Bone Density Success

May 30, 2012 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

Recently, a client of mine experienced a very positive response to a natural regimen I recommended for improving skeletal health. Today’s column highlights the basic principles my client used to turn the tide from losing bone to gaining it. I can’t promise that others will find the same results. However, I hope that this real life example will encourage everyone concerned about osteoporosis to examine how they’re approaching it from a dietary, lifestyle and supplemental standpoint.

The case study is based on the experience of a 75 year woman who had a previous history using medications (Alendronate/Fosamax and Ibandronate/Boniva) to address bone loss and fracture risk. In her case, the use of both intravenous and oral bisphosphonate drugs did not result in increased bone density. In fact, the bone loss progressed despite the pharmacological intervention. What’s more, the oral forms of these medications were suspected of contributing to esophageal scarring which required two endoscopic procedures to remove.

After several failed attempts at using conventional drugs to address her bone loss, my client decided to experiment with an all-natural approach, which consisted of aerobic and resistance exercise, increased dietary protein and specific nutritional supplements. Her doctor was made aware of the changes she was making, but remained doubtful of everything but the supplemental calcium and Vitamin D. In essence, he was resigned that there wasn’t much more they could do since she had already been taking calcium and Vitamin D for many years. Much to everyone’s surprise, my client’s bone density and estimated fracture risk made an about-face after switching to a naturopathic protocol. Her latest test results indicate that her bone mineral density (BMD) improved by 2.2% and her fracture risk dropped from a peak of 16% to 12% and from 4% to 2% based on two different measures of bone integrity.

Apart from adding a bit more protein to her diet and weight training, several supplements probably contributed to this dramatic turnaround. The core of her program involves the use of: a liquid calcium and magnesium citrate product (brand: LifeTime), Biosil (a form of silica), boron, milk basic protein/”Advanced Bone Protection” (brand: Advanced Orthomolecular Research), Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone 7) and Vitamin D3. All of these components have scientific evidence to support their use in strengthening the skeletal system and beyond. In this case, most were taken according to label guidelines, with the exception of Vitamins K2 and D3. The dosage of Vitamin D was adjusted based on blood test results. MK-7, a soy-derived form of Vitamin K2, was used at a dose of approximately 200% of the current Daily Value for women – 180 mcg/day. In addition, my client is also taking a high-potency multivitamin-mineral and krill oil for general health and a few condition specific supplements for eye and joint issues.

A recently published study in the Journal of Environmental Public Health supports the outcome experienced above. In the research, a cocktail of bone supportive nutrients was found “at least as effective as bisphosphonates or strontium ranelate in raising BMD (bone mineral density) in hip, spine, and femoral neck sites” in a group of volunteers diagnosed with low BMD. The authors of the 12 month study go on to point out that no fractures were reported in those taking the micronutrient formula. And, perhaps most importantly, the nutritional regimen “also appears to show efficacy in individuals where bisphosphonate therapy was previously unsuccessful”. The product in question contains various ingredients including magnesium, DHA-rich fish oil and Vitamins K2 and D3.

From my perspective, the most inspiring aspect of this success story is the effort and faith exhibited by my client. This is someone who has a very difficult time swallowing pills, and I suggested that she take quite a few! In practical terms, this means she needed to spread out her supplement intake throughout the day. Add to this her doctors skepticism in supporting her efforts to improve her health naturally. Some might view this as reason enough to just accept osteoporosis as an inevitability. Thankfully, she didn’t. Because of her dedication, she’s found results that have amazed her doctor and vindicated her persistence. I couldn’t be happier and hope that her victory will inspire you as well.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Combination of Micronutrients for Bone (COMB) Study: Bone Density (link)

Study 2 – Association Between Vitamin K Intake from Fermented Soybeans, Natto (link)

Study 3 – Evaluation of Magnesium Intake and Its Relation with Bone Quality in (link)

Study 4 – Short-Term Oral Magnesium Supplementation Suppresses Bone Turnover(link)

Study 5 – Partial Prevention of Long-Term Femoral Bone Loss in Aged (link)

Study 6 – Choline-Stabilized Orthosilicic Acid Supplementation as an Adjunct to (link)

Study 7 – Essential Nutrients for Bone Health and a Review of their Availability (link)

