from a lecture by K. Steven Whiting Ph.D., Director, Institute
of Nutritional Science. Reproduced by permission.
In this article you will learn about the following topics: Bone loss, Osteoporosis, calcium, calcium absorption, Calcium deficiency, Calcium Chelation, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Trace Minerals and bone loss, bone loss, Vegan Diet and osteoporosis, Weakened bones, Hip fractures, Bone loss in women over 40, Boniva, Bone Mineral Density Test, Crohn's and Bone Loss, Exercise, IBS, Calcium Citrate, Calcium Malate, Risk Factors for Osteoporosis, Caffeine and bone loss, Estrogen, Estrogen and bone loss, Osteoporosis and menopause, Steroid Drugs and bone loss, High sodium diet, Diabetes and bone loss, Thyroid and osteoporosis, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Strontium, Boron, Magnesium
Calcium is one of the most essential minerals in the body. In fact it is the most prevalent mineral, found in bones, teeth and connective tissues. Calcium is also one of the most difficult minerals to absorb. Between these two factors, it is not surprising that many people are suffering from a calcium deficiency. Calcium absorption has been the focus of hundreds of clinical research projects, each looking for a way to enhance calcium absorption. The most recent studies have shown that a combination of calcium and key trace minerals is essential for maximum absorption. We have developed two calcium supplements that meet the guidelines of these clinical studies. Bio-Complete Calcium Plus Liquid and Capsules.
Osteoporosis and Bone Loss Can Be Reversed
As we age, bone loss and osteoporosis become an increasing problem due to calcium deficiency caused by a lack of calcium absorption. Until recent years, bone loss and osteoporosis were thought to be irreversible. This is not longer the case as there have been at least 7 clinical studies spanning a 15 year period that have shown that calcium can not only slow and halt the progression of osteoporosis and bone loss, but that the right form of calcium, together with key trace minerals, can actually increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. We, based on these important studies, have developed bio-Complete Calcium Liquid and Capsule formulas.
Calcium Deficiency and Hip Fractures
Calcium deficiency is far more widespread than one might think. As people age they tend to avoid dairy products due to increased problems with digestion. Since this is the primary source of calcium from diet, old people are at high risk for calcium deficiency. This calcium deficiency, combined with calcium absorption problems, is the key factors in bone loss and osteoporosis. Every day hundreds of people suffer hip fractures and other complications of osteoporosis and bone loss. These fractures could be prevented if people were taught about taking supplemental calcium and how to choose the right calcium supplements. It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 women and 1 out of every 5 men will develop osteoporosis through bone loss, sometime in their lives. The thousands of hip fractures caused by this preventable condition cost millions of dollars and accounts for the deaths of tens of thousands of people. We do not need to fear bone fractures, hip fractures and other complications of bone loss if we take quality calcium supplements that can prevent these conditions. Since there are many calcium supplements on the market that do not provide the essential co-factor nutrients to achieve this absorption and result, we strongly recommend that you look at the formulas we have developed called Bio-Complete Calcium liquid or capsules, both available from Phoenix Nutritionals.
Risk Factors For Osteoporosis
In addition to heredity, there are many factors that can increase the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures. These include heredity and lifestyle factors. Over consumption of caffeine is the first on the list. Caffeine is a diuretic and as such can flush both vitamins and minerals from the tissues of the body. A high sodium diet is the next factor. Diets high in sodium in and of themselves are not a problem, but it is the junk food diet that is high in sodium and low in potassium that causes the problem. Sodium and potassium are opposites and need to be in the right ratio to one another. Like caffeine, it all comes down to amounts and excesses, leading to an imbalance in body chemistry. People who smoke cigarettes tend to be at higher risk for bone loss. Cigarettes contain a wide variety of chemicals. One of these is cadmium. Cadmium can exchange places with calcium leaching calcium ions from the body. Excess alcohol consumption is another factor for many reasons. The link between alcohol and bone loss or osteoporosis has been established for years. Excess alcohol consumption can have a negative effect on the liver as well as being another diuretic. The use of steroid drugs can have a profound negative effect on bone loss. Steroids rapidly leach calcium from the body, causing a severe deficiency of this mineral. Other factors that can increase your odds of bone loss or osteoporosis are Type II diabetes and Thyroid conditions. Diabetes and thyroid problems affect the delicate chemistry generated by the endocrine system and as such diabetes and thyroid conditions can lead to accelerated bone loss.
