For many years alternative MDs and practitioners have been against the use of a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates for improving bone density. The most popular bisphosphonates is Fosamax. The bones in our body are constantly breaking down and reforming. It is said by some that every 7 years you have a new skeleton. Bones are dynamic and living not static structures – hence lies the problem with taking bisphosphonates long term. Bones are broken down by cells called osteoclasts and new bone is created by cells called osteoblasts. Bisphosphonates block the formation of osteoclasts so that bone cannot be broken down. This most definitely will increase bone density and in the short run reduce fracture risk. However can you see what the long term consequences of this are? It creates brittle bones. The bone cells become dried out because they should have died and been replaced by new cells, but the bisphosphonates prevented the destruction of old cells. Another study was just released that showed long term use of bisphosphonates increases fracture risk.
So what are the better options for bone health? By now everyone knows that their Vitamin D levels need to be checked. Vitamin D plays a vital role in calcium absorption and physiology and I’ve helped increase bone density in some menopausal women by just supplementing with vitamin D and minerals. I didn’t even give them any calcium! However there are some good retail and professional supplements that can be taken to increase bone density without pharmaceutical drugs.
A professional supplement I carry in my office has the following:
- Vitamin C (Calcium Ascorbate) 100 mg
- Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) 600 IU
- Vitamin K (Phytonadione) 1000 mcg
- Calcium 800 mg
(as Di-Calcium Malate, Bis-Glycinate Chelate)
- Magnesium (Di-Magnesium Malate and Buffered Glycinate Chelate) 300 mg
- Zinc (as Chelazome® Bis-Glycinate Chelate) 5 mg
- Copper (as Chelazome® Bis-Glycinate Chelate) 1 mg
- Manganese (as Chelazome® Bis-Glycinate) 2 mg
- Potassium (as Glycinate Complex) 50 mg
- Boron (as Glycinate Complex) 4 mg
You can look for a product that has something similar. A retail product that is popular is called Bone-Up. Of course diet also plays a big role in bone health and one of the biggest is to not eat processed food that is devioid of minerals (many minerals are necessary for bone health). Avoiding sugar as best you can is very important since sugar lacks any nutritional usefulness except a quick energy burst. Sugar disrupts the endocrine system and further causes mineral deficiencies. Always save your chicken bones in the freezer and then slow cook them – this is a very mineral rich drink or you can use it as a stock.
So use diet and a good supplement to help improve bone density. It is a much better and safer option than using pharmacological agents that block enzymatic pathways and the bodies natural physiological processes.
Yours In Health,
George Mandler LDN LicAc