Study 8 – Milk Basic Protein Increases Bone Mineral Density and Improves Bone (link)

Study 9 – A Controlled Trial of the Effect of Milk Basic Protein (MBP) (link)

Study 10 – Controlled Trial of the Effects of Milk Basic Protein (MBP) (link)

Micronutrients May Improve Bone Density Better Than Drugs

Source: J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:354151. (link)

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Exercise, Nutritional Supplements

8 Comments & Updates to “Bone Density Success”

  1. Mia B. Says:

    EXCELLENT results…grateful for them; & a huge debt of gratitude for your wise blend of non-narcotic but measureably effective options that resulted in these outcomes for this [and many other] client(s) via your prescribed knowledgeable suggestions! And double kudos to amazing the doctor…who may venture increasingly off the “main”stream & possibly paddle in a less-congested, yet smoother, pathway. 😉 Continue your quest to be a pioneer of change and helping others to trust in more natural methods. You are making a difference!

  2. JP Says:

    Many thanks, Mia B!

    I greatly appreciate your kind words and support! 🙂

    Be well!


  3. Paul F. Says:

    Hi JP,

    I am glad that Mia B. beat me with the first comment, because I could not express better my recognition for the great pioneering job you are doing.

    I think you must be commended also for your talent in persuading your client in embarking in a program that requires conviction, discipline and sacrifices. Of course the rewards are great!

    I bet she must have walked a minimum of 3 miles daily! And participated in a fitness program involving aerobics and resistance exercises.

    Today most health insurances for seniors offer free memberships in fitness programs that fit the requirements and help to maintain the discipline.

    It is my resolution to broadcast this article to all my friends and family so that they can evaluate if is worth for their wives or mothers to take the plurality of risks and side effects (not predictable) with the variety of cousin like medications just waiting for future news of spontaneous fractures or esophagous damage to come out of the closet.

    The program you propose as an alternative has side effects too: improvement of cardiovascular health, well being, avoid obesity and mantain joints suppleness! Hard to beat!

    Can you handle new clients?

    Thank you for your great job,


  4. JP Says:

    Thank you so much for your enthusiastic and generous comments, Paul!

    Your remarks about the importance of exercise – both aerobic and resistance – are spot on. It’s a very important component of any bone maintenance program.

    I always welcome new clients … especially those with mindsets similar to the lady I’ve described in this column! 😉

    Be well!


  5. JP Says:

    Update 06/08/15:

    J Pineal Res. 2015 Jun 3.

    Melatonin improves bone mineral density (BMD) at the femoral neck in post-menopausal women with osteopenia: A randomized controlled trial.

    Melatonin is known for its regulation of circadian rhythm. Recently, studies have shown that melatonin may have a positive effect on the skeleton. By increasing age, the melatonin levels decrease, which may lead to a further imbalanced bone remodeling. We aimed to investigate whether treatment with melatonin could improve bone mass and integrity in humans. In a double-blind RCT, we randomized 81 post-menopausal osteopenic women to one-year daily treatment with melatonin 1mg (N=20), or 3mg (N=20), or placebo (N=41). At baseline and after one-year treatment, we measured BMD by DXA, quantitative computed tomography (QCT), and high resolution peripheral QCT (HR-pQCT), and determined calcitropic hormones and bone markers. Mean age of the study subjects was 63 (range 56-73) years. Compared to placebo, femoral neck BMD increased by 1.4% in response to melatonin (p<0.05) in a dose-dependent manner (p<0.01), as BMD increased by 0.5% in the 1mg/d group (p=0.55) and by 2.3% (p<0.01) in the 3mg/d group. In the melatonin group, trabecular thickness in tibia increased by 2.2% (p=0.04), and vBMD in the spine by 3.6% (p=0.04) in the 3mg/d. Treatment did not significantly affect BMD at other sites or levels of bone turnover markers, however, 24h urinary calcium was decreased in response to melatonin by 12.2% (p=0.02). In conclusion, one-year treatment with melatonin increased BMD at femoral neck in a dose-dependent manner, while high dose melatonin increased vBMD in the spine. Further studies are needed to assess the mechanisms of action and whether the positive effect of night-time melatonin will protect against fractures.

    Be well!


