I have been working on this month's issue for some time. I hope you will find it useful
First, if your copy of this newsletter comes all jumbled together, simply scroll to the end of this email, click on the BACK ISSUES button and you will be able to read the newsletter just as I send it out - with paragraphing, spacing etc.
Second, this month you will find:
1. Vitamin D in Osteopenia treatments...how to protect yourself.
2. Calcium in the news again...a review and some comments.
3. New button on the www.osteopenia3.com web site.
1. Newest fashion in Osteopenia treatments. Every few months the media does a splurge on some Anti-Aging, Osteopenia or Osteoporosis or idea. A few years ago it was coral
calcium, a form of calcium used by people in Okinawa who are among the longest lived people on earth. Some folks said: Okinawans have strong bones, great longevity
and since they use coral calcium, then so should we. But what they did NOT say is that most Okinawans ate a traditional diet, did physical labor AND have strong social networks. (You can read all about Okinawans in a book called THE BLUE ZONES which analyzes life styles in places where where longevity is the norm.) Eventually the FDA went after the main marketer for coral calcium and the whole thing began to die down.
Vitamin D and its use in reversing bone loss has been a new media item. Many people have started taking large doses of Vitamin D supplements. But what the media stories do NOT say is that too much Vitamin D can harm your health...
Potential ill effects of excessive intake. Too much Vitamin D can cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. More seriously it can also raise blood levels of calcium, causing mental status changes, confusion and heart rhythm abnormalities.
There are other negatives with too much Vitamin D. Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia studied 2,256 women ages 70 and older to see if giving them a large dose of vitamin D once a year would reduce their risk of falls and fractures. .. . the researchers found that the women who got the vitamin D experienced 15 percent more falls and 26 percent more fractures than those who got a placebo.
Now,please understand. I am not saying to avoid Vitamin D. But what I want to suggest is that you get your Vitamin D levels checked by your health care provider (blood test)
BEFORE you start mega dosing on Vitamin D. Also when calculating your daily intake remember to check your food sources as well as supplement doses. (I have been working on revisions for the osteopenia3.com web site. It should have food sources, revised recommended Vit. D amounts etc. I hope to have this complete by Tomorrow [Friday] but may get it done today
Your Vitamin D blood test may show you have low levels and need greater supplementation. Do follow your health care providers advice. But please do not exceed recommended doses on your own.,,,no matter what you read on the Internet. You could be doing more harm than good.
2. Calcium - suddenly calcium is in the news again. Researchers published an article in a British medical journal about an experiment in which they gave extra calcium to older women and they found that those getting the calcium had more heart attacks than those not getting the calcium.
So what are we to make of this?
1. This is not NEW news. These same researchers published such a study in 2008.
2. If you read the COMMENTS section you saw a reply from researchers at Creighton University which said in essence, Not so fast. We did a similar study (published) but we gave participants Vit D as well as calcium and there was no such increase in heart problems.
3. In reading the study I saw nothing about increasing magnesium levels in the participants to balance out the additional calcium. Calcium and magnesium need to be kept in balance (potassium too). All are necessary for our hearts but to knock that balance out of whack is to court disaster. ...including cardiac problems.
I taught medical ethics for many years and as I read the study I thought, I sure hope these researchers advised the subjects of the need to increase their magnesium intake!
4. Let's review some things we have said before
A. Your body needs to be in balance - homeostasis is the word. Too much of anything is not good. (You can check the recommended intake of calcium on the web site...as well as reviews of various supplements. I have always suggested
using supplements which have had scientific studies of their effectiveness. You may pay a bit more BUT in the long run you have some assurance about their effects.)
B. We need to consider our food intake...as well as supplements. This is important. A personal experience - over the last year or so my quarterly blood tests were showing high calcium. My health care providers were concerned since this can be a sign of parathyroid problem - which can create all sorts of other problems....including bone loss.
Serendipitously I thought, well I have changed my diet to more plant based. Maybe I do not need the bone building supplement I have used for years. So I stopped it. Next blood test was normal. Then this year, I saw that supplement bottle in my cabinet and thought I have not taken that for a year...maybe I should finish it up. You guessed it, next blood test showed high calcium and high parathyroid. (My new health care provider was more than a little concerned. I said, let's wait for a month and retest.) I stopped the supplement. Next blood test was normal. Clearly my change in diet
changed my need for supplements. And lucky for me blood tests showed it. I could have run into major problems - including bone loss - with my parathyroid out of balance.
C. If you are taking calcium supplements, remember that your body can absorb no more than 500 mg of calcium at a time. If you are eating a meal with calcium rich foods such as vegetables, greens, figs etc. (There is a Calcium Foods page on the web site] you may be getting 250-400 mg with your meal. Of course not all is absorbed...you do need other things to enable absorption. (Again reread the web site)
But if you take too much calcium, it either winds up in the toilet...or may line your blood vessels and contribute to other health problems such as cardiac problems.
Goodness, I do not mean to sound shrill. BUT please, educate
yourself - especially if you are using supplements. Yes, it takes a long time to read so many pages BUT it is your body. AND your body needs to be in 'homeostasis' (read that as 'balance') - too much of anything, even 'good things' can upset that balance.
Remember this is not just supplements. If you eat food, you need to take the minerals in your food into account when adding supplements. If you are trying to build bone, for example,
you want to be sure you are getting necessary trace minerals as well as other vitamins and minerals.
GET TESTED if your health care provider agrees. Finding out your blood calcium, vitamin D (and even B12) etc. is as easy as a simple blood test. If you have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, it might be worth finding out where you stand....especially if you are taking supplements
AND IF YOU WANT TO AVOID FRACTURES, you need to practice balance and co-ordination... . And then there are the weight bearing exercises that stimulate your osteoblasts to build bone. Question: when was the last time you got out of a chair without using your hands?
Reversing bone loss is a whole body, a whole life style activity.
3. Several people have asked if I take donations. This month I decided I would. Some of the businesses which offer me a small % of any sales that come through the web site (affiliate programs - See the financial disclosure page) have been offering readers discounts, free shipping etc. if they buy directly from the company and not use the Osteopenia3.com web site. That's business. But I need to generate some income from this web site. So.....
I just added a DONATE button to the NAVIGATION bar. It allows you to donate using using a credit card through Pay Pal - one of the safest payment sites on the Internet.
Now, I know times are tough. I am not begging. But I will appreciate even a small donation made each year. (I'd like to earn more than $5 a hour for this work.)
Be well. Be happy. Walk a mile, sing and laugh every day. It is good for your health and makes for a more pleasant community.
PS Again, please do ask me for personal medical advice. It is against the law for me to give medical advice to anyone. I am an infopreneur - not a licensed medical provider. Thanks for understanding.