Calcium: No Longer the Lone Ranger in Bone Health

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Food and Nutrition, Nutrients and Additives
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Developing osteoporosis leads to fractures, which limits your ability to be active and enjoy life. In the past, we always thought the answer was all about how much calcium we’re getting. I was dumbfounded to learn that’s a myth!

So, when considering prevention of osteoporosis, let’s look at what we now know about the calcium myth in fracture prevention. Not only has recent research muddied the water in terms of how much and what kind of calcium we should be taking, it suggests that other elements—like vitamin D and vitamin K2—are more important.

Recently, Swiss investigators performed a meta-analysis on combined data from seven prospective studies of 170,991 women aged 41+, and 2,954 hip fractures. They found no dose-response relationship between a daily calcium doses exceeding 555 mg and protection from hip fractures. In fact, for us postmenopausal women over 58 who are taking supplemental calcium—and there were 5,600 in this study—the risk for hip fracture might even be 64 percent higher!

The answer for this dichotomy may be consistent with what my husband has been saying all along: our bones are made up of a dozen or more constituents, including magnesium, manganese, boron, and vitamin K2. Plus, an exclusive focus on calcium could worsen bone density, and actually increase your risk of osteoporosis!

Now, my beautiful mom is 89 this year, and recently she tripped over a chair at church and banged herself up pretty well, but she didn’t break anything! Clearly, the fact that she’s been listening to Dr. Sinatra and taking more than lone calcium have been paying off.

For more information on preventing osteoporosis, visit www.drsinatra.com.

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