Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment
Osteoporosis affects more middle class countries than poorer countries. The countries that consume the highest amount of dairy products (USA, Sweden and Finland) have the highest incidence of Osteoporosis and poorer bone health even though we focus more on osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Our bones were designed to last a life time. Because there is no money in drug companies selling magnesium, it is no surprise that osteoporosis and bone health research doesn’t include magnesium. There is also very little research to find natural medicine for osteoporosis. Out of 22,000 journal articles, only 10 studied the magnesium connection in humans. Osteoporosis is from the effects of a poor diet and not normal nor an inevitable part of aging.
A recent report shows that pharmaceutical products like Fosmax causes jawbone deterioration and also causes brittle bones. Fosomax destroys osteoclasts, the cells that remodel bone. Instead of the old cells being replaced with new cells, Fosomax causes the calcium to fill in the voids in the inner matrix structure with more calcium, making your bones denser but also less healthy and more brittle. Osteoporosis treatment is not as simple as increasing bone density. Natural medicine for osteoporosis is also hard to find. Fosomax is a biphosphonate drugs along with other drugs like Actonel and Boniva.
Calcium Alone Is Not Enough
Because our bones are made of two parts calcium and one part magnesium, scientific literature and logic dictate that if you don’t have magnesium to combine with the calcium, the calcium you have cannot be utilized to foster bone health. Calcium and magnesium won’t do it either. Other minerals like Vitamin D3, K2 and Boron are necessary for optimal bone health. It is unfortunate that osteoporosis prevention has been simplified to “take calcium supplements” or “drink milk”. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body and is necessary for many functions. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral. Calcium and magnesium work together like 2 sides of a coin. A natural medicine for osteoporosis should include at least Magnesium, Vitamin D3, K2 and Boron.
What causes Osteoporosis and bone loss?
The relationship between Osteoporosis and Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium stimulates a particular hormone, calcitonin, that helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, preventing some forms of arthritis and kidney stones. Magnesium suppresses another bone hormone called PHT (parathyroid), preventing it from breaking down bone. The balance between PTH and calcitonin tilts too far toward PTH when we are magnesium deficient which results in excessive stimulation of osteoclasts, which causes net bone loss.
Your body needs to keep an exact level of calcium in your blood stream and these two hormones regulate your blood by pulling calcium in and out of the bones and putting it in your blood. Your body also needs to maintain a pH of 7 in your blood stream in the same way in needs to maintain 98°F body temperature and will do whatever it can to maintain a perfect balance. Because calcium and magnesium are alkalizing to the body, your PHT hormone will be stimulated by an acidic diet causing calcium to be depleted from your bones.
The standard American diet (Sad) diet is mostly an acidic diet. Protein, bread, soda pop, sugar and pastas are examples of acidic foods. Many vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables) and many fruits are alkaline (opposite of acidic). When we consume acidic foods, our body gets more and more acidic. Because milk is high in protein, drinking milk can often pull calcium from your bones to neutralize the acidic effect of the body. Checking your saliva with litmus paper from your local drug store will indicate how acidic you are.
The imbalance of the hormones DHEA and Cortisol may result in osteoporosis. When you are stressed, you body produces a stress hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol will pull calcium from your bones. Cortisol and DHEA balance each other out, if one is high the other is low. Magnesium helps you deal with stress as you need magnesium to relax. Low hormone levels in general can lead to loss of bones, which is why many women start to lose bone density after menopause. Magnesium will help combat the negative effects of stress which in turn will decrease Cortisol in your body.
Because magnesium improves the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract, some practitioners suggest that women take calcium and magnesium together at a ratio of 2:1, particularly around the time of menopause. This helps prevent loss of bone mass. In addition, as estrogen levels drop during menopause, magnesium levels seem to diminish as well. For this reason, magnesium may also help to relieve some menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. More research is needed 5
According to Dr. Susan Brown, director of the Osteoporosis Education Project in Syracuse, New York, magnesium is just as important as calcium to prevent and treat osteoporosis. There are 17 nutrients that are essential for healthy bones, including magnesium, which is the most important mineral after calcium. She recommends a daily dose of 450 to 800 mg of magnesium for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Research shows that 50% of adolescents consume less than 2/3 the RDA (Morgan, 1985; Lakshmanan, 1984; Pennington, et al, 1986; Brown, 2005).
