Healthy Bones: Beyond calcium and vitamin D!
Healthy Bones are complex rigid organs (and an endocrine gland!) and as such, bone health requires numerous nutrients well beyond calcium and vitamin D. Unfortunately, you may be indoctrinated into the belief that the ONLY nutrients required for healthy bones is calcium and vitamin D. This simply isn’t so.
Yes, calcium is the major constituent of healthy bones and most of the calcium in your body is located in the bone. Keep in mind, calcium serves many functions (i.e., muscle contraction, blood clotting, nerve impulse, regulating heartbeat, hormone release, and so on) throughout the body.
However, myriad nutrients, as clearly documented in peer-reviewed scientific journals around the world, are required for healthy bones throughout your life cycle. Here are a couple of examples of the plethora of nutrients required for bone health:
The process of bone formation requires an adequate and constant supply of nutrients, such as calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium, and fluoride. However, there are several other vitamins and minerals needed for metabolic processes related to bone, including manganese, copper, boron, iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and the B vitamins. ~Palacios C. The role of nutrients in bone health, from A to Z. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2006;46(8):621-8.
These dietary factors range from inorganic minerals (e.g., calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and various trace elements) and vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K, C, and certain B vitamins), to macronutrients, such as protein and fatty acids. In addition, the relative proportions of these dietary factors derived from different types of diets (vegetarian vs. omnivorous) may also affect bone health and thus osteoporosis risk. ~Kevin D. Cashman. Diet, Nutrition, and Bone Health 1,2. © 2007 American Society for Nutrition
Note: Additional references below.
Healthy Bones and nutrient excesses
As seen in Nutrient Excess, an excess of any nutrient is just as detrimental to your health as a deficiency. This includes calcium. Calcium is one of the most over-consumed minerals in an effort to prevent or treat osteoporosis! An excess of calcium or any other nutrient becomes antagonistic to myriad other nutrients required for healthy bones as well as other metabolic pathways that require the antagonized nutrients. The result is that you may actually be contributing too not only bone problems but other health issues as well.
Bone health and your metabolism
Your metabolism, by means of nutritional assessments, is an important indicator for healthy bones. Your metabolism (neuroendocrine systems) is a controlling factor of your nutritional status.
A fast metabolism (sympathetic neuroendocrine system) is usually associated with a deficiency of many important nutrients for healthy bones. On the other hand, a slow metabolism (parasympathetic neuroendocrine system) is usually associated with an excess of many important nutrients required for healthy bones.
As seen in Improve my Energy, the thyroid/parathyroid as well as the adrenal medulla/cortex control your regulatory minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium). Each of these minerals, by means of excesses and deficiencies, influences your bone health.
Homeostasis of blood serum calcium
Does blood serum accurately measure your calcium levels? Calcium is essential for many life functions throughout the body and as such, the body tightly regulates (or maintains) a specific calcium level in the blood. Circulating calcium is controlled by parathyroid hormone and vitamin D and if necessary, at the expense of bone. This is homeostasis.
Merriam-Webster defines homeostasis: a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism.
However, knowing the body will rob the bone of calcium to maintain blood levels, how do you know your bone contains sufficient levels of calcium? On the other hand, if you are overconsuming calcium, how do you know it is actually being deposited in the bone? As such, one must question the validity of using a blood serum test to measure your calcium stores.
Serum calcium does not fluctuate with changes in dietary intake. The smallest drop in serum calcium below the normal level will trigger an immediate response. The body is ready to transfer calcium from other sources to maintain normal serum calcium levels and prevent hypocalcemia usually within minutes using one of three organ systems. Thus, serum calcium is not an accurate indicator of calcium stores in the body. ~ Judith A. Beto, The Role of Calcium in Human Aging. Clin Nutr Res. 2015 Jan; 4
Toxic elements and healthy bones?
Simply put, toxic elements are antagonistic and interfere with nutritional elements. As such, the presence of toxic elements may interfere or even replace a nutritional element required for normal bone health. In addition, if a toxic element such as lead is not excreted through proper detox, it may easily become stored or be sequestered in the bone.
As you can see, knowing your toxic element levels is important for your overall health as well as your bone health.
Hair analysis and healthy bones
As seen in most of the referenced material below, myriad macro and trace minerals are essential for healthy bones. Our hair analysis, as a tissue biopsy, reveals excesses and deficiencies of many of the minerals known to be involved in bone health and also reveals toxic elements as well. Our comprehensive hair analysis also includes a list of healthy foods specific to your nutrient needs.
Take control of your bone health and order your Trace Elements Hair Analysis today.
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REFERENCES – Healthy Bones
“The recent advances point to the skeleton as an endocrine organ that modulates glucose tolerance and testosterone production by secretion of the bone-specific protein osteocalcin.”
Guntur AR1, Rosen CJ. Bone as an endocrine organ. Endocr Pract. 2012 Sep-Oct;18(5):758-62. doi: 10.4158/EP12141.RA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22784851
“Serum calcium does not fluctuate with changes in dietary intake. The smallest drop in serum calcium below the normal level will trigger an immediate response. The body is ready to transfer calcium from other sources to maintain normal serum calcium levels and prevent hypocalcemia usually within minutes using one of three organ systems. Thus, serum calcium is not an accurate indicator of calcium stores in the body.”
Judith A. Beto The Role of Calcium in Human Aging. Clin Nutr Res. 2015 Jan; 4(1): 1–8. Published online 2015 Jan 16. doi: 10.7762/cnr.2015.4.1.1 PMCID: PMC4337919 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337919/
“The process of bone formation requires an adequate and constant supply of nutrients, such as calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium, and fluoride. However, there are several other vitamins and minerals needed for metabolic processes related to bone, including manganese, copper, boron, iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and the B vitamins.”
