Osteoporosis and Calcium

Osteoporosis has become a serious problem. It used to be considered a disease that only elderly women developed, but not anymore.  It is becoming a problem for younger people, both men and women. A large part of the rise in osteoporosis is the increasing amount of acidic foods and drinks that people are taking in. As a society, we eat too much fast food and processed food and drink too many soft drinks. We don’t realize how acidic some of our food and drinks are.

Why should you care about acidity when it comes to osteoporosis? Because calcium, what makes your bones hard, is also what your body uses to balance out the pH, or acid level, in your body. If you take in a lot of acid foods then your body will pull calcium out of the bones to deal with it. Over time, that will lead to loss of bone mass and osteoporosis.

So, how do you fix the problem?  Most people already know about taking calcium to strengthen their bones. The problem with just taking calcium is that the body needs other nutrients to help use it properly. When you take large amounts of calcium without the required nutrients to help the body use it, the calcium gets flushed out of  the body through the kidneys, causing an increased risk of kidney stones. I’ll talk about the nutrients that help in a moment.

There are chemicals in some foods that prevent the body from absorbing calcium like it should. Sodium increases the amount of calcium lost through urine. Sulfate produced from burning excess protein for energy also causes calcium to be lost through the urine. The oxalate found naturally in some foods binds with calcium, preventing it from being absorbed. The phosphorous in cola and a lot of processed foods can interfere with calcium absorption. Insoluble fiber also reduces calcium absorption.  Finally, caffeine can increase urinary excretion leading to more calcium being lost.

Fortunately, there are also chemicals that aid the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is essential for the body to absorb calcium. Vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, and boron also assist the body in absorbing calcium.

As you can see, fixing bone mass problems and osteoporosis takes more than just increasing the amount of calcium that you take in. Nikken has a new calcium supplement called CalDenx that contains vitamin D, magnesium, and boron in addition to the calcium. Nikken also has another supplement, OsteoDenx, that does not contain calcium but aids in the absorption of the calcium that you get from your diet, other calcium supplements, or CalDenx.

Wayne Woodworth
Consumer of Nutritional Supplements

PS: The info about what substances inhibit and support the absorption of calcium came from an excellent article at www.emedicinehealth.com

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