Are Calcium Supplements the Only Way to Build Bones?

Are Calcium Supplements the Only Way to Build Bones?

When I had my first genomic test done, I was shocked to find out how many markers that I had that could lead to osteoporosis.  What?  I exercise, eat a diet high in bone-building nutrients or what I thought was bone-building nutrients.   And, osteoporosis did not run in my family or at least that I know of!

Osteoporosis now affects over 200 million women worldwide and this number continues to grow!  In the United States, the recommendation to slow bone loss is calcium supplements and now vitamin D.  Compared to other countries, the US recommends the highest calcium intake yet we have not seen a reduction in osteoporosis or fracture rates.  Maybe we should be doing something else besides taking calcium supplements??

That is when I learned that there were many other causes of bone loss other than not getting enough calcium and vitamin D.  The building of bone is affected by many different nutrients, hormones, genetics, and medications like Advil, PPI’s and some anti-depressants.

Bones are not static – our bodies are constantly getting rid of old bones (resorption) and replacing with new bone cells, just like our skin.  Bone loss occurs when the process of the elimination of old bones cells and building of new bones cells gets out of balance.

S o what can tip that balance into the wrong side?  Inflammation and oxidative stress can both increase bone resorption and decrease bone formation.   If your body does not control inflammation or oxidative stress well, then you have a risk of getting osteoporosis.

So when is the last time your doctor looked at inflammatory markers or oxidative stress markers?  Had a conversation on how important antioxidants are for bone health?

Inflammation is greatly controlled by our hormones, nutrients and the balance of essential fatty acids (you know fish oil or EPA/DHA).  Been recommended a high-quality fish oil or EPA/DHA for bone health lately?

My genomic markers for bone health was not just about my inability to synthesize vitamin D, but my poor methylation, lack of genes that provide powerful anti-oxidants and markers for chronic inflammation.

So no matter how much calcium I take, this will not support my bone health.  It might actually be worse for me as I have some cardiovascular markers and too much calcium is bad for the old ticker!

But if I knew that I needed more anti-oxidants than most or that I should avoid caffeine – this could go a long ways in saving my bones.