Taking calcium for strong bones?
It is a common misconception that taking calcium is key to have strong bones. In fact, most bone fractures happen in countries where people drink a lot of milk. Many women in the United States are taking daily calcium supplements. However, osteoporosis cases are still on the rise instead of becoming a thing in the past.
Healthy bones are bones with high bone density and elasticity
Many turn to calcium and vitamin D supplementation to build healthy and strong bones. But in fact, there are other key nutrients which are not discussed in as much depth as there should be, such as Silica.
Silica plays a vital role to build bone and maintain its strength and integrity. A growing body of scientific literature also recognizes the importance of dietary silica for bone health. Undoubtedly, our bone needs more than just calcium to rejuvenate and grow strong.
Osteoporosis is a major public health threat worldwide, which affects around 200 million people globally. (Osteoporos Int. 1992 Nov;2(6):285-9). Recent research has found that calcium supplementation alone is not adequate to address osteoporosis or reduce the risk of bone fracture.
Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a bone condition characterized by low bone mass (low bone density), decreased bone strength and increased risk of bone fractures. Healthy bones are continuously being broken down and rebuilt in small amounts. While it varies among individuals, most typically reach peak bone density at the age 30 when the body forms new bone faster than it breaks down old bone tissue. After age 30, the bone building balance naturally shifts – to faster bone loss than gain. During which, bone rebuilding cannot catch up with the rate that bone is being broken down. This process quickens especially after menopause whereby women can lose up to 20% of their bone density in the first 5 to 7 years after menopause. A drastic decrease of estrogen at this time is a major cause of low bone density or bone loss.
Maintaining bone density and flexibility are both equally important for achieving optimal bone health.
Signs and Symptoms of osteoporosis
Signs and symptoms of early stage osteoporosis
1. Brittle fingernails
- Fragile, split, chipped nails or ridges on nails could be an indicator of bone loss
2. Tooth loss
- Osteoporosis has an impact on the part of jawbones supporting the teeth. Hence, tooth loss could indicate the early stage of osteoporosis. Research found that postmenopausal women who are suffering from osteoporosis have a higher likelihood of experiencing tooth loss than non-sufferers.
3. Low grip strength
- Grip strength is an independent predictor of bone mass. Research found that low grip strength is associated with low bone density at both spine and hip, as well as increased risk of bone fracture.
4. Loss of muscle mass
- Research found that loss of skeletal muscle mass was associated with osteoporosis. A strong correlation was reported between sarcopenia (muscle loss) and osteoporosis with risk of bone fracture.
Signs and symptoms of late stage osteoporosis
- Bones become more likely to fracture, especially if there is a fall. The most common fractures related to osteoporosis resulting from a fall are in the wrist, spine and hip.
- As we age, it is normal to lose a little height. However, losing too much height is abnormal and it could indicate that osteoporosis is causing the bones in the spine to break, making one becomes shorter.
- Osteoporosis can cause bones in the upper spine broken, leading to stooped or hunched posture.
- Osteoporosis can cause compression fractures of the spine, which leads to sudden and serious back pain that becomes worse with standing or walking, but become relief when lying down.
The bone consists of both minerals and collagen. Some scientists liken the bone construction to that of a building. In a similar fashion, the collagen (steel rods) supports the bone (building), and a mix of minerals, such as calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) is the concrete. Without the steel rods, the concrete would be brittle and fracture. Without the concrete, the rods would bend because of lack of support. As we age, the collagen amount and bone mineralization process decrease significantly. This affects bone rigidity, density, elasticity and flexibility. The bone becomes more porous, weakened and susceptible to fracture, even for a slight fall. Hence, maintaining bone mineral density, collagen synthesis and cross-linking of collagen strands (for bone flexibility) is of utmost importance to support optimal bone health.
Calcium- Collagen Relationship in Bone
Calcium is not the only component in the bones. In fact, bones are made up of 3 major components:
- Collagen (makes up 30% of the bone structure): When the body makes new bone tissue, a framework of collagen is first laid down. Next, tiny crystals of calcium from the blood spread throughout the collagen framework. Collagen not only builds the framework for calcium to attach to, it also gives bones flexibility & strength, for greater fracture resistance.