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean in her book, The Miracle of Magnesium, (see article) she explains how the role of magnesium in bone health is multifaceted. She states the following:
For the absorption and metabolism of calcium, adequate levels of magnesium are essential.
Magnesium stimulates a particular hormone, calcitonin, that helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, preventing some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.
Magnesium suppresses another bone hormone called parathyroid, preventing it from breaking down bone.
Magnesium converts Vitamin D into its active form so that it can help calcium absorption.
Magnesium is also required to activate an enzyme that is necessary to form new bone.
Magnesium regulates active calcium transport.
Many times we hear about the importance of supplemental calcium, but that can result in too much calcium in our bodies, which results in worsening osteoporosis, as well as the formation of kidney stones, arthritis and heart disease.
We need to keep in mind that there are also other factors that can lead to the development of osteoporosis, which includes an insufficient diet, drugs, endocrine imbalance, allergies, vitamin D&K2 deficiency, and lack of exercise.
The population in general seems to believe that osteoporosis is an inevitable and normal part of aging. But we need to believe the contrary, which is that our bones were designed to last us a lifetime. A diet that includes a lot of sugar, alcohol and coffee, as well as lots of protein, robs the body of essential minerals. Be sure to include more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes into your diet, as well as magnesium rich foods. (see section Magnesium Food Sources)
Excess calcium is a vastly widespread problem, as excess calcium DEPLETES magnesium from the body, and as a result brings about all of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. At this point, it will be unimportant how much magnesium you consume, but how much is left in your body. If you feel your body is out of balance and isn't functioning right (with some symptoms manifesting), it could be suspect that excess calcium is the problem, especially if you have been supplementing it.
Remember, calcium and magnesium need to be in the correct proportions for your own needs; otherwise the calcium turns from a nutrient into a pollutant causing heart disease, arthritis, hardening of the arteries, senility, osteoporosis and calcification of organs and tissues that eventually completely degenerate.
For this very reason excess calcium can become a real problem, while excess magnesium, on the other hand, is not of any concern. Unlike calcium, magnesium does not build up in the body, as excess is eliminated. Excess calcium combined with low magnesium - a lethal combination indeed.
Taking more calcium will not fix a calcium deficiency, which is quite evident from the statistics. It is magnesium and other cofactors such as D3, K2 and Boron that will handle the calcium deficiency as well as the magnesium deficiency itself (it will dissolve any excess calcium from the body, while helping any needed calcium to assimilate). Calcium alone is useless and potentially harmful.
We have 2 main products that we believe are a Natural Medicine for Osteoporosis.
MAG365 BF contains our award winning ionic magnesium citrate as well as other necessary cofactors for bone health. Our research shows that most people get enough calcium from their diet and rather than needing calcium, they actually need the cofactors to absorb the calcium into the proper places, namely the bones and teeth.
MAG365 BF plus Calcium
MAG365 plus Calcium an excellent product for those who have trouble absorbing calcium or for athletes. It was designed for muscle and bone health. It could be considered a natural medicine for osteoporosis if you have intense workouts and need to replace your calcium and magnesium. Dr Pascal trains Olympic athletes and puts them on magnesium supplements to help prevent muscle cramps, while still supplying his athletes with a magnesium supplement and a calcium supplement. He brought over 50 athletes to the Beijing Olympics and came home with 20 medals and no muscle cramps. When he was in Eugene OR for the Olympic Trials, he treated 40 of his athletes. He was concerned about heat and muscle cramping, so he was using a magnesium supplement preventatively. None of his athletes had muscle cramps- before, during or after their races. Not so with the other teams. See the Organic Connections Jan-Feb 2009 issue for the full interview with him.
- Magnesium deficiency and osteoporosis: animal and human observations
- Magnesium deficiency: possible role in osteoporosis associated with gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
- Magnesium Fights Osteoporosis
- Osteoporosis Education Project
- University of Maryland Medical Center - Magnesium
- Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. - The Magnesium Miracle