Calcium Alone is not Enough for Healthy Bones
by Tony Isaacs
(The Best Years in Life) Practically everyone knows that calcium is vital for healthy bones. What many people are unaware of is that calcium alone is not nearly enough to insure that bones remain healthy. There are in fact a number of other vital minerals and nutrients that are essential for maintaining healthy bones, preventing bone loss and even building bone mass. There are also herbs and other items that can help build and maintain healthy bones.
Bones are not made from calcium alone. They’re an amalgam that includes various minerals such as zinc, boron and copper. Foremost of the additional minerals needed for health bones is magnesium, which is actually considered by health experts to be more important for bone health than calcium.
Magnesium is important for many, many areas of health and it is an essential co-factor for calcium. Unless you take magnesium with calcium, you body is unable to properly absorb and utilize calcium. That means that even if you get plenty of calcium, if you do not also get enough magnesium the calcium will be of limited benefit. Alarmingly, various studies and estimates have determined that anywhere from 70 to 95% of us are deficient in magnesium.
The recommended daily minimums for magnesium are 320 mg for women and 400 for men, but optimum daily amounts are more like 500 to 700 mg. It is recommended that a person take one-third to one-half as much magnesium as they do calcium each day in order to get proper benefits from both important minerals.
Boron and zinc are important by themselves for healthy bones. Plus, they and other trace minerals are also necessary for the transport and absorption of calcium. Plant derived trace minerals are the best source of trace minerals. Unlike the “crushed rocks” in most supplements, which are poorly absorbed and pass out through the urine, minerals already digested by plants are potentially 100% absorbable.
Strontium provides the double benefit of inhibiting bone resorption while simultaneously stimulating bone growth. No other natural substance or drug is known to provide this dual effect. Human studies within the past decade have reported extraordinary results for strontium. In one large multi-phase study it was found that post-menopausal women added 8.1% new bone growth over a three year period whereas they would normally have lost about 1% of their bone mass each year. Studies have also shown that strontium is important for enhancing tooth enamel as well as bones.
Vitamin D3 has been proven in many studies to be extremely valuable for maximum bone health. One should aim for a bare minimum of at least 600 international units of vitamin D3 per day (three times the Recommended Dietary Allowance), and for therapeutic use aim for even more – up to 4000 international units.
Vitamin K is also important. It activates a protein found in bones, call osteocalcin, which holds calcium molecules in place. Healthy Brussels sprouts are a good dietary source of Vitamin K.
Silica (from horsetail and/or shavegrass) works with calcium to maintain strong bones and is especially effective in combination with GTF. GTF Chromium (which stands for Glucose Tolerance Factor Chromium) is made by fermenting nutritional yeast with chromium.
* Serotonin has been shown in recent studies to be an important factor for bone density. L-tryptophan is a good supplement to boost serotonin.
* Inositol/IP6 modulates the behavior of bone-forming and bone-destroying cells.
* Besides being an excellent pathogen destroyer, Colloidal Silver also helps bone, tissue and nerve regeneration.
* Dandelion Tea and Red Clover help build bone density. Other herbs that can help build your bones include Chaste Berry, Dong Quai, Black Cohosh and Sesame seeds.
Diet and exercise are also vital for bone health. A poor diet lacking essential vitamins and minerals contributes to osteoporosis. Regular exercise helps maintain healthy bones whereas lack of exercise will result in weak bones and loss of bone mass.
Caution: Do not take bone drugs for osteoporosis. Evidence has shown that they produce abnormal bone growth, make bones more brittle and can have serious and even life threatening side effects! See: