Natural Osteoporosis Treatment
Throughout your life you have witnessed the miracle of your body recovering from colds, headaches, cuts and more…on its own…naturally. But when you lose bone mass and have weak bones, somehow it is assumed that nature is not up to the task.
Think about it. Why is it that when you lose muscle mass, you are certain you can strengthen them naturally – with exercise, rest, and nutrition… but when you lose bone mass, natural strengthening is ruled out?
Remodeling for bones is like remodeling a home over its lifetime. As parts of the home become worn and outdated, they’re replaced with new parts. When the paint gets old, you repaint. When the carpet is worn you replace it. Similarly, little tiny worn pieces of your bones are constantly being replaced. This tearing down and building up process never stops for your whole lifetime whether you are 5 or 105.
For the first half of your life, the new bone is packed on faster than the old bone is disposed of, so you experience a net INCREASE in bone density. But by age 40 you start disposing of more bone than you add, with the net result being an annual DECREASE in bone density.
The Snowman in July
So from age 40 and on, our bone remodeling creates an average bone loss of 1% per year every year until we die. (For the first 6 – 10 years after menopause, it may be more like 2% per year due to hormonal change). If we live long enough, every one of us declines to a point called osteopenia and then, as bone density drops further, osteoporosis – the point where our bones are dangerously fragile.
It’s like building a snowman in July – it’s melting off faster than you can pack it on.
So, are your bones somewhat like muscle – that can be strengthened with a concerted natural effort? Can you stop your annual bone loss naturally? Can osteoporosis even be reversed naturally?
The answer is: Yes, you can build new, healthy bone at any age, naturally!
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis, “porous bones“, is a disease that causes bones to become brittle and very susceptible to fractures.¹ These fractures typically occur in the hip, spine, and wrist. A fracture or broken bone can have a huge effect on your life, causing disability, pain, or loss of independence. Fractures can make it very difficult to do daily activities without help. And unfortunately, the International Osteoporosis Foundation currently estimates that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over age 50 will suffer an osteoporotic fracture.²
Osteoporosis Diagnosis and Testing
Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because there are few warning signs and they’re easy to overlook. That said, there are some symptoms you can keep an eye out for. Visit our osteoporosis signs and symptoms page for a full list! But the best method to diagnose osteoporosis is a bone mineral density test, called a DEXA scan. It is recommended to get a bone density test if:
- You’re a woman age 65 or older
- You’re 60 and at increased risk of osteoporosis – see our risk factors below
In addition to a bone mineral density test, the following are basic tests that you should consider to potentially discover the root cause of your bone loss:
Vitamin D Test
25(OH)D is a test that checks your blood levels of 25(OH)D, which is the major form of vitamin D circulating in your bloodstream. It’s also the true barometer of your vitamin D status. It requires either a blood draw or a finger prick test.
Adequate supplies of vitamin D are indicated by blood levels of 25(OH)D of at least 30 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) or 75 nmol/L (nanomoles per liter). Optimal levels are 50-80 ng/mL (125-200 nmol/L), depending on which form of measurement- ng/mL or nmol/L- the lab running your blood test uses to report the results.
The Vitamin D Council recommends supplementing with 5,000 IU of D3/day for 3 months and then running this test. Ideally, you should check your vitamin D status before beginning to supplement with D3 and then again after 3 months to ensure you are taking enough, but not more, vitamin D than you need. Many labs offer this test.
Test Type: Blood Draw or Dried Blood Test (Finger Prick Test).
Alternative Names: Circulating Vitamin D Test, 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Test.
*Not to be confused with 1,25(OH)₂D test, which is another type of vitamin D test that will not tell you whether you’re getting enough vitamin D.
Vitamin K Assay Test
unOC is a test, offered by Genova Diagnostics, that checks your blood levels of uncarboxylated (or inactive) osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is the protein that, once activated by vitamin K2, brings calcium inside your bones. A high level of unOC indicates you are not getting enough K2 to activate your osteocalcin, and therefore your ability to deliver calcium into your bones is impaired. A high level of unOC indicates a need for a higher dose of supplemental vitamin K2.
