Avoid the pitfalls of osteoporosis
David J. Wirth, MA
Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because most are unaware they have a problem. However, diet and supplements can aid in a fracture-free life.
Osteoporosis occurs when the collagen matrix inside bones is diminished by a slowdown in activity of cells that manufacture it. This causes bones to become porous, less dense, more fragile, and prone to fractures. The decline in bone health is usually most pronounced in the hips, spine, ribs, and wrists.
Osteoporosis is often referred to as a “silent disease” because most sufferers are unaware they have a problem until a fracture occurs. Yet osteoporosis is often manageable if the right steps are taken. Here are some of the top nutrients to help you on the path to optimal bone health and a fracture-free life.
Research indicates that liquid oral collagen supplementation may slow and stabilize the rate of collagen breakdown. Animal research suggests that administering collagen may also improve bone mineral density.
Chelated forms of calcium, such as calcium citrate, are preferred. They have nearly double the absorption rates of calcium carbonate. Calcium supplementation can slow bone loss from 30 to 50 percent and significantly reduce the risk of hip fractures.
Those with osteoporosis have lower levels of magnesium in their bones. In a study involving 2,000 elderly volunteers, researchers found that for every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake, there was a 2 percent increase in whole body bone mineral density.
Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption into the small intestine and through to the bloodstream. It also inhibits inflammatory immune factors that can pull calcium from bones. Studies show that taking vitamin D alone can reduce the annual rate of hip fracture by more than half and improve bone density. Results were even better for people taking a combination of calcium and vitamin D.
Researchers studying silicon and bone mineral density in people found large differences in density between the highest and lowest intakes of silica. They believe that silica may help trigger the deposition of calcium and phosphate, reducing the number of bone-absorbing cells and increasing the number of bone-building cells.
Found in highest concentrations in our bones, boron is a trace mineral that acts as a coordinator for the other major bone builders. It appears to help soften the effects of deficiencies in both vitamin D and magnesium while decreasing the amount of calcium and magnesium lost in urine.
Research shows that zinc stimulates bone formation and inhibits bone loss. Zinc activates bone cells to properly deposit calcium while also stimulating the production and renewal of collagen.