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Osteoporosis

Also indexed as:Bone Loss, Brittle Bone Disease
Stand tall against osteoporosis. No matter what your age, it's never too late to stop bone loss now for better posture and fewer fractures down the road. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Calcium
800 to 1,500 mg daily depending on age and dietary calcium intake 3 stars[3 stars]
Calcium supplements help prevent osteoporosis, especially for girls and premenopausal women. It is often recommended to help people already diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Strontium
600 to 700 mg daily under medical supervision3 stars[3 stars]
Studies indicate that supplementing with strontium may help reduce bone pain, increase bone mineral density, and reduce the risk of some fractures.
Vitamin D
400 to 800 IU daily depending on age, sun exposure, and dietary sources 3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin D increases calcium absorption and helps make bones stronger. Vitamin D supplementation has reduced bone loss in women who don't get enough of the vitamin from food and slowed bone loss in people with osteoporosis. It also works with calcium to prevent some musculoskeletal causes of falls and subsequent fractures.
Copper
2 to 3 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Copper is needed for normal bone synthesis, and one trial reported that copper reduced bone loss.
DHEA
Take under medical supervision: 50 mg per day2 stars[2 stars]
DHEA may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis. In one trial, bone mineral density increased among healthy elderly women and men who were given DHEA.
Fish Oil and Evening Primrose Oil
6 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Fish oil combined with evening primrose oil (EPO) may improve calcium absorption and promote bone formation.
Folic Acid

(High Homocysteine)
5 mg with 1,500 mcg of vitamin B12 daily2 stars[2 stars]
Homocystinuria, a condition associated with high homocysteine levels, frequently causes osteoporosis. By lowering homocysteine levels, folic acid may help prevent osteoporosis.
Ipriflavone
600 mg daily along with 1,000 mg calcium daily2 stars[2 stars]
Ipriflavone promotes the incorporation of calcium into bone and inhibits bone breakdown, thus preventing and reversing osteoporosis.
Magnesium
Adults: 250 mg up to 750 mg daily; for girls: 150 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with magnesium has been shown to stop bone loss or increased bone mass in people with osteoporosis.
Progesterone
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Preliminary evidence suggests that progesterone might reduce osteoporosis risk by promoting bone density.
Red Clover
Take an extract supplying 26 mg of biochanin A, 16 mg of formononetin, 1 mg of genistein, and 0.5 mg of daidzein per day2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, supplementing with isoflavones from red clover reduced the amount of bone loss from the spine by 45%, compared with a placebo.
Vitamin B12

(High Homocysteine)
1,500 mcg with 5 mg of folic acid daily2 stars[2 stars]
Homocystinuria, a condition associated with high homocysteine levels, frequently causes osteoporosis. By lowering homocysteine levels, vitamin B12 may help prevent osteoporosis.
Vitamin K
1,000 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin K is needed for bone formation, and supplementing with it may be a way to maintain bone mass.
Black Cohosh
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Black cohosh has been shown to improve bone mineral density in animals fed a low-calcium diet.
Boron
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with boron has been reported to reduce urinary loss of calcium and magnesium. However, those already supplementing with magnesium appear to achieve no additional calcium-sparing benefit when boron is added. Therefore, people with osteoporosis should supplement with magnesium or boron, not both.
Calcium and Vitamin D

(Amenorrhea)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Despite the lack of evidence that calcium and vitamin D supplements alone are helpful to amenorrheic women, they are still generally recommended to prevent the added burden of calcium and vitamin D deficiency from further contributing to bone loss.
Fish Oil
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with fish oil may improve calcium absorption and promote bone formation.
Horsetail
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Horsetail is a rich source of silicon, and preliminary research suggests that this trace mineral may help maintain bone mass.
Manganese
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A combination of minerals including manganese was reported to halt bone loss in one study. Some doctors recommend manganese to people concerned with bone mass maintenance.
Silicon
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Silicon is required in trace amounts for normal bone formation, and supplementation with silicon has increased bone mineral density in a small group of people with osteoporosis.
Vitamin B6

(High Homocysteine)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Homocystinuria, a condition associated with high homocysteine levels, frequently causes osteoporosis. By lowering homocysteine levels, vitamin B6 may help prevent osteoporosis.
Vitamin B-Complex
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one trial postmenopausal women who combined hormone replacement therapy with B vitamins and other nutrients and dietary changes increased their bone density by a remarkable 11%.
Whey Protein
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Some whey proteins may reduce bone loss. Milk basic protein (MBP) is a mixture of some of the proteins found in whey protein and has been shown to promote bone density
Zinc
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with zinc appears to be helpful in both preventing and treating osteoporosis.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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