(NaturalNews) At least half of Americans over the age of 50 are at risk of developing osteoporosis, according to the Surgeon General of the United States. Ten million people already have the disease, and another 34 million are at risk, notes the same report. Calcium and other minerals and vitamins are important to bone health; however, not all forms of calcium areequal.
Bone loss begins around the age of 35 and continues throughout life. Osteoporosis occurs because of an inadequate amount of calcium intake or poor absorption. The body seeks the most accessible source for this important mineral and leeches calcium from your bones, causing the disease. Because calcium and other minerals are critical to healthy bone maintenance, it's important to diagnose the problem early and correct it through changes in diet and calcium supplementation. The question is, which calcium supplement provides the best protection and at what dosage?
Although many foods supply various calcium salts, human and animal bones are the only natural source of calcium hydroxyapatite. According to The Weston A. Price Foundation, the most efficacious calcium hydroxyapatite is microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate -- also called MCHC -- which is extracted from the raw bones of free-range cattle from New Zealand. These cows are raised with no exposure to antibiotics, pesticides, hormones or other toxic chemicals. To maintain its full spectrum of nutrients and minerals, the bone extract needs to be processed at very low temperatures. This kind of calcium is significantly more usable by the body and much easier to absorb.
Magnesium and boron
Most calcium supplements, including MCHC, have various amounts of magnesium and boron added, which increase absorption. Magnesium is needed to produce energy, cellular replication, and to help form proteins in the body. It reduces blood pressure, enhances heart function, lessens cramping in muscles, and supports the regulation of calcium metabolism. Certain types of magnesium are more easily absorbed such as magnesium aspartate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium oxide. Look for these in supplements combined with MCHC.
Boron is needed for the development of healthy bones and joints. It works with magnesium to regulate calcium absorption and metabolism by regulating the body's steroid hormones, such as cortisol and vitamin D. Both minerals are necessary for proper calcium metabolism and a strong skeleton.
Calcium absorption and food
A mere 30 percentof calcium consumed in our food is actually absorbed, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT). Calcium absorption is inhibited by various factors including the type of calcium consumed, as well as the presence of aluminum, which enters your body through aluminum-clad cookware, antiperspirants, antacids, foil and possibly from chem trails crisscrossing the sky.
Many of the best sources of calcium originate in our foods, not from supplements. Soups and broths made from bone are best because they provide MCHC; followed by whole raw milk, raw milk products, sea vegetables such as kelp, Celtic sea salt, brewer's yeast, green leafy vegetables and molasses.
Most calcium supplements should be taken with food for maximum absorption. MIT notes that taking several doses in smaller amounts throughout the day helps ensure absorption. The Weston A. Price Foundation suggests consuming 500 milligrams of MCHC at a time each day and doubling or tripling that amount if you don't have access to raw milk. Look for a supplement that includes boron and magnesium to obtain the correct mineral balance for the most optimal results. Additionally, taking a vitamin D supplement daily helps to round out the beneficial effects of calcium for bone health. Always consult a health practitioner before adjusting dosage of vitamins and minerals.
JB Bardot is an herbalist and a classical homeopath, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine. You can find her at The JB Bardot Archives at www.jbbardot.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jbbardot23 or on Twitter at jbbardot23 or https://twitter.com/jbbardot23