- Calcium-phosphate mineral complexes (makes up 70%of the bone structure). They fill in the gaps between the collagen framework, gives the bone hardness.
- Living bone cells osteoclasts and osteoblasts: Osteoclasts break down and remove old bone tissue, while osteoblasts synthesise new bone tissue
Silica is vital for bone health
Silica initiates the bone mineralization process and maintains collagen cross-links in the bone, thereby playing a vital role in supporting healthy bone density and flexibility. Unfortunately, silica levels tend to decrease with age, leading to weak bones and abnormalities of collagen cross-links in bone. This can bring about bone stiffness and brittleness. Hence, supplementation with Silica-Rx99 is a natural, safe and effective approach to improve bone density and elasticity. Silica-Rx99 not only increases bone density of middle-aged and elderly, but also young male and female.
Silica is more important than calcium!
Study has demonstrated that dietary silica increases the rate of bone mineralization. This is supported in the case of calcium-deficient rats (Biol Trace Elem Res 2009, 128(3), 239–247). Other studies have found that the bone composition of rats fed low calcium diets, are affected by silica deficiency. This deficiency decreased the concentrations of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the tibia and skull (J Nutr 1980, 110, 1046–1056). These findings suggest that silica can promote bone mineralization, even under conditions of low calcium levels in the diet. It may also indicate that silica and calcium interactions in gut lumen could reduce the gastrointestinal absorption of silica (Nutr Bull 2005, 30, 222–230; Adv. Clin. Exp. Med 2011, 20(6): 677-682). This may be due to competition between calcium and silica for the same absorption pathway, or calcium forms insoluble calcium silicate that reduces silicon bioavailability.
“You shouldn’t be taking calcium with the idea that it will prevent bone fractures. Nonetheless, adequate calcium and vitamin D intake are still essential for healthy bones.” Dr. David Slovik, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.”
Positive Bone Benefits of Silica-Rx99:
√ Support healthy bone mineral density
- Stimulate differentiation of osteoblast (cell that forms new bone) to promote bone formation (Bone.2003 Feb; 32(2):127-35)
- Increase bone mineralization (calcium incorporation into bone), particularly when calcium intake is low (Calcif Tissue Int.1993 Sep; 53(3):174-9)
- Reduce bone resorption (loss of calcium from bone) (Calcif Tissue Int.1993 Sep; 3(3):174-9)
√ Support bone elasticity (flexibility)
- Stimulate type I collagen synthesis – Collagen is the human body’s most abundant protein, making up approximately 30% of total protein content. This protein of youth plays a vital role in maintaining integrity, elasticity and strength of body tissues.There are many different types of collagen in our body, with over 90% of the collagen being Type I collagen, which is indispensable for building strong bones, tendons (connects bone to muscle), ligaments (connects bones to other bones to form joints), skin, hair and nails.
- Strengthen collagen by cross-linking collagen strands – The flexibility and tensile strength of bone depend not on collagen alone, but also on the cross-linking between collagen strands. Hence, silica is indispensable for the formation of strong bones.
√ Reduce risk of bone fractures
Silicon crosslinks collagen strands & strengthens collagen
Vitamin K2 (MK-7) and vitamin D also determines bone health
Vitamin K2 (MK-7) from fermented soybeans helps stimulate osteoblasts (cells that form new bone) and suppress osteoclasts (bone cells that break down bone tissue), thereby promoting bone formation. Studies have reported that intaking 45 μg MK-7 daily improves bone mineral density. MK-7 helps increase bone strength and reduce the risk of fracture, especially in post-menopausal women. Vitamin D is also essential for calcium absorption into the bloodstream and bone mineralization, which is linked to bone mineral density.
Bioactive Organic Silica is more superior to medication
Osteoporosis medication (i.e. bisphosphonate)
- Mechanism: Slowdown bone resorption, maintain bone density.
- 1. Does not improve bone flexibility. Both bone density and flexibility are equally important in lowering the risk of bone cracking or fractures.
- 2. Side effects: Affecting up to 10% of users, the side effects include heartburn, stomach upset or irritation of the oesophagus. Long-term use (more than 5 years) can leave users more vulnerable to a rare but serious thigh bone fractures, as well as deteriorating jaw bones. Hence, the safety from long-term use is questionable.
