Osteoporosis - what can you do about it?

From being thought of as a disease affecting a few little old ladies with hunched backs, osteoporosis has leapt into the public consciousness - and with it, the importance of nutrition in maintaining bone health. Yet there remains confusion in the minds of many health-conscious people about the right dose and form of even the most well-known bone health nutrients, while the importance of other key nutrients in keeping the skeleton strong remains largely unknown.

Bone loss accelerates suddenly in menopausal women because the drop in estrogen levels causes an increase in the resorption (teardown) of existing bone. But resorption is only half of the story. Age-related bone loss is also caused by a decrease in the formation of new bone tissue. Existing drugs for treating osteoporosis, as well as calcium and vitamin D supplements, work by reducing bone resorption. But they do not support the formation of new bone. These drugs and nutrients increase the mineralization of bone, but they do not help the body to build new bone tissue. And in fact, within weeks of starting use of antiresorptive drugs like Fosamax,® the body's formation of new bone actually decreases. The resulting bone is less prone to fracture, but is not the same as youthful, healthy bone.
Often, since bone loss occurs in women after menopause, when hormones decline, it is suggested that they take estrogen. However, even though estrogen does inhibit bone loss, it actually does nothing to build new bone. The hormone that is responsible for bone building is progesterone.

Click here to learn more about the bone building activity of progesterone.

We have been having excellent results with a mineral that also promotes osteo-blasts (the putting in of new bone). Please read on.......

Strontium is a mineral found along with calcium in most foods. Research has long suggested that it may be an essential nutrient required for the normal development, structure, function, and health of the skeletal system. Clinical trials going back into the 1940s have supported this conclusion, but recent studies have provided evidence that it can offer unique nutritional support against loss of bone structure and function. Animal studies have shown that Strontium supplements both decrease bone resorption, and increase the formation of new bone tissue.
•In animal models, Strontium (in various forms, such as chloride, carbonate, gluconate, and lactate) causes "baby" osteoblasts (bone-building cells) to multiply more quickly.
•Bone tissue cultures which are exposed to Strontium synthesize more bone matrix and new bone collagen. The same amount of calcium has no effect on these parameters.
•In bone tissue culture, Strontium reduces bone resorption at concentrations at which calcium has no effect, prevents the resorption caused by excessive parathyroid hormone, and slows the rate at which immature osteoclasts develop. Human clinical trials
also support Strontium's ability to both support new bone formation and prevent excessive resorption.
•Bone biopsies from a small human pilot trial revealed an astounding 172.4% increase in new bone formation after six months of Strontium (gluconate) supplementation.
•The bone-building activity of osteoblasts can be measured using bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, while crosslinked N-telopeptide (NTx) and C-telopeptide (CTx) mark the degradation of bone collagen by ravaging osteoclasts. Unlike the range of side-effects that accompany antiresorptive drugs, no clinical side-effects have ever been reported that could be clearly attributed to Strontium.
Calcium and Strontium can both play key roles in the health of your bones - if you use them properly. On the one hand, animal studies suggest that Strontium is not effective, and may even be counterproductive, if your calcium intake is not adequate. At the same time, however, it's important not to take your Strontium supplement at the same time as your calcium supplements. This is because calcium and Strontium use the same pathways for absorption in the intestinal tract, so that swallowing a calcium supplement along with your Strontium can dramatically reduce absorption.
The best protocol - and the one used in the most recent clinical trials - is to take your Strontium either three hours after your last meal of the day, or one hour before breakfast in the morning, or both. Because studies suggest that one last dose of calcium just before retiring can help prevent excessive resorption of bone overnight, it may be best to take all of your Strontium before breakfast and mid-afternoon (2 hrs away from a meal), leaving you free to take a calcium supplement just before you go to bed.