Bone Basics Changes in posture and gait are as universally associated with aging as changes in the skin and hair. Posture and gait are centered on the health of the 206 bones that comprise the human skeleton. These bones do not directly contact each other as they are connected (and cushioned) by the cartilage, membranes, and fluid that comprise the joints.As people age, bone mass and/or density is gradually lost, especially in women after menopause. The bones lose calcium, magnesium and other minerals, making the bones thinner in a process referred to as osteopenia. Osteopenia, over time and further bone loss, leads to full-blown osteoporosis. Minerals such as calcium are constantly being added to and taken away from bone. When these minerals are taken away faster than they can be added, (a process that accelerates with age) the bones become lighter, less dense, and more porous. This makes the bones weaker and increases their risk of fracture. Bone Mineral Density (BMD) tests can measure the extent of this process with regular x-rays, but such tests cannot measure any mild onset of osteopenia. In fact, a bone must lose at least a quarter of its weight before a regular X-ray can detect the problem.Maintaining Bone Health: a one-a-day may not cover itThe thicker the bones are, the less likely a person is to suffer a fracture and the longer it takes to develop osteopenia and later osteoporosis. This is the most plausible explanation why post-menopausal women comprise 80% of osteoporosis sufferers. Maintaining a high level of Bone Mineral Density (BMD) is therefore a point of order for this demographic, not to mention anyone else for whom bone health is a concern.Traditional methods of maintaining bone health correlate with the efforts of health conscious individuals who supplement with a daily multi-vitamin/multi-mineral. Users of such an essential supplement (combined with a sensible diet) often assume that it covers something as elemental as bone health. The fact of the matter is that people in the high-risk demographic for developing osteopenia likely have a higher need for certain specific essential nutrients, especially minerals. Of these, calcium is certainly one of the most familiar. Most recommended daily allowances for calcium stand at around 1,000 milligrams, although 1,500 milligrams are recommended for those in the osteopenia high risk group. Even with the effects of processing taken into account, calcium is still prevalent to such a degree in common dairy foods such as milk and cheese that deficiencies are not as widespread as that of other minerals. Nevertheless, deficiencies do occur, and it is noteworthy to remember that even the finest multi-vitamin/multi-mineral one-a-days rarely contain more than 300 milligrams of calcium.Another nutrient essential to bone health is vitamin D. Vitamin D is the single most important factor in the absorption of calcium. A superior form of vitamin D is vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol), a colorless crystalline compound found in fish-liver oils. Research has shown that cholecalciferol is the preferred, active form of vitamin D in the body. Although humans are fully capable of endogenous vitamin D production, this is dependent upon adequate exposure to the UVB rays in sunlight, making a constant, steady intake of this vitamin difficult for high-risk demographics who are often confined indoors. This is compounded by the lack of sunlight in the winter months and in more extreme latitudes, further underlying the importance of supplementation. Clinical trials show that calcium supplementation provides better results when combined with vitamin D at doses greater than 300 IU per day.Magnesium is another mineral commonly associated with the maintenance of bone health, which is very easy to fathom when one considers that two-thirds of the body's magnesium stores are located in our bone structure. Much of the magnesium within this bone structure is part of the bone's crystal lattice (which can metaphorically be referred to as the "bone scaffolding") where it binds together with the minerals phosphorus and calcium. Magnesium on its own has been shown to slow the rate of bone turnover, which is when the growth of new bone is outpaced by the degeneration of old. Magnesium shortages result in the reduced assimilation of vitamin D as well as the inhibition of parathyroid hormone, leading to low blood calcium levels. Magnesium also seems to work synergistically with MCHC (see below) by helping to form smaller, denser, microcrystalline hydroxyapatite crystals, providing yet another avenue for strong bone development. In a two-year, open, controlled trial, 71% of women receiving magnesium supplements experienced increased bone mineral density where as the women not receiving supplements suffered bone loss. The amount of magnesium in even the highest quality multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplements is still well below levels which researchers believe are needed for prevention in high risk demographics.Several other minerals have also been identified as co-factors for enzymes involved in bone metabolism - notably zinc, copper, and manganese. The latter is essential for the proper function of the osteoblast cells that are responsible for building new bone. Manganese also increases the activity of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase and as well as growth factors such as estrogen and IGF-1 in a manner that is directly pertinent to these osteoblast cells. Copper is essential for producing an enzyme called lysyl oxidase which cross-links (strengthens) collagen. Zinc, in turn, is essential for the operation of copper, since unbalanced zinc intake can reduce copper absorption.There are also certain nutrients that are especially noted for their effects on bone integrity. These include Ossein Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite Complex (MCHC) and glucosamine hydrochloride (HCI). MCHC is a freeze-dried extract of bovine bone, and this process of lyophilization is important in retaining the intact microcrystalline structure of whole bone. This is a significant differentiation from regular bonemeal, which uses a heat-treated process called "ashing". Many of the unique bone-building factors of MCHC are heat-sensitive and simply do not survive this process, and this has been demonstrated in clinical studies comparing