Research proven health benefits:
a) Support healthy bone mineral density
Study 1: Silica supplementation in ovariectomized rats (animal model of postmenopausal osteoporosis) reduced bone resorption (bone broken down) and increased bone formation (Calcif Tissue Int.1993 Sep; 53(3):174-9). A high concentration of silica is found in the areas of active bone mineralization, where silica combines with calcium in the bone-building cell.
Study 2: In a well-known massive-scale Framingham Offspring Study, the dietary habits of 2,847 participants (1,251 men & 1,596 pre-and postmenopausal women) aged between 30 and 87 were studied since 1970 and had their bone densities measured. The results showed that the group consumed more than 40mg of silicon per day has approximately 10% more bone density, compared to the group consumed less than 14mg of silicon per day. Hence, adequate silicon intake correlated positively with bone density in men and premenopausal women, but not in postmenopausal women.This study also suggested that the amount of dietary silica taken imposes a greater impact on bone density than the disparity in the amount of dietary calcium.
Regular silica does not improve bone density of postmenopausal women, but Silica-Rx99 can! Oral administration of Silica-Rx99 was proven to increase bone density, even for postmenopausal women.The efficacy of Silica-Rx99 far exceeds regular silica.
Study 3: In a monitoring test, 8 women aged between 45 and 82 years old and one man aged 58 years old were administered Silica-Rx99 (≥ 40mg silicon) daily for 6 months and their bone density was monitored. Surprisingly, all 9 participants showed an increase in bone density (100% efficacy). On average, the bone density increased 13%, even for postmenopausal women. Notably, Silica-Rx99 worked 4 to 6 times faster than a specific calcium supplement for all 9 participants. In this test, one participant was suffering from osteoporosis and her bone density kept decreasing despite taking prescribed drug. Nonetheless, her bone density increased after taking Silica-Rx99. Other than Silica-Rx99, there is no other silica products that can show such dramatic improvement in bone density in such a short period of time thus far. These significant findings have been published in Nippon Dental Newspaper and Medical Magazine Apolonia.
Study 4: Vitamin K2 suppresses the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE-2), which is a potent stimulator of bone resorption (bone broken down by the body). In this study, TNFα pro-inflammatory cytokine was used to induce PGE-2 production. The co-administration of Vitamin K2 (MK-7) and TNFα was effective in suppressing the PEG-2 production to a level comparable to baseline (control).
b) Support bone elasticity (flexibility)
Animal studies in the 1970’s reported that deficiency of dietary silicon resulted in decreased bone tensile strength (Nature.1972 Oct 6;239(5371):333-4; Science.1972 Nov 10;178(4061):619-21).
Another study shows that the bones of silica-deficient chicks contain less collagen than the bones of silica-supplemented chicks (Calcif Tissue Int.1981;33(1):27-34).
c) Support strong bone
Study 1: A study conducted on elderly women reported that non-osteoporotic women are particularly high in vitamin K2 (MK-7). This suggests the association between high MK-7 and strong bones.
Study 2: A study shows that vitamin K2 (MK-7) is more effective than vitamin K1 in increasing activity of osteocalcin, a vitamin K-dependent calcium-binding protein in bone that has been linked to bone formation
Study 3: In a double-blind, randomised clinical trial, 244 healthy postmenopausal women (55 to 65 years old) were orally administered 180 μg vitamin K2 (MK-7) daily for 3 years. The results showed that vitamin K2 (MK-7) significantly improved bone strength and protects the vertebrae and the hip against osteoporosis and bone fracture (Vermeer C. et al. 2012. VitaFoods).
d) Reduce risk of bone fracture
A meta-analysis concluded that vitamin K2 plays a vital role in the maintenance and improvement of bone mineral density and the prevention of fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (Osteoporos Int. 2015. 26(3): 1175-1186). High vitamin K2 has been associated with reduced vertebral (spinal) fractures by 60%, hip fractures by 77% and all non-vertebral fractures by 81% (Arch Intern Med. 2006. 166(12): 1256-1261).