  6. JP Says:

    Updated 1/16/16:

    Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Aug;14(4):35-48.

    Nothing Boring About Boron.

    The trace mineral boron is a micronutrient with diverse and vitally important roles in metabolism that render it necessary for plant, animal, and human health, and as recent research suggests, possibly for the evolution of life on Earth. As the current article shows, boron has been proven to be an important trace mineral because it (1) is essential for the growth and maintenance of bone; (2) greatly improves wound healing; (3) beneficially impacts the body’s use of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D; (4) boosts magnesium absorption; (5) reduces levels of inflammatory biomarkers, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α); (6) raises levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase; (7) protects against pesticide-induced oxidative stress and heavy-metal toxicity; (8) improves the brains electrical activity, cognitive performance, and short-term memory for elders; (9) influences the formation and activity of key biomolecules, such as S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)); (10) has demonstrated preventive and therapeutic effects in a number of cancers, such as prostate, cervical, and lung cancers, and multiple and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and (11) may help ameliorate the adverse effects of traditional chemotherapeutic agents. In none of the numerous studies conducted to date, however, do boron’s beneficial effects appear at intakes > 3 mg/d. No estimated average requirements (EARs) or dietary reference intakes (DRIs) have been set for boron-only an upper intake level (UL) of 20 mg/d for individuals aged ≥ 18 y. The absence of studies showing harm in conjunction with the substantial number of articles showing benefits support the consideration of boron supplementation of 3 mg/d for any individual who is consuming a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables or who is at risk for or has osteopenia; osteoporosis; osteoarthritis (OA); or breast, prostate, or lung cancer.

    Be well!


  7. JP Says:

    Updated 11/02/18:

    Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1633

    Habitual Tea Consumption and Risk of Fracture in 0.5 Million Chinese Adults: A Prospective Cohort Study

    Background: Tea consumption may have favorable effects on risk of fracture. However, little is known about such association in Chinese adults. The aim of this study was to examine the association between tea consumption and risk of hospitalized fracture in Chinese adults. Methods: The present study included 453,625 participants from the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB). Tea consumption was self-reported at baseline. Hospitalized fractures were ascertained through linkage with local health insurance claim databases. The results: During a median of 10.1 years of follow-up, we documented 12,130 cases of first-time any fracture hospitalizations, including 1376 cases of hip fracture. Compared with never tea consumers, daily tea consumption was associated with lower risk of any fracture (hazard ratio (HR): 0.88; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.83, 0.93). Statistically significant reduced risk of hip fracture was shown among daily consumers who most commonly drank green tea (HR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.65, 0.97) and those who had drunk tea for more than 30 years (HR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.52, 0.87). Our conclusions: Habitual tea consumption was associated with moderately decreased risk of any fracture hospitalizations. Participants with decades of tea consumption and those who preferred green tea were also associated with lower risk of hip fracture.

    Be well!


  8. JP Says:

    Updated 03/26/19:

    Phytother Res. 2019 Mar 24.

    Effects of French maritime pine bark extract (Oligopin®) supplementation on bone remodeling markers in postmenopausal osteopenic women: A randomized clinical trial.

    French maritime pine bark extract (FMPBE; Oligopin®), a dietary supplement, is rich in procyanidin. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of FMPBE on bone remodeling in postmenopausal osteopenic women. This randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted on 40 postmenopausal osteopenic women. Individuals were randomly assigned to either FMPBE (250 mg/day, n = 21) or placebo (250-mg starch/day, n = 19) for 12 weeks. Biochemical indices, including bone remodeling marker, were assessed before and after the intervention. After the 12-week intervention, that is, FMPBE supplementation, a significant increase in bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), procollagen type 1 amino-terminal propeptide (P1NP) levels and a significant decrease in C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTx1) were observed. Compared with the control group, FMPBE supplementation resulted in a significant increase in P1NP (0.015), BAP levels (0.001), and BAP/CTx1 ratio (p = 0.001) and a significant decrease in CTx1 levels (0.006). FMPBE supplementation for 12 weeks in postmenopausal osteopenic women produced favorable effects on bone markers. Meanwhile, further research is needed to determine whether FMPBE supplements can be used as a preventive strategy for bone loss in postmenopausal osteopenic women.

    Be well!


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