KEEPING BONES HEALTHY

Bone is a living organism that requires life-long care. We tend to forget it because it is not visible, but it is what holds us up and it will make itself felt if it is ignored. Let's look at our bone structure for a moment. Our bone is constantly changing, building and breaking down. In medicine we call it bone remodeling. The remodeling consists of two phases called formation (building up) and resorption (breaking down). The bone formation is done by a group of cells called osteoblasts. The bone resorption is performed by another group of cells called osteoclasts. In essence, we have these two groups of cells that work in concert in the body. One builds and one breaks it down in a balanced fashion for the first 40 years of life. For the next 40 or some years, the resorption of bone occurs at a higher rate than the bone formation leading to lost bone density and osteoporosis. Can we do anything to stop this from happening, or arresting and possibly reversing this condition? Studies have shown that if we do nothing more than supplement with 1,000mg of calcium per day, we can reduce bone loss by 43%. Now, in some people, that may be all they need to ensure they never develop the condition. Let's consider some supplements that could ensure a healthier bone structure throughout the latter part of life.
CALCIUMCalcium carbonate has been maligned as being a calcium that is not absorbed, however, being 38% elemental calcium, it remains one of the most useful and cost-effective forms of calcium supplementation. Medications such as diuretics, steroids, anti-ulcer medications such as Zantac and Tagamet HD can interfere with calcium absorption as can alcohol and in some cases, low stomach acid. If someone has documented problems with calcium absorption, they may derive more benefit from a calcium citrate product containing 21% elemental calcium. To set the record straight, not all elderly people have low stomach acid production. In fact, most have adequate stomach acid throughout life and should have no trouble with calcium absorption.
IPRIFLAVONEDerived from natural isoflavone, ipriflavone has been used medicinally in Europe to treat osteoporosis and improve bone mineral density (BMD). Several studies indicate it decreases osteoclast (the break-up cells) activity and increase the osteoblast (the building cells) activity thereby increasing bone formation. Ipriflavone, unlike genistein, does not have estrogenic activity. Numerous studies show the benefits of ipriflavone. A 1997 two-year study shows that ipriflavone maintained bone density in women who started out with low bone mass. Another 1992 study showed that after 1 year of treatment with ipriflavone, patients showed significant increase in bone mineral density. This group was also taking 1,000 mg. of calcium a day. A 1994 study showed significant increase in BMD after six months of treatment. This group was also taking 1,000 mg. of calcium per day. The recommended dosage in these studies was around 600 mg. of ipriflavone.

Information provided is intended to provide an electronic reference library about nutrition and health. The views expressed in this or other sections of this site, have not been independently researched or confirmed.
Updated on : 2/19/2012 6:18:52 PM
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