What You Should Be Doing To Ensure Bone Health . . . But Probably Are Not!
What You Should Be Doing To Ensure Bone Health . . . But Probably Are Not!
It's Easier Than You Think
It's Easier Than You Think
“Most people don't start thinking about the health of their bones until midlife or later, by which time it can be too late to do very much to protect against serious bone loss and resulting fractures.”
This is the opening line in a recent article by Jane Brody, in The New York Times. The title of the article was “To Ensure Bone Health, Start Early.” It was dated August 5, 2013.
She goes on to point out the following: “Researchers who study bone health say concern about the strength of one's bones should start in childhood and continue through adolescence, when the body builds most of the bone that must sustain it for the remaining years of life.”
“Once peak bone mass has been reached, further gains are minimal,” she continues, “so childhood through adolescence is the best time to pay attention to bone development. By age 20, girls have gained between 90 and 96 percent of their peak bone mass. For boys, the peak occurs a few years later.”
“About 26 percent of total adult bone is accrued in two years around the time that bone mass increases the most — at age 12.5 in girls and 14.1 in boys. The amount of bone added during those two years is about the same as what is typically lost in the 30 years between ages 50 and 80.”
“Lifelong studies have not been done in people, but the best available evidence strongly indicates that increasing peak bone mass in childhood by just 10 percent could delay osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women, by about 13 years.”
Now, this is valuable information. As adults, we understand how important bone health is. We have seen the devastating effect osteoporosis can have on our parents and grandparents. Some of us are experiencing the ill effects personally. Now, when we see the danger, we try to retard the damage, taking calcium supplements, prescription drugs (Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Forteo, Calcitonin, etc)–often with limited success.
No one wants their children to have the same experience. What can we do? Getting our youngsters to eat a more calcium-rich diet, or take supplements, is rarely easy. Teenagers have other concerns. Young people feel invincible. Children often have problems swallowing tablets and capsules.
For that matter, even many adults have problems swallowing tablets. Others, even though they appreciate the importance, just find it too burdensome. So what can we do?
Well, the fact is that there are many alternatives to large, hard-to-swallow calcium tablets. In fact, there are many calcium supplements that are so tasty and fun that you might have more of a problem keeping your children from taking too many than getting them to take any. As you will see, there is really no excuse these days for not providing your children with the calcium and vitamin D they need to significantly enhance their future health.
Here are some examples:
(1) How about a great tasting chocolate candy that provides 500 mg of Calcium, 40 mg Magnesium and 250 IU of vitamin D in one wafer? It comes in a dark chocolate and a milk chocolate version. I suggest the dark cholocate, as that should be a little healthier. One or two of these per day, after a meal (to enhance the absorption of the calcium) should do it for anyone who likes chocolate. Manufactured by Thompson Candy Co.
#51615 ~ Adora Calcium 500 in Dark Chocolate ~ 30 Wafers ~ List: $9.29 ~ Discount: $7.43
#51614 ~ Adora Calcium 500 in Milk Chocolate ~ 30 Wafers ~ List: $9.29 ~ Discount: $7.43
(Note: When you look up the products using the links provided, click on the "info" button at the end of each listing for more information)(2) You don’t like chocolate? Here is a delicious vanilla malt flavor chewable tablet from DaVinci Labs. “Chewable Calcium” is a multi source calcium supplement that provides 500 mg of calcium along with 150 IU’s of Vitamin D3 in each tablet.
#41162 ~ DaVinci Labs Chewable Calcium ~ 60 Tablets ~ List: $12.00 ~ Discount: $8.40
(3) What about magnesium and other trace minerals that are also essential for bone health? You might want to look at a Rainbow Light’s “Calcium Citrate Chocolate Chewable.” Three of these wafers “contain 100% of the recommended daily value of calcium as calcium citrate,” or 1,000 mg., “for strong bones and teeth, plus 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 and 500 mg of magnesium to promote calcium absorption, and bone and immune health. 500 mcg of added boron aid calcium and magnesium metabolism, plus 30 mcg of antioxidant vitamin K help block mineral depletion in your bones. Foods and herbs including alfalfa, red raspberry, cranberry and stinging nettle provide added nutrition and natural energy.”
