Bones are made up of dynamic living tissue that requires a wide range of nutrients—not just minerals such as calcium—to maintain optimum health.
While minerals tend to get all of the attention when it comes to bones, decreased collagen content is also an important factor in osteoporosis and low bone density.
Collagen is to our bones what two-by-fours are to the frame of a house. It’s the compound that provides the framework upon which mineralization occurs. As our collagen levels decline with age, this becomes a problem. Because if you don’t have enough collagen, it doesn’t matter how much calcium you take, the mineral won’t be bound within the bone.
With that in mind, it’s clear that we need to include strategies for improving the collagen matrix along with traditional mineral supplementation in any bone health regimen. The Downside of Drugs
One problem with bisphosphonate drugs used to treat and prevent osteoporosis (e.g., Boniva, Fosamax, and Actonel) is that they don’t improve bone quality. Sure, they can increase bone density. But because they don’t address issues with the organic collagen matrix, they can actually make bones brittle.
High-quality bone is strong and resilient, much like bamboo. In contrast, bone that’s pumped up on bisphosphonates is more like chalk—dense, but very brittle. People who are on bisphosphonates need to focus on improving their collagen matrixes to help fix the problems that these drugs produce. Increasing the collagen content of the bone leads to greater strength and flexibility, thereby increasing resistance to fractures.
To help improve the collagen matrix and promote bone health, the following key nutrients—along with 800—1,000 mg per day of calcium—are recommended:
Natural Factors Healthy Bones Plus kit contains BioSil Bone Collagenizer Matrix, featuring ch-OSA, and Bone Mineralizer Matrix, which combines calcium with vitamin D3 and K2.
Magnesium and calcium are balanced perfectly in Natural vitality osteocalm, a liquid bone health formula also with vitamins D3 and K2. Yummy Natural Orange-Vanilla Flavor.
Superior Source makes it easy to get bone-building vitamin K with Advanced triple K. This instant-dissolve dot provides K1, K24 and K27 for optimal effectiveness and quick absorption.
Michael T. Murray, ND, is the author of more than 30 books on natural health, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Third Edition. He is regarded as one of the world's top authorities on natural medicine, and is a sought-after lecturer and educator. Visit him online at doctormurray.com.