Updated: Oct 16
The North American diet is not necessarily deficient in calcium but rather prolific with factors that extract calcium from our bones.
Original post: April 19, 2011
Our lifestyle choices are setting up a biological system that simply cannot hold onto calcium; even the calcium we may be supplementing for peace of mind.
We’ve employed logical strategies that include synergistic proportions of magnesium to support bone mineralization with calcium; improved zinc intake; and added vitamin D to improve calcium uptake and proper use in the body. But it’s not working! Osteoporosis is more prevalent today than ever with the baby boomers ripening to osteoporotic life stages.
The solution is bone chilling!
Our toxic environments and lifestyles literally cause the body to produce inflammatory hormones at levels that interfere with natural life-preserving processes. And the loss of bone mass is only one of the many degenerative processes that advance with this pro-inflammatory activity.
This inflammatory lifestyle thwarts the balanced activity of highly specialized cells that are responsible for managing calcium in the body – primarily the osteoclast and the osteoblast. Osteoclasts are specialized cells that extract calcium from bone shuttling it into the body where it might be needed for important metabolic tasks. While the bustling osteoblast has an opposing role, picking up free calcium and incorporating into bone matrix to build bone.
The state of your bone mass is a function of these two opposing forces and no matter how much calcium, magnesium and vitamin D you consume, bone mass will be limited to the net balance created by these two worker cell s.
Research shows that the pro-inflammatory state which tends to advance with age and poor lifestyle increases osteoclast activity and inhibits osteoblasts. Not only is calcium being extracted in this state, but the important bone-building role of the osteoblast is also blocked. Our lifestyles can contribute to this underlying inflammatory cloud in multiple ways: oxidized processed food, environmental pollution, stress of a bustling life, advanced age, lack of fresh antioxidant-rich food, antioxidant limitation in the body, chronic disease and more.
As the body’s calcium is freed the body becomes dangerously exposed to other health risks. In this state any amount of calcium that is supplemented simply adds to this free calcium which research is showing can increase the risk of blood clots, arterial plaques and serious cardiovascular disease. Many of these contributors to underlying inflammation are within our control and as we age, those factors that are controllable must be bridled in order to offset the factors that we cannot control such as advanced age.
After age forty our cells tend to produce lower levels of internal antioxidants lowering our natural capacity to control inflammation, setting in motion an ever escalating risk for multiple diseases, including osteoporosis, unless an action plan is formulated with a functional strategy. The way to improve calcium status of bone and concurrently lower cardiovascular risks is by improving osteoblast (bone forming) activity over osteoclast (resorption) efficiency despite age.
Changing the Calcium Tide.
Research shows that a reduction in that underlying inflammatory fire, improves osteoblast and osteoclast balance to allow the body spontaneous management of calcium and build healthy bone and maintain bone density. Those common anti-inflammatory antioxidant herbs, extracts of grapeseed, turmeric and boswellia serrata, can also play important roles alongside calcium supplementation to support preserve and even rebuild bone health. In fact, this anti-inflammatory antioxidant accompaniment to calcium supplementation becomes even more crucial for the aged due to that natural decline in internal antioxidant production.
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