What did the Rolling Stones say, “you can’t always get what you want”.
Americans want to prevent fractures, especially when they get older.
Looks Like A Bee’s Honeycomb
We have seen older people break their hips, end up in the hospital, which results in loss of life, due to osteoporosis. The bone disease that makes calcium architecture so weak even the slightest move can cause a bone fracture.
Bone Builder Medications
Pharmaceutical companies initiated new therapy for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. The first medication that came out in the 1990’s was called Fosamax (alendronate). A number of drugs followed with names such as Boniva (ibandronate) and Actonel (risedronate). These medications, known as the biphosphonates, are just altered versions of laundry detergents. How they work on your bone is similar to how detergent works on clothes. For example, Fosamax glues itself to the calcium in bone. When an osteoclast (cell that breaks down bone) comes along, it sits on the Fosmax, which protects the bone calcium. Fosamax engulfs the osteoclast destroying its ability to cause bone loss. In a similar way, a detergent (also a biphosphonate) engulfs fat, dirt, and grime and yields clean clothes.
These drugs not only cause side effects but the bone post-drug is not normal bone. Granted, it does what it was designed to do which is lower the risk of fracture and keep you out of the hospital.
Many patients do not want to take prescription medications for osteoporosis. They also want their skin to stay young and cancer-free so they stay out of the sun. The sun activates our skin to produce vitamin D. Many wear sunscreen when they do venture out into the radiation. In addition, we have decreased our consumption of dairy products. These products are a primary source of vitamin D and calcium. Reasons for this change ranges from cutting down on fat, decreasing flatulence, dislike of dairy products and becoming a vegan. Whatever the case, a significant percentage of our population was coming up short on calcium and vitamin D. So what did we do? The simple solution has been to go shopping for supplements.
The popularity of Vitamin D and calcium has skyrocketed in the U.S. in the last decade. Recent yearly supplements sales are up to $1.2 billion for calcium and $600 million for vitamin D.
Well this government panel of experts has published a report concerning vitamin D and calcium. The panel looked at over 100 studies to come up with their conclusions. They say that by taking these nutrients as dietary supplements there is inconclusive evidence that they prevent bone fractures. They only looked at low to moderate doses. That means the maximum supplement used was 400 IU (international units) of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium per day.
My opinion is that jury is still out for any final conclusions. Calcium preferentially should come from food products. You have to explore other options like tofu, almond milk and calcium fortified products like orange juice. These products and others will give you what you need from food rather than a pill. Vitamin D from foods gets a little tougher to find in products besides dairy. Mushrooms are high in vitamin D, even more so if you put them out in the sun.
What A Crew, Partying Forever Having Bone ified FUN!
Like the Rolling Stones said, “you can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need!”