Supplements for Bone Growth


When Putting together your own regimen for bone health and growth, there are many facts to consider that should not be overlooked. Below are some important considerations as well as a Guideline Protocol offering links to supplements that I used and upon which I designed .

NOT ALL SUPPLEMENTS ARE EQUAL

When I first began devising a bone building regimen for myself, one of the choices I was faced with was whether to augment existing “all-in-one” formulas (which had missing or inferior forms of some of the necessary supplements), or to use a lot of different supplements (choosing the more bioavailable forms of each necessary supplement).  After a bit of research, the choice was a simple one

      

The Importance of Bioavailability:
No matter how much of a supplement you ingest, if it is not in a form that your body can use, it is worthless. Knowing which chelated form of mineral, or which active form of a vitamin, is best absorbed is critical to your success in optimizing your bone growth capabilities.

The Importance of Synergy:
Getting the right form of a supplement is only half of the solution. If you offer your body the best absorbed supplement but do not supply the vitamins necessary for that supplement to be used in cellular reactions (making bones, for example), that supplement is rendered useless. In fact, offering your body supplements that it cannot use can be harmful. One example is in the case of calcium where too much unabsorbed calcium can cause complications (kidney stones, for one).

BEWARE THE “SIX CAPSULE” PER DAY SOLUTION

Why Are So Many Supplements Needed to Build Bones?
Building bones involves a variety of cellular functions, requiring a host of vitamins and minerals, and (unfortunately), getting the most bioavailable form of many supplements requires a chelate that can add considerable bulk to your final product. Many manufacturers will cut these corners and offer you a non-bulky very poorly absorbed substitute. It’s both cheaper and more enticing to the consumer; but, it will not do the job. You will then conclude that healthy remedies for bone growth don’t work. YOU MUST CHOOSE PRODUCTS BASED ON BIOAVAILABILITY 

 

READ LABELS CAREFULLY

Just Because It’s on the Label Does NOT Mean it is There for Your Body
Labels can be misleading and it is very important that when endeavoring to create your own regimen for building bones that you choose wisely. An example is seen in Magnesium:

Despite it’s abysmal absorption, magnesium oxide (MgO) is one of the most commonly used forms of magnesium because there are 600mg of elemental magnesium in every 1000mg of MgO making it a far less bulky choice over other forms. However it is only 4% bioavailable. Compare this to magnesium glycinate at 80%, magnesium citrate at 90%, and magnesium lactate at 99%. Magnesium is essential for the absorption of calcium. Recent research suggests the ratio of calcium to magnesium should be no less than 1:1 and even 1:2 (read more).

 


CALCIUM ALONE ISN’T THE ANSWER

When your body cannot use the calcium that you supply it, it breaks down your bones to get it. Calcium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Healthy bones store about 99% of the body’s calcium; the rest is used throughout the body to perform other vital functions.

In order to benefit from calcium, your body must work very hard: it requires a lot of digestive teamwork, and a whole alphabet of vitamins, magnesium, and other essential minerals. If you have deficiencies along the line, it won’t matter how much calcium you eat, your body will take it, and other minerals it needs, from your bones. The first signs of calcium deficiency, (before bone loss is noticed) are usually in non-vital areas like your teeth, hair, and nails.

Bones release calcium by increasing the rate of resorption (bone breakdown). Whatever calcium doesn’t get used is excreted through the kidneys. But increasing calcium intake is not the answer to addressing bone loss; too much calcium causes other difficulties, like kidney stones, gallstones and hypercalcemia. What many of us lack is the ability to successfully use the calcium we get.

 

SUPPLEMENTS AND CALCIUM ABSORPTION

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

Supplement     Preferred Form(s)                                            Supplement Information
     and source      
           
           
 Biotin    biotin     Biotin is an essential cofactor for enzymes. It aids in the synthesis of hormones and cholesterol, promotes healthy growth of skin, hair, nerves, bone marrow and oil glands.
           
B vitamins    B complex     Vitamin B including B1, B2, B3, Pantothenic Acid B6 and B12 are all necessary to maintain good overall health including strong bones.
           
Calcium  

preferred powder

less preferred tablets

    Calcium is the major component of bones and teeth. It has been linked with reduced risk of osteoporosis and hypertension. Powder is always more absorbable than tablets, but not as convenient.
           
Chromium   chromium picolinate     Chromium and Vanadium work together to improve bone and tooth development and improves hormone production. Chelated form is best.
           
Copper   copper chelate     Copper promotes iron, cholesterol and lipid metabolism, bone growth, skin elasticity, collagen and melanin pigmentation, synthesis of connective tissue, maintenance of the heart muscle, immune and central nervous system function.
           
