Bone Health: Slow the normal loss of bone minerals as you age

Before the use of screws, plates and artificial joints in orthopedic surgery, a fractured hip was almost a death sentence. Complications from lying in bed for an extended period would take most people's lives within 6 months.

Even today, of the approximately 250,000 people who fracture their hips each year, up to 35% will die from complications within 12 months. Even if you don't suffer a fracture, do you want that hunched over look common in the elderly as bone loss takes its toll? The question is, what can you do to build strong bones and keep them strong throughout your life

Build calcium in your bones early in life

By storing as much calcium and other minerals in your bones at a young age, you will be less likely to have weak and brittle bones when you are older. Many complex systems in the body control the absorption of calcium from the intestine and stimulate mineral storage in the bone. Calcium absorption is improved with Vitamin D, and storing calcium in the bone requires the correct ratios of magnesium and other trace minerals such as boron. Phosphorous, found in high amounts in cola drinks, may actually promote the loss of calcium from bone and decrease calcium absorption from the intestine.

Exercise and weight lifting have also been shown to make bones stronger. Bones are always in a state of balance between building bone and tearing it down. With exercise, stress applied to the bone causes more bone building. Astronauts can have dramatic mineral losses when in space even for a brief time because of the lack of gravity and stress on the bones.

To help build bones and store calcium early in life, take a balanced calcium and mineral supplement for peak absorption. A simple calcium-containing antacid or a glass of milk daily just won't do. Both men and women should take at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Breastfeeding women should take at least 1,500 mg.

Our bones naturally lose minerals as we age

After about 35 years of age, mineral losses begin in both men and women. Many different supplements have been shown to be essential in maintaining healthy mineral deposits in the bones. Here's what you can do to keep your bones healthy:

Take calcium 1,000-1,500 mg plus vitamin D 1,000 IU daily 

These supplements should be at the top of everyone's plan. Studies have shown that these two alone will slow mineral losses. If you know you have weakened bones, take 1,500 mg of calcium daily.

Use magnesium and minerals to aid calcium absorption

Boron, manganese, copper and other trace minerals are critical for absorption and storage of calcium in bones. Take a supplement that has calcium and magnesium in approximately a 2:1 ratio. Take about 1-3 mg boron along with other trace minerals daily. Lindberg Bone Support* is a comprehensive formula that contains the trace mineral, boron.

Consider ipriflavone isoflavone 

Ipriflavone is a synthetic isoflavone. An abundance of positive scientific studies show its powerful bone-supporting abilities. Studies from all over the world have shown that 600 mg daily helps reduce the rate of bone loss. It is chemically similar to estrogen, but it does not increase the risk of breast cancer the way estrogen does. Ipriflavone may be the most obvious alternative for women who do not wish to take estrogen replacement therapy. Ipriflavone should be taken in addition to your regular calcium formula.

Consider soy products

They have also been shown to help reduce bone loss. The natural isoflavones found in soy have an estrogen-like effect in the body, which helps maintain bone density.

Exercise daily including weight-bearing exercises 

Exercise will strengthen bones even into the golden years. You will also strengthen your heart and improve your mood, digestion, elimination, strength and stamina.

Stop drinking soda

Cola drinks are high in phosphorous, which can result in weaker bones.

Avoid tobacco, alcohol and caffeine

All three have been shown to promote calcium losses from the bone and body.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you'll reap the benefits of strong, dense bones well into old age.

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