Test Type: Blood Test
Alternative Names: Vitamin K Assay Blood Test, Vitamin K Assay Serum Blood Test
Omega 3 Index
This test, offered by OmegaQuant, checks levels of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in your red blood cells. It also tells you the ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids present. EPA/DHA are highly anti-inflammatory fats that play crucial roles in preventing chronic inflammation and thus in protecting your bones, brain and cardiovascular system.
The omega-6s, while also protective of our health when in balance with our omega-3s, tend to promote inflammation when their levels are excessively high. Optimal results are an index of 8% and an omega-6:omega-3 ratio of less than 4:1.
Test Type: Dried Blood Test (Finger Prick Test)
Alternative Name: OmegaQuant Omega 3 Index
The CTx or C-terminal telopeptide (the full name is “carboxy-terminal collagen crosslinks”) test measures a specific crosslink peptide sequence of type I collagen that is found in bone; the portion cleaved off by osteoclasts during bone resorption. Blood levels of this peptide sequence are proportional to osteoclastic activity at the time the blood sample is drawn.
The CTx can let you know if your rate of bone removal is within normal, low, or elevated levels. Get the serum (blood) CTx test; results of the urine test CTx can fluctuate, making it unreliable. A number of labs offer CTx. One reliable lab is Quest Diagnostics.
Test Type: Blood Test or Urine Test – although the blood test is recommended as the urine test can be unreliable.
Alternative Names: C-Telopeptide, Serum, CTX, Beta-Crosslaps
23&Me is a saliva test that analyzes variations in your genes called SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms). Once you have run 23&me, you will be able to access your raw data file, which can then be added into other health promotion tools. These tools can analyze your unique needs for various nutrients and let you know if you require more of certain nutrients, such as vitamin D3, than the average person. They can also let you know if you need more nutrients in their activated forms, such as B12 in its activated form of methylcobalamin.
Test Type: Saliva Test
Heavy Metals Challenge Testing
This is a 2-part test offered by Doctor’s Data that evaluates urine concentrations of heavy metals before and after administration of a chelator. A chelator provokes the release of heavy metals from bone and other tissues into the bloodstream, and then into the urine. It’s therefore able to estimate body burden of heavy metals. Toxic levels of lead, mercury, and cadmium are surprisingly common in individuals age 50 and older, and all cause bone loss.
Test Type: Urine Test
Alternative Names: Heavy Metal Test, Urine Challenge Testing, Provocative Heavy Metal Testing
Intracellular Magnesium Test
The EXA Test involves swabbing epithelial cells from under the tongue. Most doctors check serum (blood) levels of magnesium, but this provides a very inaccurate appraisal of your actual magnesium status since only ~1% of your body’s magnesium is circulating in your bloodstream; the remaining 99% is found inside your cells where it does its work. Thus, you can have apparently adequate magnesium levels in serum, but be seriously deficient inside your cells where it counts.
Test Type: 60-Second Specimen Collection (swabs epithelial cells from under the tongue).
Alternative Name: Intracellular Measurement of Magnesium
24-Hour Urine Hormone Test
This comprehensive urine hormone test, offered only by Meridian Valley Labs, involves 24-hour urine collection. After which several samples are sent to the lab in small vials and analyzed for DHEA, estrogens, progesterone, adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones – and more. Results may indicate, and serve as a guide for, highly individualized bio-identical hormone replacement.
Test Type: 24-Hour Urine Test
Alternative Name: ComprehensivePlus 24-Hour Urine Hormone Testing
IgG Food Sensitivity Testing
These tests, offered by Cyrex Labs, involve a blood draw and check for gluten sensitivity, cross-reactivity and other common allergenic foods. You can have no digestive problems and still have bone loss caused by gluten or other food sensitivity reactions. Not just full-blown, but “sub-clinical” sensitivity to gluten (the protein in wheat) is now being recognized as a significant cause of chronic inflammation that promotes bone loss.
Test Type: Blood Test
Alternative Names: IgG Food Allergy Test, IgG Food Intolerance Test
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis
The Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) is offered by Genova Diagnostics. It requires a stool sample and provides a comprehensive evaluation of the overall health and function of the digestive tract. For instance healthy and pathogenic bacteria, i.e. are enough good bacteria around? Are bad bacteria disrupting digestion and causing inflammation? And efficacy of digestion i.e., are nutrients such as protein, essential fatty acids, B12, minerals, fat-soluble vitamins being absorbed?