MCHC directly to bonemeal. Furthermore, the ideal source for MCHC would be pasture-fed, free-range livestock not subjected to routine antibiotics or recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). This would not only insure that the widest possible range of micronutrients within the whole bone extract would survive the manufacturing process, but it would also provide assurances against bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly referred to as mad cow disease. The most reputable sources of such livestock appear to be from Australian, New Zealand and Argentine pastures, where local legislation and/or custom either prohibits, limits or discourages routine antibiotics and recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). MCHC is, in effect, a full-spectrum multiple nutrient source in its own right. However, it is particularly rich in calcium, and the type of calcium in MCHC has been clinically proven in over 30 years of randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trials to be the best calcium source for bone building and maintenance. Other calcium sources such as calcium gluconate, calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, calcium citrate-malate and even coral calcium (which in fact is simply calcium carbonate with a sprinkling of trace minerals) may be capable of slowing down the rate of bone loss. MCHC, in contrast, has actually been proven to halt and even reverse bone loss attributable to osteoporosis.Glucosamine is an aminomonosaccharide, meaning that it is the product of a synthesis between glucose and an amino acid -in this case glutamine. Glucosamine is produced naturally in the body by chondrocytes in cartilage to help maintain and build healthy joint tissue. The main basic purpose of glucosamine is to create long chains of modified disaccharides called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which the joints and cartilage require for repair. The GAGs are the main component of proteoglycans (PGs), which along with chondrocytes and collagen, make up cartilage. Glucosamine is also converted in the body to N-acetyl-glucosamine, which in turn is critical to the formation of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is the central component of synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant in the joints.PrecedentIn 2005 AOR established a strong precedent in the field of preventative bone health with the introduction of a product called Calcium Magnesium Plus®. This product was exceptionally well received by health professionals and consumers alike. In keeping with AOR's policy of distinction via innovation, Bone Basics was developed as a new and improved successor to this original product. Bone Basics is a complete bone health formula, including calcium, magnesium and many other key nutrients to help support the maintenance of healthy bones. The formula also includes Vitamin K as menatetrenone. Menatetrenone (MK-4) is a form of vitamin K2 that is naturally produced by the body from vitamin K1. Recent studies have suggested that vitamin K2 is better absorbed and persists longer in the plasma then vitamin K1. Studies have also shown that it also has greater benefits to the skeletal and vascular systems than vitamin K1. Vitamin K is important for bone health as it is able to regulate calcium through the amino acid gamma-carboxyglutamic acid (Gla), and in particular the protein osteocalcin, which helps maintain calcium in bone, but at the same time keeps it out of soft tissue.Another ingredient included in Bone Basics is boron, a mineral that at long last is in the process of being officially recognized as ‘essential'. Boron's role regarding bone health appears to be mediated by its ability to reduce the urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium, thus enhancing vitamin D as well (which is directly interdependent with calcium). Boron's mechanism of action takes place in the kidney. In a clinical study among 12 post-menopausal women not on estrogen replacement therapy, boron was not only shown to significantly diminish urinary losses of calcium and magnesium, but it also raised levels of plasma ionized calcium, beta-estradiol, and testosterone.Finally, Bone Basics contains 1000 IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) per daily dose; this is more than double the amount of this essential vitamin than included in the original Calcium Magnesium Plus® formula. Bone Basics has been formulated based on the latest research in the field. The innovative combination of ingredients in Bone Basics makes it a complete formula for the support and maintenance of optimal bone health.ReferencesCastelo-Branco C, Pons F, Vicente JJ, Sanjuan A, Vanrell JA. "Preventing postmenopausal bone loss with ossein-hydroxyapatite compounds. Results of a two-year, prospective trial." J Reprod Med. 1999 Jul; 44(7): 601-5.Ruegsegger P, Keller A, Dambacher MA. "Comparison of the treatment effects of ossein-hydroxyapatite compound and calcium carbonate in osteoporotic females." Osteoporos Int. 1995 Jan; 5(1): 30-4.Stepan JJ, Mohan S, Jennings JC, Wergedal JE, Taylor AK, Baylink DJ. "Quantitation of growth factors in ossein-mineral-compound." Life Sci. 1991; 49(13): PL79-84.Annefeld M, Caviezel R, Schacht E, Schicketanz KH. "The influence of ossein-hydroxyapatite compound ('Ossopan') on the healing of a bone defect." Curr Med Res Opin. 1986; 10(4): 241-50.Stellon A, Davies A, Webb A, Williams R. "Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite compound in prevention of bone loss in corticosteroid-treated patients with chronic active hepatitis." Postgrad Med J.1985 Sep; 61(719): 791-6.Epstein O, Kato Y, Dick R, Sherlock S. "Vitamin D, hydroxyapatite, and calcium gluconate in treatment of cortical bone thinning in postmenopausal women with primary biliary cirrhosis." Am J Clin Nutr 1982 Sep; 36(3): 426-30.Ruegsegger P, Dambacher MA. "Therapy of osteoporosis with an ossein-hydroxyapatite compound evaluated with quantitative computed tomography." J Bone Miner Res. 1987 Jun; 2(Suppl1): A325.Durance RA, Parsons V, Atkins CJ, Hamilton EB, Davies C. "A trial of calcium supplements (Ossopan) and ashed bone." Clin Trials J. 1973 Nov; 10(3): 67-73.Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, et al: Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in post-menopausal women. FASEB J 1:394-7, 1987.
Bone Basics (AOR)