Calcium for Osteoporosis

femMED Bone Health is a source of five ingredients, specially formulated to promote the maintenance of healthy bones and aid in the prevention of bone resorption, joint pain and osteoporosis. These ingredients include: Calcium, Magnesium, Glucosamine, Vitamin K, and Vitamin D. This product is also an excellent source of calcium and helps to prevent Vitamin D deficiency.

Calcium for Osteoporosis

• The most abundant mineral in the body; essential for building and maintaining bones and teeth; required for muscle contractions and nerve function; regulates blood pressure, blood vessel contractions, and clotting; involved in enzyme reactions.

• Used for the prevention of osteoporosis, colorectal cancer, pre-eclampsia, and lead toxicity and the treatment of high blood pressure.

• Deficiency can occur with poor diet, abnormal parathyroid function (gland that regulates blood calcium levels), kidney failure, and vitamin D or magnesium deficiency.

• Symptoms of deficiency include bone loss and weakening, muscle cramps, heart palpitations, tooth decay, back and leg pain, insomnia, nervous disorders, and rickets (bone deformities in children).

• Drugs that deplete calcium: cimetidine, ranitidine, omeprazole, aluminum antacids, corticosteroids, cholestyramine, mineral oil, phenytoin, and furosemide.

• A high intake of sodium (salt), protein, phosphorus (soft drinks and food additives), or caffeine (more than 2 cups of coffee or 300 mg caffeine per day) can promote calcium losses.

• Calcium supplements may reduce the efficacy of calcium channel blockers (drugs used to lower blood pressure); use with thiazide diuretics increases the risk of hypercalcemia (high blood calcium levels); calcium supplements may reduce absorption of antibiotics (tetracycline, quinolones), bisphosphonates (osteoprosis drugs), and levothyroxine (thyroid hormone).

• It is difficult to meet the RDA through diet alone unless dairy intake is high. Most multivitamin/mineral supplements provide a small amount of calcium because it is quite bulky. Therefore, a separate calcium supplement may be necessary, especially for those at risk of osteoporosis and those with high blood pressure.

• There are several forms of calcium: Carbonate provides the highest amount of calcium (40 percent) and is inexpensive; citrate provides 21 percent calcium, but may be better absorbed in the elderly and those taking acid-lowering drugs.

• To maximize absorption, take no more than 500 mg of elemental calcium at one time, take with meals, and ensure adequate vitamin D intake (as this is required for calcium absorption).

• Separate calcium-rich foods and supplements by two hours from iron supplements (calcium reduces iron absorption); avoid drinking tea with meals, as the tannins in tea reduce calcium absorption.

• Some vegetables contain chemicals that inhibit the absorption of calcium, such as oxalic acid, which is found in raw spinach, rhubarb, sweet potato, and dried beans. Cooking these foods releases calcium that is bound to oxalic acid, thus improving the amount you can absorb. Phytic acid, which is found in wheat bran or dried beans, also reduces calcium absorption.

Magnesium

• Required for nerve and muscle function, formation of bones and teeth, synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione, cell membranes, and body temperature regulation; involved in energy production, numerous enzyme reactions, and synthesis of DNA and RNA.

• Used to prevent heart disease and in the treatment of high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, migraine headaches, and asthma.

• Deficiency is uncommon, but may occur in those with poor diets, malabsorption syndromes (celiac disease), Crohn’s disease, intestinal surgery or inflammation, kidney disease, diabetes, alcoholism, and in the elderly due to reduced absorption.

• Marginal deficiency (consuming less than the RDA) is common and is estimated to affect 75 percent of people.

• Symptoms of deficiency: muscle cramps and spasms, weakness, insomnia, poor appetite, kidney stones, osteoporosis, nervousness, irritability, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.

• Drugs that deplete magnesium: furosemide, hydrochlorothiazine, cholestyramine, and oral contraceptives.

• Other interactions: Magnesium reduces absorption of digoxin, nitrofurantoin, anti-malarial drugs, quinolone antibiotics, tetracycline, chlorpromazine, alendronate, and etidronate, so separate intake of magnesium from these foods by two hours.

• High doses of zinc (greater than140 mg/day) reduce magnesium absorption.

• It is difficult to meet the RDA through diet alone; therefore, a multivitamin/mineral supplement is recommended. Certain individuals may require an additional magnesium supplement.

Vitamin D

• Regulates calcium and phosphorus levels and promotes absorption of calcium for osteoporosis prevention ; involved in insulin secretion; supports immune function; regulates blood pressure.

• Vitamin D can be produced in the skin upon exposure to sunlight or must be obtained from the diet.

• Used to prevent and treat osteoporosis, psoriasis, autoimmune disease, and to reduce the risk of cancer.

• Deficiency occurs with inadequate dietary intake, limited sun exposure, kidney or liver disease, and alcoholism. Elderly, dark-skinned, obese people, or those with inflammatory bowel disease and fat-malabsorption syndromes (celiac disease and cystic fibrosis) are also at greater risk.

• Deficiency causes rickets (weak, deformed bones) in children, osteomalacia (soft bones) and osteoporosis in adults, dental problems, muscle weakness, and tooth decay.

• Drugs that deplete vitamin D: carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, cimetidine, ranitidine, cholestyramine, colestipol, orlistat, and mineral oil.

• Since vitamin D is found in few foods and at low amounts, a supplement is recommended for most people. Most multivitamins provide 400 IU (10 mcg). Those with limited sun exposure, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and those over age 65 should consider additional vitamin D.

Vitamin K

• Essential for blood clotting; required for bone formation and cell growth.

• Ensures absorption of calcium for osteoporosis osteoporosis.

• Deficiency is rare in adults and causes impaired blood clotting; it is more common in newborns and can cause severe bleeding. Injections of vitamin K1 are typically given to newborns.

• Symptoms of deficiency include easy bruising and bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums, blood in the urine or stool, or heavy menstrual bleeding).

• Drugs that deplete: antibiotics, aspirin, phenytoin, phenobarb, cholestyramine, colestipol, orlistat, and mineral oil.

• High intake of vitamin K from foods or supplements can reduce the efficacy of blood-thinning drugs (warfarin).

• Most people get adequate vitamin K from the diet and/or a multivitamin.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine occurs naturally in the body and is a building block used to manufacture components of cartilage, the material that cushions joints. Numerous studies have found that it can improve osteoarthritis symptoms (joint pain, mobility); it may also prevent the progression of the disease. Preliminary research suggests possible benefits for irritable bowel syndrome. It is well tolerated, but may cause mild upset stomach.