Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is affecting many people in the west where 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 12 men get it.  If the absorption of old minerals from the bone into the blood stream exceeds the deposits of new minerals, then osteoporosis occurs.  Osteoblast cells control the deposits of new bone, while osteoclast cells remove old bone.

Osteoblasts are immature bone cells found on the surface of bones.  They make a protein which is mainly Type 1 collagen, this forms the matrix into which minerals are deposited.  Progesterone and testosterone stimulate osteoblast activity.  Mature bone cells are called osteocytes, they start from osteoblasts.

Osteoclasts cells are responsible for bone resorption, or removing old bone to make place for new bone.  Estrogen slows down the action of osteoclasts.

You are at risk for osteoporosis if you are:

  • deficient in vitamin D3, most at risk are those who avoid or cover up when in the sun
  • chronically deficient in calcium
  • deficient in magnesium, zinc, boron and vitamin K
  • deficient in protein
  • exercise excessively - marathon runners/ballet dancers
  • under exercise
  • are or were anorexics and bulimics
  • smoke
  • drink excessive amounts of alcohol and coffee, or carbonated soft drinks which contain large amounts of phosphorus
  • deficient in certain amino sugars, particularly proteoglycans (PGs) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)
  • have a low level of stomach acid and digestive enzymes, which is very prevalent in the elderly
  • are taking or have taken steroids,  i.e.  cortisone and the contraceptive pill, or anti-seizure or anticoagulant drugs
  • have or had thyroid disease
  • had a loss of menstruation for greater than 6 months, other than pregnancy
  • eat a western diet of processed foods and refined grains

Taking large quantities of calcium will NOT improve bone density, but could cause it to be deposited in the soft tissues.  Other essential nutrients are magnesium and vitamin D3 and B6, calcium will not be deposited in the bones without these.

Normal levels of calcium in the bones but low levels of magnesium show abnormal calcification of the bone, this increases the risk of fractures. High levels of calcium in the blood have been linked to gall and kidney stones, arthritic spurs and calcification of the arteries and brain.  As well as depression, blood glucose problems and increased risk of myocardial infarction.

It is imperative to have a hair analysis done first to ascertain the level of both calcium and magnesium before taking calcium supplements.  If the intake of these two minerals is too high, they can become toxic and the result of toxic levels is severe depression.  A hair analysis will confirm which of the two minerals should be taken.  Usually magnesium is too low as it is low in most soils and therefore our food.  It is also the most important co-factor of vitamin D3.  See Trace Elements - Hair Mineral Analysis

The amino acid taurine is vital in regulating the flow of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium into and out of all cells.

Research has shown that a high protein diet increases bone strength by aiding in calcium deposition.

Have your Homocysteine levels checked as it has been implicated in osteoporosis, if high, take the following nutrients to lower it:

  • folic acid
  • vitamin B2
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin B12
  • TMG (tri-methyl glycine)
  • zinc

Cut back on salt and sugar as high intakes cause the body to excrete increased amounts of calcium.

Generally it is believed that osteoporosis in women is due to estrogen loss which begins at menopause.  However, this often starts in women during their mid thirties when they are still making a good amount of estrogen, so it would appear that there is no truth in that.  In fact, some women have lost 25% of their bone density by the time they reach menopause.

Taking estrogen will slow the loss of bone for up to 5 years, thereafter its benefit declines but the risk of breast cancer increases to 40%.  Once the estrogen is stopped the bones quickly break down to their previous level.

How does progesterone help?  Because of its affect on osteoblast cells, it is actively involved in the building of bones. Unlike estrogen, if the treatment is stopped the bones remain strong and there is no risk of cancer.  Progesterone also increases thymidine incorporation into DNA, and proline incorporation into collagen proteins.

Vitamin D3 is essential, so have a blood test done to ascertain your level.  The test should only be done for 25-dyroxyvitamin D, also called calcidiol - D3.  

Up to 50% of people have a deficiency, especially those living in climates with little sun, living above 34 degrees north or south of the equator, work in doors, have dark skin and spend little time in the sun are at risk.

It is recommended that a minimum daily dose of vitamin D3 should be 5 000iu's per day.  However, latest research indicates that it should be 10 000iu's per day - see here.

This is an indication of levels of vitamin D3 found in the blood: 

  • Sufficient 70 - 100ng/ml or 175 - 250nmol/L
  • Hypovitaminosis less than 30ng/ml or 75mnol/L
  • Deficiency less than 25ng/ml or 62nmol/L

For more information please see:

 

Some information on the roles of Vitamin D3, Magnesium and Vitamin K2 MK:7 (no soy)

Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium from the diet. Vitamin K2 directs the body to deposit the calcium in the places where it is needed, such as bones and teeth and NOT in organs, arteries, muscles and soft tissue where it can cause health issues. It is Magnesium's job to keep it where it belongs. Vitamin D3, Magnesium and Vitamin K2 are no brainers!

Note on calcium: We do not need to supplement with calcium, unless you are chronically deficient. Please view these excellent videos, they are well worth the view. Death by Calcium and Too Much Calcium.

Progesterone and Osteoporosis 

Depending on how severe symptoms are, women should use between 100-200mg progesterone per day, men should use between 10-100mg progesterone per day.  For more information please see How to use Progesterone.

Please note: before using progesterone for the first time please read Estrogen Dominance.

Here is a list of some of the nutrients needed to build bone:

  • vitamin D3
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • boron
  • zinc
  • taurine
  • N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin B6
  • glucosamine sulphate or hydrochloride
  • chondroitin
  • vitamin K
  • probiotics (to increase vitamin K2 - fermented veg is the absolute best source)
  • protein
  • proteoglycans
  • glycosaminoglycans

Avoid

  • all forms of estrogen, the Pill, progestin only, HRT, tamoxifen, soy, unless fermented
  • tap water which is now contaminated with prescription drugs, including estrogen from the Pill and HRT, plus the estrogen mimics generated by industry.  Drink only filtered water
  • fluoride (even in toothpaste) as several studies have shown that although it increases the density of bone, the bones are actually weakened by it and therefore increases the risk of hip fractures
  • the bi-phosphonatge drugs, as they can result in an increased risk of fractures, oesophageal cancer, dyspepsia, nausea, abdominal pain, erosive oesophagitis, oesophageal ulcers and may increase the risk for unusual femur fracture

It is important to read all labels on containers, especially food and cosmetics.  Look for natural alternatives to body care products as many contain high levels of endocrine disruptors and 

  • For information on toxins found in skin care products please visit Skin Deep.
  • For information on endocrine distruptors please visit Our Stolen Future.

Reference Websites

Medline Alendronate (Fosamax)

Medline Raloxifene (Evista)

Dr Mercola (Evista)

Hair Mineral Analysis

References - Osteoporosis

Oral bisphosphonates and risk of cancer of oesophagus, stomach and colorectum - case control analysis within the UK primary care cohort

Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events - meta-analysis

Factor 50 Sun Block gave woman Rickets

Vitamin D status in Post-menopausal women living at higher latitudes in the UK in relation to bone health, overweight, sunlight exposure and dietary vitamin D

Doctors link bisphosphonate drugs used against osteoporosis and cancer to jawbone necrosis

Homocysteine as a Predictive Factor for Hip Fracture in Older Persons

Protein intake: effects on the bone mineral density and the rate of bone loss in elderly women

Is Natural Progesterone the missing link to Osteoporosis prevention and treatment?