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Bone Health - Beyond Calcium
By Dr. Taryn Forrelli, N.D. – Healthy Living Article

Most people know that a diet rich in calcium is important for building and maintaining strong healthy bones, but too often, they overlook the importance of other determinants of bone health, including trace minerals, vitamin D, vitamin K, and even inflammation.

Research has established that trace minerals, like silica, vanadium, boron and strontium, are essential for normal growth and development of skeletons in humans and animals. Although they are minor building components, they play important functional roles in bone metabolism and turnover, and have been shown in clinical studies to significantly improve clinical outcomes when combined with calcium.

It has long been known that vitamin D plays an essential role in regulating calcium absorption from the digestive tract and enabling bone mineralization. Recently, however, it has become apparent just how common vitamin D deficiency is, especially in individuals living in northern latitudes where sun exposure and, hence, natural vitamin D production by the body are limited. Since a deficiency of vitamin D can influence not only bone health but immune health, blood sugar metabolism and normal cell growth as well, many medical experts are advocating supplementing the diet with 800 IU or more of vitamin D a day in the form produced by the body, D3.

Vitamin K is another vitamin creating a buzz amongst researchers interested in bone health. It is required by bone cells for the production of a protein that binds to calcium, helping to keep it in the bones and out of the arteries where it can contribute to hardening. Like vitamin D, low levels are associated with increased bone fragility and weakness. Vitamin K has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is known to accelerate the aging process. This includes increasing the breakdown of bone, making it difficult to maintain strength, no matter how much calcium is present. In addition to vitamin K, taking herbs like turmeric, ginger, green tea and holy basil to maintain a healthy inflammation response can help keep bones strong and healthy. (See Zyflamend by New Chapter for healthy inflammation response).

The bottom line: If your bone health supplement program only consists of calcium, you are missing the big picture. Bone is a complex living tissue requiring so much more than calcium alone. A protocol and nutrition formula we developed at New Chapter called Bone Strength Take Care, combines whole food forms of calcium, vitamin K, vitamin D, and trace minerals along with inflammation-modulating phytonutrients is the only way to ensure your body has all of the nutritional building blocks it needs for bone health and beyond. With all these trace minerals and cofactors found in the algae source we use, this is called a whole food calcium supplement, and it really is the way to go.

For more information about Bone Strength Take Care, click here.

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