Bad To The Bone

Part of the Always Listen To Your Liver Series

Calcium is critical for bone health, right? Not necessarily. All right, I am playing around with you...yes, calcium is important, but it isn't the ONLY nutrient nature provides to build strong, healthy and youthful bones. Nature rarely works without help; typically, one, lone isolated element does not do a big job alone - a task like keeping your skeletal system strong.

A blend of elements work together to keep your bones healthy and strong, and when you replace merely calcium, it is not enough to complete the job.

In my opinion, and my vitamin lab agrees, calcium and magnesium need to be in a 1:1 ratio for good bone health. And the type of calcium used is important, too. A good Rule of Thumb to remember: your body is the processing plant, the industrial unit, the factory; it should process everything you put into it. Over the years, technology and the modern manufacturing of foods, vitamins and supplements, packaged foods, and medications have created products that have "already been processed." Your body doesn't get the chance to refine the nutrients given to it. Instead, you eat and drink products that have already been finished - in essence, you are eating and drinking by-products; an end product. The body doesn't capture much nutrition from end products.

Bones are living tissue. Bones can be considered organs composed of hard living tissue providing structural support to the body - it's the body's scaffolding. Your bones are a hard matrix of calcium salts deposited around protein fibers. Minerals make your bones rigid and proteins (the collagen) provide its strength and elasticity.

So you see, your bones require many more minerals than just calcium.

There are two kinds of bone tissue.
1. Compact bone is the hard material that makes up the shaft of long bones and the outside surfaces of other bones. It is here that blood vessels and nerve fibers, nutrients and wastes are exchanged. Canals (called Volkmann's canals) perforate the bone and provide channels that allow the blood vessels in the bone to connect to the blood vessels that surround the bone.
2. Spongy bone consists of thin, irregularly shaped plates called trabeculae, arranged in a latticework network. This network is only a few cell layers think, but it exchanges nutrients with nearby blood vessels.

So you see, your bones require many more minerals than just calcium.

When I was growing up, my mom, Mimi, was never ill. I can't remember her ever complaining of allergies, headaches, body aches, or anything actually. She went to the doctor for her yearly check-ups, but she was a healthy individual. When she turned 70, her doctor suggested she get on medication for bone health, but her bone density tests were always fine. He suggested she take Actonel ® for "prevention", and she did as she was told. She ate well, took her vitamins, and ate and drank calcium rich foods. But she did what she was told.

The Acetonel began to disrupt her health, and she started having side effects. Each bone density test showed her bones were fine, but the side effects were causing her more and more problems. Plus, the doctor told her to take a calcium and vitamin D supplement - hum. So why did she need the meds when her bones were fine, and she STILL took a bone vitamin supplement? Why not just take the proper supplements and drop the expensive meds?

She began developing acid reflux, dizziness, asthma symptoms and difficulty breathing. Her vision worsened, and she required more potassium and magnesium.

Then, she started getting stressed about taking the little once a week pill, and she worried that she might miss the "right day and time" to retake it. Then she worried that she'd make things worse if she ate or drank something that made her feel ill. After years of this vicious cycle of stress and her side effects worsening, I weaned her off the Actonel when she turned 78 and started her on my Perfect Calcium and Jarrow's Bone-Up®. Well you can guess where I am going with this.....

Her side effects immediately stopped, and every two years when she got her bone density test, her bones had strengthened. Her fingernails were always long and pretty, but they grew like weeds. She was clipping her toenails twice as much, and her gums and teeth improved.

I first learned about the "blend" of bone nutrients when my middle son, at the age of 12, became a patient at Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. He had a nasty, and very unfair, football accident in junior high football. His growth plate on his right knee was damaged, and his leg began growing in a bow. Before he was 16, he had two major bone transplants to correct the irregular growth, and they inserted a stainless steel plate next to his right thighbone, under the muscle. They secured the plate to the bone using stainless screws, folded the muscle over the plate and sewed him up. The doctors expected him to have the plate under the muscle for his lifetime.

Well, I doctored him with the Bone-Up, Perfect Calcium and liquid silica. In less than six months after his last surgery, he was complaining of pain at the plate. We went back to Scottish Rite, they took another round of X-rays, and they saw that his bone had re-grown so completely, it had pushed the screws out from the bone and the plate was coming off.

So, he had yet another operation to remove the plate, and two years later, his X-rays and MRI showed NO evidence that he had ever had a bone transplant. The doctors were gob smacked. I was smug.

I did the same thing for Mimi.

Here's the bone nutrient line-up:
(Silicon -- Si)
Vitamin D
Vitamin C
Vitamin A
Vitamin B

In other words, eat a well-rounded, healthy diet. When taking a bone supplement, find a product with ALL these nutrients. Mom's Actonel didn't have this blend of bone goodies. Manufactured forms of calcium, shells or bones do not have this blend of rich nutrients, either. Remember, allow your bones to process the nutrients it needs from foods rich in the nutrients listed above, take a quality multi-vitamin and trace mineral complex to make sure you have covered all the bases, and take extra silica.

And beware - if you have an old metal plate inside you from a former bone operation, you might just find it pushing off the bone!

Posted April 2009 | Permanent Link

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