Two Hundred And Six Bones, One Important Mission!By Dr. Carrie Louise Daenell, ND
Our 206 bones give our bodies structure and make movement possible. But for postmenopausal women in particular, natural changes in bone physiology can put freedom of movement at risk. Unfortunately, there is more to the story. Did you know that there is a higher risk of life-threatening events associated with the complications of Osteoporosis than with breast cancer?
The good news is that bone health challenges are a disease of nutrition, which means that we have the power to heal those challenges! Even better news is that researchers at Mt. Sinai Hospital, in Toronto found that one of the important nutritional interventions for bone health has been shown to reduce risk for breast cancer.
Bone Is Continually Changing
Contrary to popular notion, bone is a dynamic, living tissue that is constantly undergoing a process called remodeling.
Remodeling consists of two major phases:
- Bone resorption, is the breakdown of bone. Bone cells called osteoclasts remove old and damaged bone tissue.
- Bone formation. Other bone cells called osteoblasts and osteocytes create a new bone matrix (the web-like, micro-architecture of bone), and use calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals to harden the matrix. Did you know that some of the popular new bone drugs actually compromise the health of these vital cells? There has to be another way! Hint: Nutrition.
From birth until about age 40, bone remodeling occurs in relative balance, building bones that are hard, dense, and strong. But menopause marks a major turning point in a woman's bone physiology. The steady decline of estrogen combined with a subtle increase of inflammatory markers after menopause may contribute to an increase in bone resorption. Over time, this can make the bone matrix more and more fragile, resulting in an increased risk of fracture.
Why Basic Mineral Supplements May Not Be Enough
Calcium and magnesium are essential for maintaining bone density and hardness. But even the highest quality minerals may not work as well on a weak bone matrix when other important nutrients and growth factors are not working with them to support all of the aspects of bone health.
A Natural Approach to Healthy Bone Remodeling
Standard approaches to osteoporosis prevention focus on achieving and maintaining peak bone mass or density. But thanks to new scientific developments, we now know that a combination of the following nutrients may target the quality of the bone health. However, not all minerals and supplements are created equal. Be sure to check with your naturopathic physician about which forms of minerals are the absorbable and bioavailable..
- Calcium, magnesium, manganese, boron, strontium, and other minerals all work together for optimal bone health.
- Vitamin D — the correct form of Vitamin D, in an optimally absorbable form serves as a vital nutrient in meaningful doses and is necessary for healthy bone formation and bone mineralization.
Bone health is important for men and women at every age, but for postmenopausal women who want to protect their quality of life, it's crucial. Don't wait! To find out more about natural approaches to bone health support, find a local naturopathic doctor in your area and schedule an appointment today.
Carrie Louise Daenell, ND is a licensed Naturopathic Physician. She can be reached at (303) 399-8050 or you can visit her website at www.DrDaenell.com.