Source: International Journal of Medical Sciences
If you are a woman over forty, you may be starting to worry about bone health. Everyone loses bone as they age. By the time a women is told she has osteoporosis, her gradual loss of bone mass has been progressing for years. Men lose bone too, but
only about half as fast as women. Medically speaking, osteoporosis is characterized by low bone density and structural deterioration of bone tissue.1 The soft spongy bone in the wrists, hips, and spine are the most vulnerable to osteoporosis and prone to breakage as a result.
Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine” vitamin because it is formed in the body by the action of the sun’s ultraviolet rays on the skin. The fat-soluble vitamin is converted in the kidneys to the hormone calcitriol, which is actually the most active form of vitamin D. The effects of this hormone are targeted at the intestines and bones. Decreased vitamin D intake along with not enough sunlight exposure can cause a vitamin D deficiency. Other causes could be inadequate absorption and impaired conversion of vitamin D into its active form. When vitamin D deficiency occurs, bone mineralization is impaired which leads to bone loss. Rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, crohn’s disease and cancer are associated with vitamin D deficiency.
A Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) study was conducted to compare changes in bone mineral density by following one of three bone health plans. Researchers tested 414 women over 40 years of age and 176 of the women agreed to participate in the study and to follow one of the three programs. One Plan contained a bone-health supplement with 1,000 IUs of vitamin D3 and 750 mg of a plant-sourced form of calcium for one year. The other two Plans contained the same plant form of calcium, but with differing amounts of vitamin D3 and other added bone health ingredients along with components designed to increase physical activity and health literacy also for one year.
The results were all three treatment groups with above average compliance experienced significantly greater increases in bone mineral density in comparison to the two expected-change reference groups. The group following the most nutritionally comprehensive Plan outperformed the other two groups. These findings suggest increased compliance with the Plans resulted in increased BMD levels. There were no adverse effects in the blood chemistry tests, self-reported quality of life or daily tracking reports. The authors stated “The Plans tested suggest a significant improvement over the traditional calcium and vitamin D3 standard of care.”
Kaats GR, Preuss HG, Croft HA, et al. A Comparative Effectiveness Study of Bone Density Changes in Women Over 40 Following Three Bone Health Plans Containing Variations of the Same Novel Plant-sourced Calcium. Int J Med Sci. Mar2011;8(3):180-91.