is also essential as a co-factor as it helps maintain bone density and moves calcium through the bloodstream and into the bones. Also maintaining proper B12, B6 and folate levels is needed as they promote healthy homocysteine levels. (High homocysteine levels have been considered a risk factor for osteoporosis.) Keeping testosterone at normal levels is important in maintaining bone density and keeps bones from being fragile. Men with low-T and menopausal women with lower levels of testosterone should consider normalizing this hormone to support bone health. Velvet antler is a little known natural supplement for bones as it exerts androgenic effects, which means that it may increase the production of testosterone and its metabolites.
The most important co-factors lie in trace minerals, specifically, manganese, zinc, copper and boron. Manganese enhances bone growth and repair by stimulating the osteoblasts and suppressing the osteoclasts. Zinc must be present to maintain proper osteoblast levels and copper supports bone synthesis. Boron is essential because not only supports bone strength, but it facilitates calcium and magnesium absorption and reduces calcium excretion. It is the ultimate carrier of nutrients in the body. One study revealed that postmenopausal boron-deficient women lost more calcium and magnesium from their bodies than when they were on the boron supplementation. Finding a good trace-mineral supplement with these essential co-factors may not be all that easy. Trace is the key, as this “small” form of mineral crosses into the cell wall (osmolality) where it becomes utilized. A mineral solid as found in a multi-vitamin, may float around inside the body and not be absorbed by the cell where it would become an efficient co-factor. Therefore, a liquid trace mineral supplement is preferred to the minerals in a multi-vitamin.
To recap: Supporting bone formation and reducing bone loss risk take:
- A good calcium supplement with magnesium in a 1:1 ratio (max 2:1). Calyte 1:1 cal/mag
- Vitamins D3 and K2, B12, B6 and folate
- Liquid trace-mineral electrolyte supplement containing boron, manganese, zinc and copper (other trace elements may be present as well). electroblast multi trace minerals
- Velvet Antler if tests reveal you are low in testosterone New Zealand velvet antler
–excerpted in part from “Building Bone Strength”, Kaylynn Chiarello-Ebner, Whole Foods Magazine June 2015