Test Type: Stool Sample
Alternative Name: Digestive Stool Analysis, Gastrointestinal Test
These labs should be well recognized by most doctors. However, if your doctor is not familiar, they are widely available – and you should ask. Discovering food sensitivities, deficiencies or genetic predispositions will help you pinpoint your bone loss and give you the opportunity to stop it – and even reclaim your bone health!
Osteoporosis Causes and Risk Factors
The Top Causes of Osteoporosis
Be on the lookout for the following osteoporosis triggers. Some will come as no surprise. But others just might. Here are some predictable causes:
- Lack of weight-bearing exercise
- An overactive thyroid
- Sugar and sugary-drinks like soda
- Lack of estrogen
However, there are others. Here’s a handy visual guide to some of the top osteoporosis triggers.
4 Ways to Approach Osteoporosis, Naturally
Taking preventative measures is the best defense against getting osteoporosis. After all, the FDA states that “Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.” But it’s never too late to make small changes to the way you live that can help you improve your bone health, no matter what stage of your journey you’re at.
- Healthy Lifestyle: To have healthy bones you must practice good habits. Adequate rest included. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can affect your bone health by impacting how our bones repair themselves.⁷ And you can stack the odds in your favor when you include the following key ingredients in your everyday life.
- Exercise: Get out there and be active! Exercise is shown to slow bone loss and improve muscle strength. Muscles are attached to bone, and therefore can influence their health. With strong bones comes strong posture and movement. By having stronger bones you can limit bone-damaging falls because you can move freely with confidence. Most kinds of exercise are good, but your bones crave weight-bearing exercises above all. That’s any kind of exercise where your body works against gravity. Don’t worry, because these include everything from the most simple to the intense: walking, dancing, running, yoga, lifting weights, gardening and playing tennis all count!
- Avoid Bone Destroying Toxins: It’s not only pro-inflammatory foods (like processed white flour, preservatives, and sugar) you need to worry about. Your surroundings are important too. Household cleaners, makeup, and even beauty products can contribute to toxicity in the body and promote bone loss. In addition, most commonly prescribed drugs can also damage your bones, which was discussed above.
- A Multi-Nutrient Approach: Like everything to do with your body, your diet directly affects your bone health. And much of the equation is interlinked: Too little calcium will hurt your bones. Too little magnesium, same result. Too little vitamin D3 and you won’t be able to absorb calcium. And too little vitamin K2, and you won’t be able to activate the proteins that put calcium into your bones and keep it out of your arteries! Protein is also crucial as it provides the structural framework for your bones – and is vital for muscle growth. And since you shouldn’t just eat to accommodate one or two vitamins or minerals, it’s important to view your diet as a whole. Ensuring you follow an anti-inflammatory diet as much as possible is key. The less inflammation in your body, the fewer problems you’ll have throughout — including your bones! A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fish and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice will go a long way to battling inflammation. It probably goes without saying, but avoiding excess sugars, processed foods and artificial ingredients will greatly help preserve bone mineral density… and ward off osteoporosis. Your bones need calcium, but they also need much more than that! They need magnesium, vitamin K2, vitamin D3, vitamin C, boron, and trace minerals. So where do you get this nutritional support? It’s hard to get sufficient nutrition from food alone…
A Multi-Nutrient, Approach to Osteoporosis
The problem with store-bought calcium supplements – aside from being rock-based- is that they’re a single element solution to a multi-nutrient problem. That’s because your bones are composed of 13 minerals. Calcium is just one of the minerals your bones needs. You also need zinc, magnesium, vanadium, strontium, silica, boron and more. Each mineral plays a unique role in your bone’s health.
So, today’s emphasis on just one mineral is an oversight. Without other minerals present, calcium can’t even do its job! Why feed your bones one ingredient when in fact, they need much more?
That’s why we created a multi-nutrient calcium supplement. It’s actually taken directly from a plant-based superfood right from the pristine shorelines of South America.
This superfood is called Lithothamnion superpositum (or Algas calcareas as the locals call it). It’s a rare marine algae that mimics the mineral composition of your bones. Because it’s plant-based, the minerals your bones crave are already “pre-digested” by the algae. That means your body has a much easier time absorbing the nutrients, getting the full bone-building effect that lets us guarantee you increased bone density (or your money back).
