Some serious facts about osteoporosis
Worldwide statistics show that at least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis, a condition affecting the bones that often leads to fractures of areas like the hips, vertebrae, and wrists. In our country alone, at least 25 million people have this serious condition.
In an effort to combat osteoporosis, many people, especially women, take calcium supplements on a regular basis. This mineral, commonly found in dairy products like milk and cheese, is well-known for its proven ability to contribute to healthy bones. In fact, the vast majority of the calcium in your body right now is hanging out in your bones, helping to keep them healthy and strong.
Which type of calcium is best?
Choosing which type of calcium to take can be daunting, as there are so many types on the market from which to choose. From the antacid Tums to oyster shell and calcium citrate, many people are uncertain if the form of calcium they are talking is really doing the job.
One form of calcium, called microcrystalline hydroxyapatite or MCHA is quickly becoming well-known as an outstanding choice for many reasons. MCHA is found in the matrix of bones and teeth and also naturally contains other minerals and nutrients to help with its absorption. This is very important, because as you might already know, not all calcium supplements assimilate into the body as readily as others so, and as a result sometimes folks must take large quantities of tablets in order to get enough calcium into their bodies.
With MCHA, this does not appear to be an issue. It has been shown to be a highly absorbable form of calcium. In addition, MCHA may actually help rebuild bone. For example, one study compared MCHA to another form of calcium. For just over a year, subjects took either MCHA or the other version. The researchers determined that the people who received the MCHA increased their cortical bone thickness by almost 12 percent! The group taking the other form of calcium did not fare as well—in fact, most ended up losing bone.
MCHA—great alone, and even better in combination with other nutrients
Calcium is certainly the most well-known nutrient for bone health, but it is by no means the only one out there that can help. Other minerals like boron, copper, magnesium and zinc may also be useful, and vitamins like C, D and K can all help as well. If you find a version of MCHA that also includes some glucosamine and an herbal remedy called horsetail, all the better. MCHA calcium, along with these extra ingredients, can all contribute to the maintenance and synthesis of healthy bone tissues and may help keep osteoporosis at bay for years to come.
Balch and Balch, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Third Edition, 2000, pages 26-27
Various internet sources