Palacios C. The role of nutrients in bone health, from A to Z. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2006;46(8):621-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17092827
“These dietary factors range from inorganic minerals (e.g., calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and various trace elements) and vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K, C, and certain B vitamins), to macronutrients, such as protein and fatty acids. In addition, the relative proportions of these dietary factors derived from different types of diets (vegetarian vs. omnivorous) may also affect bone health and thus osteoporosis risk.”
Kevin D. Cashman. Diet, Nutrition, and Bone Health 1,2. © 2007 American Society for Nutrition http://jn.nutrition.org/content/137/11/2507S.full
“Physicians are less likely to be aware that dietary insufficiencies of magnesium, silicon, Vitamin K, and boron are also widely prevalent, and each of these essential nutrients is an important contributor to bone health.”
Charles T Price, Joshua R Langford, and Frank A Liporace. Essential Nutrients for Bone Health and a Review of their Availability in the Average North American Diet. Open Orthop J. 2012; 6: 143–149. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330619/
“Approximately 80-90% of bone mineral content is comprised of calcium and phosphorus. Other dietary components, such as protein, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, fluoride, vitamins D, A, C, and K are required for normal bone metabolism, while other ingested compounds not usually categorized as nutrients (e.g. caffeine, alcohol, phytoestrogens) may also impact bone health.”
Ilich JZ, Kerstetter JE. Nutrition in bone health revisited: a story beyond calcium. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Nov-Dec;19(6):715-37. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11194525
“Understanding relationships among nutrients, not just limited to calcium and vitamin D, but others that have not been investigated to such extent, is an important step toward identifying preventive measures for bone loss and prevention of osteoporosis.”
Ilich JZ, Brownbill RA, Tamborini L. Bone and nutrition in elderly women: protein, energy, and calcium as main determinants of bone mineral density. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Apr;57(4):554-65. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12700617
“Osteoporosis is one of diseases which are influenced by nutrition and life style. It is preventable by means of adequate nutrition and sufficient physical activity.”
Stránský M, Rysavá L. Nutrition as prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Physiol Res. 2009;58 Suppl 1:S7-S11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19857038
“Consequently, dietary proteins are as essential as calcium and vitamin D for bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Furthermore, there is no consistent evidence for superiority of vegetal over animal proteins on calcium metabolism, bone loss prevention and risk reduction of fragility fractures.”
Bonjour JP. Dietary protein: an essential nutrient for bone health. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6 Suppl):526S-36S. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373952
“All the components which constitute our body are reconstructed from the nutrients taken in as the foods. Bone is also the same and various nutrients are involving for the formation and maintenance. Calcium, vitamin D, protein, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B groups, vitamin A, etc. are important for bone health.”
Uenishi K. Nutrition and bone health. Present knowledge and practice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19568001
“Other nutrients may influence bone mass changes; for instance, a number of trace elements and vitamins other than vitamin D are essential to many of the steps of bone metabolism.”
Sarazin M, Alexandre C, Thomas T. Influence on bone metabolism of dietary trace elements, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Joint Bone Spine. 2000;67(5):408-18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11143907
“The interpretation of the effects of calcium and other nutrients on bone cannot be considered in isolation from the other components of the diet. These results challenge some of the accepted perceptions about what constitutes an optimal diet for the promotion of bone health in adolescents.”
Prynne CJ, Ginty F, Paul AA, Bolton-Smith C, Stear SJ, Jones SC, Prentice A. Dietary acid-base balance and intake of bone-related nutrients in Cambridge teenagers. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;58(11):1462-71. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15162137
“Endocrine disorders constitute the most frequent cause of secondary osteoporosis in men and women. Because endocrine diseases are common (e.g., diabetes mellitus, hyperparathyroidism, and hyperthyroidism), they should be considered in the differential diagnosis and management of osteopenia.”
Rosen CJ1. Endocrine disorders and osteoporosis. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 1997 Jul;9(4):355-61. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9229183
“Besides the indirect action via the production of calciotropic hormones, the fact that receptors respond to oestrogens as well as to androgens and progesterone is evidence that sexual steroids have a direct action in regulating bone activity.”
Ribot C1, Tremollieres F. [Sex steroids and bone tissue]. Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 1995;56(1):49-55. [Article in French] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7747921
“The negative effect on bone due to the glucocorticoid excess is mediated by the direct action of cortisol in reducing bone apposition and increasing bone resorption, and by indirect mechanisms such as the calcium malabsorption, hypercalciuria and hypogonadism.”
Chiodini I1, Scillitani A. [Role of cortisol hypersecretion in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis]. Recenti Prog Med. 2008 Jun;99(6):309-13. [Article in Italian] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18710063
“The other micronutrient needs for optimizing bone health can be easily met by a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables to ensure adequate intakes for magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and other potentially important nutrients.”
Jeri W Nieves Osteoporosis: the role of micronutrients1,2,3,4. Am J Clin Nutr May 2005,vol. 81 no. 5 1232S-1239S http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/5/1232S.full
“Our skeleton may seem an inert structure, but it is an active organ, made up of tissue and cells in a continual state of activity throughout a lifetime. Bone tissue is comprised of a mixture of minerals deposited around a protein matrix, which together contribute to the strength and flexibility of our skeletons.”
Giana Angelo, Ph.D. Micronutrients and Bone Health. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrients-health/bone-health