(Health Secrets Newsletter) Practically everyone knows that calcium is vital for healthy bones. What many people are unaware of is that calcium alone is not nearly enough to insure that bones remain healthy. There are in fact a number of other vital minerals and nutrients that are essential for maintaining healthy bones, preventing bone loss and even building bone mass. There are also herbs and other items that can help build and maintain healthy bones
Bones are not made from calcium alone. They’re an amalgam that includes various minerals such as zinc, boron and copper. Foremost of the additional minerals needed for health bones is magnesium, which is actually considered to by health experts to be more important for bone health than calcium.
Magnesium is important for many, many areas of health and it is an essential co-factor for calcium. Unless you take magnesium with calcium, you body is unable to properly absorb and utilize calcium. That means that even if you get plenty of calcium, if you do not also get enough magnesium the calcium will be of limited benefit. Alarmingly, various studies and estimates have determined that anywhere from 70 to 95% of us are deficient in magnesium.
The recommended daily minimums for magnesium are 320 mg for women and 400 for men, but optimum daily amounts are more like 500 to 700 mg. It is recommended that a person take one-third to one-half as much magnesium as they do calcium each day in order to get proper benefits from both important minerals. However, thanks to our fortified foods, dairy products and calcium-buffered municipal water supplies, many of us need little or no calcium.
Boron and zinc are important by themselves for healthy bones. Plus, they and other trace minerals are also necessary for the transport and absorption of calcium. Plant derived trace minerals are the best source of trace minerals. Unlike the crushed rocks in many supplements, which are poorly absorbed and pass out through the urine, minerals already digested by plants are potentially 100% absorbable.
Vitamin D3 has been proven in many studies to be extremely valuable for maximum bone health. One should aim for a bare minimum of at least 600 international units of vitamin D3 per day (three times the Recommended Dietary Allowance), and for therapeutic use aim for even more. Vitamin K is also important. It activates a protein found in bones, call osteocalcin, which holds calcium molecules in place. Healthy Brussels sprouts are a good dietary source of Vitamin K.
Silica (from horsetail and/or shavegrass) works with calcium to maintain strong bones and is especially effective in combination with GTF. GTF Chromium (which stands for Glucose Tolerance Factor Chromium) is made by fermenting nutritional yeast with chromium.