Osteoporosis – Myths and Facts

10 November 2019
Osteoporosis – Myths and Facts

The belief that calcium is the basis of strong bones is absolutely rooted in our society. But it does not rest on a stable basis in reality-calcium is the LAST of the many minerals your body needs to build strong bones. Intake of magnesium through food, not necessarily calcium, can be the key to the development of healthy bones during childhood, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Paediatric Academic Societies (PAS) in the United States in 2013.


For decades, the use of calcium has been promoted to prevent bone problems. The age-old myths that dietary supplements with calcium build healthy bones and teeth are continually overexposed. How much are these supplements actually effective?


According to a study done in 2007 in the U.S., calcium from food sources has a more beneficial effect on bone health than calcium from dietary supplements in postmenopausal women.


Since the loss of bone density occurs without symptoms, osteoporosis is often considered a "silent disease". With the deterioration of bone tissue and the violation of bone architecture, the bone becomes so weak that a relatively insignificant stroke or fall leads to breakage or rupture of the vertebra. The resulting fracture can lead to loss of mobility and independence, with 25% of people needing long-term care. Fractures caused by osteoporosis or low bone density can lead to chronic pain, disability, as well as to mental problems, including depression. The risk of hip fracture in women is equal to the combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.





Until recently it was believed that in addition to causing constipation and gastrointestinal symptoms, the use of calcium supplements or a combination of calcium and vitamin D does not cause other adverse effects. In a Women's Health Initiative study, in which 36 282 postmenopausal women took part for 7 years, kidney stones were observed in 2.3% of the subjects, and calcium intake in combination with Vit. E increases the risk by 17%.


In 1460 adult women observed for 5 years, calcium monotherapy increased the risk of hospitalisation for gastrointestinal disorder by 92%, and for acute abdominal pain by 81%.


Another study found that calcium supplements were associated with a higher number of heart attacks in postmenopausal women.


Most dietary supplements contain calcium carbonate, which is a more niche form of calcium and manufacturers add an agent like citric acid to make it more digestible. However, the final product is more prominent than other calcium supplements such as calcium orotate, which is the only known form of calcium that can effectively penetrate the cell membranes.


Another fact for which most people do not know is the myth popularized by the dairy industry that the consumption of pasteurized milk products raises calcium levels. This does not correspond to the truth – in the pasteurisation process only calcium carbonate is created, which has absolutely no way to penetrate the cells without an added agent. So what the body does is withdraw calcium from the bones and other tissues to act as a buffer from the incoming calcium carbonate in the blood. This process can actually cause osteoporosis. Pasteurised milk is not useful for the body.


The intake and absorption of magnesium during childhood are key signs of the total content of bone minerals and bone density-while calcium intake from food has not been significantly linked to such measurements.


Health benefits of taking magnesium

Greater magnesium intake is significantly associated with higher bone mineral density (BMD) in men and women. An approximate 2 percent increase in BMD for the whole body of every 100 milligrams per day increase in magnesium was observed.


Fractures caused by osteoporosis are an important health problem in older people. Given the large distribution of low BMD and fractures, small improvements in BMD may have a great impack over the public health.


Magnesium is a "less-studied" component of bones that can play a role in the metabolism of calcium and bone power.

Only one percent of magnesium in the body is in the blood and, if necessary, the body will take it from the bones and tissues, if its level decreases. This means that a blood test can easily show normal levels of magnesium, even when in the rest of the body its deficiency is large.


The best source of magnesium will always be food – green leafy vegetables, cocoa, seeds and nuts of all kinds are among the food sources with the highest levels of magnesium.


As a natural source of magnesium, calcium and vitamin D, you can use pine pollen or pine pollen in its purest form – pine pollen powder.

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