Folic Acid    Folic acid     It is already known that elevated homocysteine (often due to folic acid deficiency) increases the risk for bone fractures. A five year study of postmenopausal women found that the rate of bone loss correlated to levels of folic acid deficiency independent of homocysteine. 
           
L-Carnitine    acetyl l-carnitine      Bone cell production uses carnitine in its processes, and this amino acid plays an important role in maintaining bone mass.
           
Lipoic acid    r-alpha lipoic acid     Lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant and also associated with retarding bone loss (read more)
           
 Lysine    L-Lysine     Lysine is an amino acid that helps in the absorption of calcium. It is an essential amino acid necessary for the regeneration of tissues, and the building and healing of broken bones. Research studies show that lysine can increase the amount of calcium absorbed into the bone matrix.
           
 Magnesium

 

 

magnesium glycinate,
magnesium citrate,
magnesium lactate,
magnesium carbonate

Very absorbable form

    Magnesium increases calcium absorption from the blood into the bone. Dairy products contain very little magnesium. Too much calcium blocks the absorption of magnesium, leading to a deficiency which can be characterized by muscle weakness, tremor or spasm, elevated blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, headaches, to name a few. There are many absorbable forms of magnesium. among which are the forms  glycinate, lactate and citrate. Magnesium Carbonate is not as bioavailable but is also a good choice because it has a high ratio of elemental magnesium to total magnesium Carbonate. Strive for a ratio of no less than 1:1 calcium to magnesium, going up to 1:2 (which is opposite to what most people consume). For more information, see  calcium to magnesium ratio.
           
Manganese    manganese glycinate     Manganese is an important antioxidant nutrient that aids in synthesis of carbohydrates, fats, cholesterol and enzymes. It promotes reproductive organ health, bone and connective tissue formation.
           
Molybdenum    Moly-B      Molybdenum is primarily involved as a co-factor in several oxidases such as xanthine oxidase, aldehyde oxidase, and sulfite oxidase.It is found primarily in the liver, kidneys and bones.
           
Omega 3   krill or cod liver oil     Krill oil is preferable because of the smaller quantity needed to deliver the necessary amounts of Omega 3 and it is naturally mercury-free. The studies on Omega 3 and bones has been with fish oil (not plant oils).
           
Omega 6    evening primrose oil     The preferred form of Omega 6 is from evening primrose oil.
           
Phosphorous    phosfood      Many people are not deficient. If you know that you are, you should supplement.
           
Potassium    potassium     Potassium helps your body build strong bones and helps maintain a proper balance of calcium.
           
 Silicon   orthosilicic acid     Choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid is purported to be the most bioavailable form of silicon. Other forms of silicon require higher dosages.
           
Selenium    chelated selenium     Selenoproteins are important compounds in bone metabolism. A selenium deficiency may be associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis (read more).
           
Strontium    strontium citrate     Strontium supports bone retention and preliminary evidence suggest that women with osteoporosis may have reduced absorption of this trace mineral. Some health care practitioners have recommended up to 3 mg per day for bone health.
           
Trace minerals    trace minerals     Trace minerals like boron, selenium, copper, silicon, manganese, vanadium and zinc (to name only some) are also essential in supporting the healthy balance that makes bone formation efficient.
           
Vitamin C    Buffered C     Vitamin C promotes the body’s ability to build strong bones, facilitates iron absorption and is a strong antioxidant. It has been linked to reducing the risk of arthritis, asthma, cancer and many other degenerative diseases. Always get buffered form.
           
 Vitamin D    D3 (cholecalciferol)     Vitamin D is an important enzyme needed for the absorption of calcium. It regulates the calcium and phosphorous levels in the blood by promoting their absorption from food in the intestines, and by promoting re-absorption of calcium in the kidneys. In conjunction with stomach acids and other vitamins, it is crucial to moving calcium from the small intestine into the bloodstream. D2 (ergocalciferol) has lower bioactivity, poorer stability, and shorter duration of action than vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is what doctors still prescribe but at 50,000IU doses (compared to 2000-3000IU doses of vitamin D3). For more information please see Best Form of Vitamin D.
           
 Vitamin K:    K2 (MK-7)     Look for K2 NOT K1. There are 3 vitamin K dependent proteins in bone. (For more information see bone mineralization). Vitamin K2 is at least three times more effective than vitamin K1 at activating proteins related to skeletal metabolism. There is evidence in human intervention studies that vitamins K and D work synergistically on bone density. See literature on vitamin K for more information.
           
Zinc    zinc picolinate     Zinc enhances the effectiveness of vitamin D. Adequate levels of zinc are necessary to form collagen tissue, unite bone fractures, heal wounds and prevent osteoporosis.