One advantage of this product is that it contains more than just calcium and vitamin D. Another advantage is that since it utilizes the citrate form of calcium, it can be taken both with meals or between meals. If there is a disadvantage, it would be that you might need to take more tablets, but I don’t see that being a problem. In fact, the extra dosage flexibility might be desirable.
#58991 ~ Rainbow Light Calcium Citrate Chocolate Chewable ~ 45 Tablets ~ List: $18.99 ~ Discount: $14.24
(4) Another “candy-like” option is available from Nutrition Now. Their product is called “Calcium Gummy Vitamins.” According to their description, the Calcium gummies are “Made with natural flavors and colors,” and they have as much calcium as two 6 oz. glasses of milk in each delicious serving, plus vitamin D for bone support.”
It should be noted that a “serving” is two gummy vitamins. One gummy, therefor, provides 250 mg of calcium, 100 mg of phosphorous, and 500 IU of vitamin D.
As you might suspect, there is a noticeable amount of sugar in this product. Of course, most products of the type we are discussing here will have to have some sugar. It cannot be helped. If you want the product to taste good, it is hard to achieve that with sweetener. From an oral health standpoint, of course, a “gummie” formula might not be most desirable. On the other hand, if that is the only way to get a youngster to take supplemental calcium (and vitamins), the tradeoff may be well worth it.
#58744 ~ Nutrition Now Calcium Gummy Vitamins ~ 60 Gummies ~ List: $9.99 ~ Discount: $7.99
Nutrition Now has another similar product, “Rhino Gummy Calci-Bears™”. This one provides 100 mg calcium, 50 mg phosphorous and 100 IU vitamin D per gummy.
#52246 ~ Nutrition Now Rhino Gummy Calci-Bears ~ 60 Tablets ~ List $9.99 ~ Discount $7.99
(5) The last chewable supplement I will tell you about is from Bluebonnet Nutrition. They actually categorize it as a children’s formula, but as long as you are aware of the potency, and don’t mind being seen eating cute little animal shaped tablets, I would not let that put you off if you are an adult. Kids, of course, love it.
Bluebonnet wins the prize for coming up with the longest product names of anyone in the nutritional supplement industry. This product is called “Super Earth® Rainforest Animalz® Calcium Magnesium Vitamin D3 Animal-Shaped Chewables.”
Here is how they describe the product: “If children grew up in the rainforest, they’d get most of the nutrients for proper bone health and density from whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish. Nutrients that are often missing from today’s diets. Bluebonnet Super Earth® Rainforest Animalz® Calcium Magnesium & Vitamin D3 helps bridge this nutrient gap, providing absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3, super fruits and vegetables in two yummy animal-shaped chewables.”
In addition to a nice blend of fruit and veggie concentrates, one chewable tablets provides 125 mg of calcium, 25 mg of magnesium, and 100 IU of vitamin D3.
#60333 ~ Bluebonnet Calcium Magnesium &D Rainforest Chewables ~ 90 Tablets ~ List: $12.95 ~ Discount: $10.36
(6) The last category of calcium supplements that are easy to administer to youngsters is liquids. There are many good-tasting liquid calcium supplements available. Here are some examples.
Solgar has three excellent liquid calcium-magnesium-vitamin D products--blueberry, orange and strawberry flavored.
These formulations provides Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D3 in a “delicious and easy to absorb liquid form for daily supplementation.” They further describe the function of the product as follows: “Calcium provides the building blocks that help keep bones and teeth strong and healthy. It also plays a role in proper function of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Magnesium helps to regulate calcium transport and stimulates the secretion of calcitonin, a hormone that aids in the influx of calcium into bone. Vitamin D is required to promote calcium absorption, which helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D also supports a healthy immune system.”
