Skeleton Pirate

Skeleton Pirate
Artist: LindaB


Have you experienced, or read about, negative, and even dangerous, side effects from Fosamax (alendronate), Boniva (ibandronate), Actonel (risedronate), and other bisphosphonates prescribed for osteoporosis? If you have, then rest assured there is a safe, effective treatment for this condition. Strontium, primarily in the form of strontium citrate, is taken orally once a day.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Modifiable Risk Factors for Osteoporosis and Fractures

Most modifiable risk factors, which arise primarily because of unhealthy diet or lifestyle choices, directly impact bone biology and result in a decrease in bone mineral density (BMD). Some modifiable risk factors also increase the risk of fracture independently of their effect on bone itself.

The good news is everyone can take steps to reduce these risk factors for osteoporosis and related fractures.
Modifiable risk factors include:
People with excessive alcohol consumption (>2 units daily) have a 40% increased risk of sustaining any osteoporotic fracture, compared to people with moderate or no alcohol intake. High intakes of alcohol cause secondary osteoporosis due to direct adverse effects on bone-forming cells, on the hormone that regulates calcium metabolism and poor nutritional status (calcium, protein and vitamin D deficiency)1.
People with a past history of cigarette smoking and people who smoke are at increased risk of any fracture, compared to non-smokers2.
Low Body Mass Index
Leanness (body mass index (BMI) less than 20 kg/m2) regardless of age, sex and weight loss, is associated with greater bone loss and increased risk of fracture. People with a BMI of 20kg/m2 have a two-fold increased risk of fracture compared to people with a BMI of 25 kg/m2
Poor nutrition
When insufficient calcium is absorbed from dietary sources, the body produces more parathyroid hormone, which boosts bone remodeling, mobilizing osteoclasts in the bone to break down and sacrifice bone calcium to supply the nerves and muscles with the mineral they need. There are indications that protein is also important in that it may act synergistically with vitamin D and calcium.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D is also essential, since it helps calcium absorption from the intestines into the blood. Vitamin D is made in our skin with exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. In most people casual exposure to the sun for as little as 10-to-15 minutes a day is usually sufficient. However in elderly people, people who do not go outdoors, and during the winter months in northern latitudes, food or supplemental sources of vitamin D is of importance. At least 800 international units of vitamin D and 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium daily can protect against osteoporosis3.
Eating disorders
Osteoporosis can also be compounded by eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
Estrogen deficiency
Estrogen deficiency in women afflicted by these disorders speeds up bone loss in a similar way to that which occurs in post-menopausal women, but to make matters worse, these diseases reduce the robust build up of bone mineral density that usually occurs in adolescence and early adulthood. This may be related to both hormone imbalance and nutritional factors.
Insufficient exercise
People with a more sedentary lifestyle are more likely to have a hip fracture than those who are more active. For example, women who sit for more than nine hours a day are 50% more likely to have a hip fracture than those who sit for less than six hours a day. Read more about the role of exercise in bone health.
Frequent falls
Visual impairments, loss of balance, neuromuscular dysfunction, dementia, immobilization, and use of sleeping pills which are quite common conditions in elderly persons, significantly increase the risk of falling and accordingly increase the risk of fracture. Ninety percent of hip fractures result from falls4.

  1.  Kanis JA, Johnell O, Odén A, Johansson H, De Laet C, Eisman JA, Fujiwara S, Kroger H, McCloskey, Mellstrom D, Melton LJ III, Pols H, Reeve J, Silman A, Tenehouse A. Smoking and fracture risk: a meta-analysis. Osteoporosis Int. 2005;16:155-62
  2. Kanis JA. Johansso H, Johnell O, Odén A, De Laet C, Eisman J, Pols H, Tenenhouse A. Alcohol intake as a risk factor for fracture. Osteoporosis Int 2005;16:737-42
  3. Dawson-Hughes B, Heaney RP, Holick MF, et al. (2005) Estimates of optimal vitamin D status. Osteoporos Int 16:713-716
  4. Woolf AD, Akesson K. Preventing fractures in elderly people. BMJ 2003; 327:89-95

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Wandering Skeleton

Wandering Skeleton
Artist: Joel Hoekstra

Osteoporotic Bone

Osteoporotic Bone

How Strontium Builds Bones

Strontium is a mineral that tends to accumulate in bone. Studies have shown that oral doses of strontium are a safe and effective way to prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Doses of 680 mg per day appear to be optimal. See my "For More Information About Strontium" links section.

Osteoporosis is caused by changes in bone production. In healthy young bones there is a constant cycle of new bone growth and bone removal. With age, more bone is removed and less new bone is produced. The bones become less dense and thus more fragile.

Scientists believe that strontium works in two ways. It may stimulate the replication of pre-osteoblasts, leading to an increase in osteoblasts (cells that build bone). Strontium also directly inhibits the activity of osteoclasts (cells that break down bone). The result is stronger bones.

When taking strontium, be sure to take 1200 mg calcium, 1000 IU vitamin D3, and 500 mg magnesium daily. It is best to take strontium late at night on an empty stomach. Calcium and strontium may compete with each other for absorption if taken together.