imageThere are so many reasons to want and need good strong bones. Children need strong bones as they grow. Women need strong bones as they go through menopause, to prevent osteoporosis. If you break a bone, or have surgery on your bones, you need your bones to heal quickly.  I recently had dental surgery and needed a bone graft to heal quickly. Bone healing and growth require more than just calcium. Following is a list of supplements and herbs, that can help with that process.

Calcium Citrate - 1500 mg daily – calcium comes in different forms (i.e. Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Gluconate) Different sources indicate each of these to be this most easily absorbable form.  From,what I have read, Calcium Citrate is highly absorbable, due to the acid in the “citrate”.  

Calcium requires an acidic environment to break down into small enough molecules, to be absorbed through the intestinal wall. Therefore, taking drugs such as PPIs – Proton Pump Inhibitors – which prevent acid production in the stomach, as well as taking baking soda or other products for heartburn prevention, should be avoided. When calcium (in the form of supplement or food) is consumed, it requires stomach acid to break it down before it enters the GI tract. It should be taken with food, so it is absorbed with other nutrients.

Note: Foods that are high in Calcium – Dark Leafy Greens (such as spinach, water cress, kale, turnip greens, arugula). Make sure it is NON-GMO!  Go to this link for quantities and mg of calcium/serving: http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-calcium.php

Strontium Citrate – 680 mg daily – As important for bone growth as calcium. It should not be taken with calcium, because it competes with calcium, for receptor sites, within the bone, and calcium will win every time. It should be taken on an empty stomach, at least one hour before breakfast, or three hours after the evening meal, and before or after calcium supplement.

Zinc – 50 mg daily – Encourages bone cell production by collagen formation (connective fiber in the bone).

Note: Dairy, dark leafy greens and almonds are good food sources of Zinc.

Magnesium – 420 mg daily – Works with calcium and phosphorus to transport calcium into the bone.

Note: foods high in magnesium include leafy greens, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) – 2000 mcg Daily – Helps with bone growth by balancing phosphorous and calcium to facilitate bone mineralization.

Note: sun exposure is the best way to increase Vitamin D3 levels. It helps the body produce it’s own D3.  When sun exposure is not available – especially in Winter, it is important to supplement with Vitamin D3.  Sunscreen with an SPF8 or higher totally blocks vitamin D production. Minimum sun exposure should be at least three time weekly for 15-20 minutes a day.

Phosphorus – Best obtained in foods which are high in phosphorus, however too much phosphorus causes it to migrate from the bones to the blood – Essential for proper cell function and regulation of calcium for bone growth.

Note: phosphorus can be found in many foods. Higher levels can be found in Pumpkin Seeds, cheese, eggs, fish, nuts, pork and beef.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) – 1000 mg 2-3 times daily – helps bone growth by making collagen, triggering bone cell activity, to make bones strong. Note: Vitamin C is found in many foods (notably lemons and limes) however it is difficult to measure levels of C in foods, so to get consistent levels of Vitamin C, it is recommended to take in supplement form.

Cissus Quandrangularis – 1200 mg two times daily – Clinical trials and animal studies have shown that treatment with Cissus facilitates bone reformation, leading to stronger bones. In clinical trials, Cissus shortened fracture healing time by 33-55%. Bone ossification rates were shown to be faster in animal studies.

Horsetail - 500 mg twice daily – Horsetail has high levels of silica, which converts to calcium when absorbed by the body.

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Note: I am not suggesting certain supplements, which are recommended by some, for bone building, due to health ramifications, when a patient is taking blood thinners.  Those include Omega 3 Fatty Acids (4000 mg daily) from Fish Oil and other fatty acids, and Vitamin K (150-500 mcg daily), since they tend to cause thinning of the blood.  However, patients, who are not taking blood thinners, may take these supplements.

Also of note, is that these supplements and herbs have a synergistic effect, so work best when taken in combination. However, not all of these, need to be taken to see improvement in bone healing.

That being said, the most important, for bone healing would be Calcium Citrate, Strontium, Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin D3, with phosphorus and Vitamin C close behind.  My feeling, though, is that Cissus Quadrangularis is also very important in the healing of bones and/or bone growth.

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MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The information, herein, has not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and is not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.  The information, posted here, is the opinion of the author, is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.  You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.