What About Calcium and the Diet Connection?
While the symptoms for fibromyalgia can be many, the most common include pain, fatigue, sleep disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, PMS symptoms in women, and an overall stiffness and difficulty in mobility. It is curious to note that virtually all of these symptoms can also be related to excess toxicity of the body. Certainly body aches or pain, insomnia or other sleep disorders, disturbances of the lower digestive tract have all been repeatedly observed in those who were exposed to moderate to severe toxins yet did not have fibromyalgia. Through detoxification programs for fibromyalgia the classic symptoms including fatigue, IBS, PMS, stiffness, aches and pains, and sleep disorders have all improved dramatically. We have also observed that over time, these symptoms often began to return again, say over a 3 to 6 month period. This required another round of detoxification as described above and again the symptoms of fibromyalgia such as pain, fatigue, sleep disorders, IBS, PMS, and overall stiffness were once again diminished. For some reason that we certainly cannot fully explain, it seems that those suffering from fibromyalgia cannot effectively remove toxins from their bodies, causing the level of these poisons to build to exceedingly high levels. Once that level rises high enough the symptoms of pain, stiffness, IBS, and sleep disorders with extreme fatigue, begin to return.
What About Calcium and the Diet Connection?
Obviously diet plays a big role in the calcium/osteoporosis relationship. We have already mentioned the fact that most people, as they age, have increased difficulty digesting and absorbing calcium. Other dietary issues may also contribute to gross calcium deficiency. Vegan or vegetarian diets can create severe calcium and magnesium deficiencies. Calcium is not found in high amounts in vegan diets. Unless these individuals supplement their diet, they can be at high risk for calcium deficiency. It is important to be aware that many calcium supplements have less than a 20 percent absorption rate. The Institute's Bio-Complete Calcium Plus liquid or capsule formulas contain everything needed to ensure maximum calcium absorption. The truth of the matter is that most diets do not provide adequate minerals in general due to the lack of minerals in the farmlands upon which our foods are grown. Anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of key minerals can be missing from foods grown on land that has not been properly re-mineralized.
That having been said, now consider the fact that food processing further leaches out minerals from our foods. Canning, cooking and drying of foods not only removes calcium but key trace minerals necessary for calcium absorption, which we will talk about later. For these many reasons it is our position that you cannot get enough calcium and the right form of calcium from your diet, especially if you are over 50 years of age.
What About Those Medications?
Fosamax, Boniva, and other drugs can slow the progression of bone loss but oftentimes with a price. Each of these medications has potentially serious side effect, which increase the longer one takes them. Fosamax and Boniva can be used for short-term management, but in the long run diet and especially supplements must be employed. If weakened bones already exist, then these medications may be useful for the interim. Weakened bones, leading to hip and other fractures must be managed aggressively. The ideal situation is to take preventive action before serious bone loss develops.
Other Risk Factors
Keep in mind that any condition that compromises the digestion and absorption process can slow calcium absorption and make this situation worse. Conditions like Crohn's, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, colitis, and other intestinal disorders would fall into this category. Women over the age of 40 need to be especially aware if they also have one of these pre-existing conditions like IBS, colitis or Crohn's as this will put them at even greater risk for bone loss. Steroid drugs, often taken for these conditions further exacerbate the potential problems.
Not All Calcium Supplements Are Created Equal
There are probably dozens of calcium supplements in any given store. Sadly they are not all the same. The discount supplements found in the big chains are often composed of calcium carbonate, the most difficult form of calcium for the body to absorb. Further, they rarely contain all of the necessary co-factor nutrients to ensure maximum absorption. When doctors often recommend doses of calcium in the 1500 to 2500 mg range it's because they know that much of the calcium will not be absorbed anyway. By taking a form of calcium that is bio-available and also provides all of the co-factor nutrients, you may pay a little more but you will actually be able to absorb most of the calcium to the cells of the body, including the bones. These essential trace minerals are vital in preventing bone loss and osteoporosis. Take the guesswork out of finding the right calcium supplement by contacting Phoenix Nutritionals, the exclusive distributor of the Bio-Complete Calcium Plus formulas, developed right here at The Institute of Nutritional Science.