Osteoporosis is a common and chronic disease which affects millions of aging North Americans every year. This condition involves the skeleton, especially the spine, pelvis, ribs and forearms, losing bone mineral density over time. This situation can greatly increase the risk of fractures which are responsible for high morbidity and mortality rates in aging population. There are many different natural remedies for osteoporosis prevention that become especially important as you age.
Osteoporosis has many causes but the most common type occurs from aging. Your bones are constantly being remodeled with the old bone cells being resorbed and replaced with new, stronger bone. During the passage of time, the process of bone reabsorption overcomes the formation of new bone.
The net effect is less bone mass per unit area of bone. Since the level of peak bone mass is attained at age 20, small losses of bone can occur with the most precipitous losses occurring after the age of 50 in women and 60 in men.
That’s when it becomes vital to ensure you are getting enough of these essential vitamins, and when you’re not, you can try these natural remedies for osteoporosis prevention.
Although there are a number of drugs available now which can be used in osteoporosis prevention, nutritional medicine can also offer a great deal of help for those who seek alternatives, especially natural remedies such as supplements. Here are the supplements I recommend for osteoporosis prevention:
1. Vitamin D
One of the best natural remedies for osteoporosis is taking a vitamin D supplement. This vitamin is produced naturally when the sun hits the skin and reacts with a type of cholesterol molecule.
It can also be produced from the liver and kidneys after being ingested from dietary sources. The problem with vitamin D is that it is an essential nutrient and cannot be made in large enough amounts by the body to maintain physiological function.
Unfortunately, this vitamin is not readily available in our food chain. The highest concentrations are found in cod liver oil and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Consequently, levels of vitamin D can be very low in large populations of people.
Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium from the gut and also it’s excretion from the kidneys. Without adequate levels of vitamin D, calcium levels will not be properly maintained and bone mineral will be resorbed to correct this deficit.
That’s one of the reasons I recommend taking supplements such as vitamin D as one of your natural remedies for osteoporosis prevention. I recommend using 500-1,000 IU of vitamin-D3 per day taken with food.
Calcium is a mineral which is used to make new bone cells. The only way to get adequate amounts of calcium to maintain optimum bone mass is through the diet or supplements. The vast majority of calcium is stored in the bones as part of the bone mineral matrix.
To prevent this stored calcium from being used to maintain blood levels of calcium, 1,000-1,300 mg of calcium must be consumed daily. Unfortunately, research has previously shown that the elderly who are the most vulnerable are also the most likely to be deficient in calcium and vitamin D. This is one of the best natural remedies for osteoporosis prevention.
I recommend taking calcium with vitamin D in a daily dosage of 1,000-1,200 mg per day in the form of calcium citrate.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient necessary for the proper formation and maintenance of bones, which is why it’s another one of the best natural remedies for osteoporosis. At least half of the total amount of magnesium in the human body is found in the bone matrix. Osteoporosis is also associated with a loss of magnesium from the bone mineral matrix. I recommend taking 400-500 mg of magnesium citrate daily in dived doses with food for osteoporosis prevention.
As you get older, it’s vital to maintain the health of your bones, to avoid deadly falls and factures. I recommend these natural remedies for osteoporosis prevention.
Fan, T., et al., “Calcium and vitamin D intake by postmenopausal women with osteoporosis in Spain: an observational calcium and vitamin D intake (CaVIT) study,” Clin Interv Aging 2013; 8: 689-96.
Price, C.T., et al., “Essential Nutrients for Bone Health and a Review of their Availability in the Average North American Diet,” Open Orthop J 2012; 6: 143-9.
Murray, M., et al., The Encyclopedia of Naturopathic Medicine (Prima Publishing, 1998): 706-721.
“Dietary Supplements Fact Sheets,” Office of Dietary Supplements web site; http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all/ last accessed July 24, 2013.