One important advantage with a liquid product, whether intended for use by children or adults, is the ease of adjusting the dosage. These Solgar calcium-magnesium-vitamin D liquids provide 600 mg of calcium, 300 mg of magnesium and 500 IU of vitamin D3 in a one tablespoonful dose (15 ml). Using calcium as a guide, two tablespoons would provice a full 1200 mg calcium. A teaspoonful (5 ml) would provide 200 mg of calcium. Two teaspoons, 400 mg calcium. Total flexibility.
In these Solgar liquids, both the calcium and the magnesium are provides in the citrate form, so it can be taken at any time–with meals or between meals–with no concern about absorption.
#59858 ~ Solgar Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate with Vitamin D3, Natural Blueberry Flavor
#59860 ~ Solgar Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate with Vitamin D3, Natural Orange Flavor
#59861 ~ Solgar Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate with Vitamin D3, Natural Strawberry Flavor
~ 16 fl oz ~ List: $12.98 ~ Discount: $10.38
Another line of liquid calcium magnesium citrate with D liquids is availble from Bluebonnet Nutrition. Theirs comes six flavors. “Bluebonnet’s Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate Plus Vitamin D3 provides 1200 mg of calcium and 600 mg of magnesium in a 2:1 ratio, plus 800 IU of vitamin D3 from lanolin in one delicious, naturally flavored liquid formula. Available in six tasty natural flavors including blueberry, strawberry, lemon, orange, raspberry and mixed berry.”
These potencies are similar to that for Solgar’s product, above, except the vitamin D3 content is a bit lower.
#54992 ~ Bluebonnet Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate plus Vitamin D3 ~ Mixed Berry
#42226 ~ Bluebonnet Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate plus Vitamin D3 ~ Blueberry
#42298 ~ Bluebonnet Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate plus Vitamin D3 ~ Lemon
#40494 ~ Bluebonnet Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate plus Vitamin D3 ~ Orange
#50476 ~ Bluebonnet Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate plus Vitamin D3 ~ Strawberry
~ 16 fl oz ~ List: $13.50 ~ Discount: $10.80
There are several important points I hope have been made clear in this article: First, The most important time to affect your bone status in later years is when your are young. Ensuring optimal calcium, magnesium and vitamin D intake during childhood and as a young adult is critical. Once that period has passed, you are playing catch up. As pointed out in Jane Brody’s article, “. . . it should be noted that calcium consumption by adolescent girls is often seriously inadequate, compromising their ability to build strong bones that will last a lifetime.”
What does the government currently recommend? “. . . children ages 4 through 8 should consume 800 milligrams of calcium daily and those 9 through 18, 1,300 milligrams.”
As a parent, you owe it to your children to make sure they get those bone building vitamins and minerals during that time. With these easy to take supplements–candies, gummies, chewables, and liquids–it’s not that difficult.
The second point is that these products–candies, chewables, gummies, liquids, etc–are not just valuable for children. Many adults have problems swallowing tablets and capsules. These products offer an easy to swallow alternative. Others may want to lower their total supplemental daily calcium intake. These products make it easy to tailor your dosage level to exactly where you want it to be.
Finally, it is important to remember that it is not just calcium alone that builds strong bone. Magnesium and vitamin D are required as well. Other trace minerals (zinc, copper, boron, silicon, etc are necessary.) Exercise is necessary. As much as possible, a good diet should be relied on to satisfy these needs. Realistically, that is often not the case. Many of these same companies that make easy to swallow calcium supplements also make similar vitamin and mineral products. Ask the pharmacists and nutritionists at Willner Chemists for guidance in selecting the appropriate products.
~~ Please Note: the prices shown in this article were accurate at the time I wrote this. They may have changed by the time you read this. Click on the links provided to see the current price; or use the product code number to look up the current pricing on our web site, www.willner.com or when you call Willner Chemists (1-800-633-1106) ~~