This natural calcium supplement is called AlgaeCal Plus. The “Plus” means you get full clinical doses of added vitamins and minerals to ensure your body gets the most out of the AlgaeCal powder. There’s more than a full daily dose of vitamin D3. And the maximum allowable amount of magnesium. Even a full day’s worth of the most expensive vitamin on earth – which acts as an efficient calcium recycling plant for your bones – vitamin K2! Plus added vitamin C and boron make AlgaeCal Plus the natural solution your bones need to stay – or to get – healthy.
But there’s another trace mineral that you may have not heard of, it’s called Strontium. In its natural form (Strontium Citrate), Strontium helps stimulate bone-building cells while inhibiting natural bone resorption. This “double-whammy” is crucial to maintaining strong, healthy bone no matter your age.
In fact, Strontium is a powerful sidekick to our flagship AlgaeCal Plus supplement. Using Strontium with AlgaeCal Plus can at least triple the rate of your bone building over a year’s time! So we created our own “Bone Builder Pack” that completely stacks the odds in your bones’ favor. AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost provides your bones with all the nutrients they need.
AlgaeCal Plus isn’t simply a calcium supplement that only provides you one element: Calcium. It’s a smorgasbord of over 70 vital bone-friendly minerals and plant nutrients. The best mother nature has to offer. (Complete with all the minerals we’ve mentioned here.) Combine it all with Strontium Boost, the only science-backed Strontium around- and you’ve got iron-clad protection for your bones every day!
AlgaeCal is Clinically Supported to Increase Bone Density
AlgaeCal Plus is clinically supported to increase your bone density. In one study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences, 414 postmenopausal women each took different formulations of AlgaeCal Plus for 12 months. The result? The lowest average increase in bone density was 1.3%.⁸
In another study published in the same journal, 216 men and women took AlgaeCal Plus with our Strontium Boost supplement. In just 6 months, they saw an average increase of over 2% in bone density.⁹ Don’t forget, we lose bone density every year after age 40. And other calcium supplements at best only slow down the bone loss. But AlgaeCal Plus shows outright bone density increases!
Here’s the most amazing part: in AlgaeCal’s most recent clinical study, 172 women in their mid-60s increased bone density 7 consecutive years with the AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost combo!¹⁰ On average they gained 1% a year, every year. Until now, this sort of result was unheard of. But it’s not only possible with our Bone Builder Packs, it’s guaranteed. No one should suffer from bone loss when we now have the means to naturally reclaim low bone density. It’s preventable when you know how to protect yourself every day.
What is Osteoporosis? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.iofbonehealth.org/what-is-osteoporosis
Facts and Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics
Demontiero, O., Vidal, C., & Duque, G. (2012). Aging and bone loss: new insights for the clinician. Therapeutic advances in musculoskeletal disease, 4(2), 61–76. doi:10.1177/1759720X11430858
Cauley J. A. (2011). Defining ethnic and racial differences in osteoporosis and fragility fractures. Clinical orthopaedics and related research, 469(7), 1891–1899. doi:10.1007/s11999-011-1863-5
Genetics of Bone Density. (2016, March 30). Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/genetics-bone-density
What Breast Cancer Survivors Need To Know About Osteoporosis. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/conditions-behaviors/osteoporosis-breast-cancer
Everson CA, Folley AE, Toth JM. Chronically inadequate sleep results in abnormal bone formation and abnormal bone marrow in rats. Experimental biology and medicine. 2012;237:1101-9. doi:10.1258/ebm.2012.012043
Kaats GR, Preuss HG, Croft HA, et al. (2011) A comparative effectiveness study of bone density changes in women over 40 following three bone health plans containing variations of the same novel plant-sourced calcium. Int J Med Sci 8, 180–191. doi: 10.7150/ijms.8.180
Michalek JE, Preuss HG, Croft HA, et al. (2011) Changes in total body bone mineral density following a common bone health plan with two versions of a unique bone health supplement: a comparative effectiveness research study. Nutr J 10, 32. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-10-32
Kaats GR, Preuss HG, Stohs S, Perricone N, et al. (2016) A 7-year longitudinal trial of the safety and efficacy of a vitamin/mineral enhanced plant-sourced calcium supplement. Nutr J 2, 91. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2015.1090357