CALCIUM, EXERCISE, AND FOSAMAX AREN’T THE ANSWER FOR BONE HEALTH!
Viana Muller, PhD
When I was younger, I didn’t worry about my bones. Like many health-conscious people, I thought it was enough to eat nutritionally dense foods and take high-quality supplements. Most of us don’t realize how much our vitality and mobility later in life depend on bone health…until we start losing several inches of height or we break a hip or wrist, that is! Then doctors haul out their toolbox of “treatments,” telling us to “Take calcium!” “Get exercise!” and of course, “Here’s a prescription drug!”
World Osteoporosis Day is October 20th, making it a perfect opportunity for me to share natural tools to help you build better bones today. And, for those who already have bone health problems, I have good news. There is a remarkably effective, natural way to help rebuild better bones!
Which factors affect bone health?
Apart from genetics, calcium intake significantly affects bone health. Telling us to take calcium is misleading and confusing, however. Calcium – along with Vitamin D to aid absorption – may help slow bone loss, but doctors don’t tell us that there’s almost no evidence that supplements help us rebuild the bone we’ve already lost!
Then there’s weight-bearing exercise. Most of us don’t get enough. (We know who we are!) For sedentary types, my dear friend Ann Fonfa, noted natural health advocate and founder and president of the Annie Appleseed Project, told me about a nifty vibrating machine you stand on for around 10 minutes a day that research shows can help slow bone loss and stimulate bone replacement. Home models are available for as little as $100. (Full disclosure: neither of us sells these products!)
So, apart from supplements and exercise, is there anything can we do naturally to not only slow that rate of bone loss, but stimulate new bone growth? Yes! We can focus on hormones!
Did you know that declining estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause not only cause hot flashes and mood changes, but significantly speed up bone loss? And all men – in their 50s, 60s, or beyond – will eventually experience “andropause,” a sharp drop in testosterone, with reduced sex drive, muscle weakness, low mood, and bone loss!
There’s a third precursor hormone, made by the liver, that’s essential to everyone’s bone health: insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 actually slows bone loss and stimulates osteoblasts – bone cells that promote new bone growth — while helping balance hormone levels! IGF-1 also has a unique ability to increase estrogen and testosterone receptors, giving us greater access to these essential hormones! Unfortunately, however, IGF- levels also decline with age.
Enter maca, a cruciferous root vegetable! Specifically, our Whole World Botanicals Royal Maca® has unsurpassed abilities to help you improve estrogen and testosterone balance. Peer-reviewed studies show that maca can stop hot flashes—the clearest sign of low estrogen. And here’s the best part: as reported in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, maca increases IGF-1, and IGF-1 slows bone loss and promotes bone growth and replacement.* In fact, apart from exercise, maca is the best way to increase IGF-1. Even without this knowledge, naturopathic doctors in Peru have been successfully treating elderly fracture patients with maca for decades!
However, if you’re a woman taking Royal Maca® and don’t have complete relief from hot flashes, revisit your dosage of Royal Maca®, because hot flashes indicate that you’re losing bone cells faster than you make new bone. Remember, there aren’t upper or lower limits or a standard dosage of Royal Maca® for any condition, including hot flashes. If you need help finding your optimal dosage, contact our Product Educators at (646) 290-8651 or [email protected].
What if you’re already diagnosed with low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis? First, you may decide to resist the inevitable push to take prescription drugs like Fosamax or Boniva. These drugs interfere with the natural process of osteoclasts – bone cells that break down brittle, old bone. When old bone doesn’t dissolve, bone mass increases, but the bone is highly brittle and less likely to heal from a fracture. For that reason, these drugs aren’t recommended for long-term use. They also have a lengthy list of debilitating side effects, including pain, nausea, ulcers, jawbone disintegration, thigh fractures, and kidney problems!
Instead, you may choose to take Royal Maca® daily, to naturally improve hormonal health and help your body create new bone cells more quickly. (Remember, because Royal Maca® isn’t a medication and doesn’t even work through plant estrogen, it’s safe to take forever!)
Royal Maca® Bone & Hormone Support
Unlike at least 80% of maca supplements available in the US today, our organic Royal Maca® is grown in Peru, in natural fertilizer-enriched soil, and prepared in ways that preserve phytochemicals essential to maca’s hormone-balancing properties. For bone health, our Royal Maca® Bone & Hormone Support combines potent Royal Maca® powder with ingredients known to support bone health, including Vitamins K2 and D3, Horsetail, Strontium, Boron Amino Acid Complex, Magnesium Glycinate Chelate, and Zinc Glycinate Chelate. By contrast, virtually all other bone support products on the market offer minerals and vitamins for bone health but they are missing the key indispensable ingredient: therapeutic maca root powder!
What’s the right dosage of Royal Maca®?
Start taking two capsules, twice daily, of potent Royal Maca® Bone and Hormone Support, unless you are petite or sensitive. (If you find you can tolerate taking more Royal Maca® without experiencing side effects, supplement with additional Royal Maca® capsules or powder, without additives.) If 4 capsules a day cause side effects, try a lower dose. Your goal is to find your maximum tolerated dosage (MTD) for best results!
How do you know if you’re on the right dose of Royal Maca® for your bone health?
Apart from hot flashes during perimenopause and/or menopause, the “silent diseases“ of osteopenia and osteoporosis have no symptoms until after the damage is done. Only testing can measure bone loss – or bone improvement after treatment. Doctors favor the problematic DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan, which exposes you to low-level radiation, is expensive, and is only done annually. If you rely only on this test to evaluate your bone density, you could go a whole year taking an inadequate dosage of Royal Maca® and you’ll never know it.
Instead, choose a practitioner like a primary care physician, osteopath, or chiropractor who uses – or will refer you to someone for – an Achilles test, a safe ultrasound scan that measures bone health in your heel. After a baseline Achilles test, take Royal Maca® for at least 3 months at your MTD, then get a repeat test. If your results are inconclusive, continue at the MTD for another 3 months and retest. If Royal Maca® – along with physical activity and supplements – doesn’t improve your readings, consult your doctor.
Royal Maca® is a life-changing natural solution!
For many of our customers, this natural way of rebuilding bones is life-changing! For example, our customer Jean was diagnosed with osteoporosis after DEXA and Achilles scans. Since Jean fell into the “petite or highly sensitive” category, she started on 2 capsules a day of our Royal Maca® Bone and Hormone Support. After several weeks, she increased her dosage to 3 capsules a day, but within 5 days, breast tenderness drove her back to 2 a day. She did keep pushing the envelope, going back and forth between 2 and 3 capsules a day. After just 3 months, Jean was delighted by her follow-up Achilles scan that showed her bone density had changed her diagnosis from osteoporosis to less serious osteopenia!
Better hormone balance, more estrogen and testosterone receptors, and increased IGF-1 levels – resulting in more bone-building osteoblasts – give you a powerful, natural way to build better bones.*
Whole World Botanicals makes no drug claims for its Royal Maca® products. The FDA considers osteopenia and osteoporosis diseases, and therefore any product with claims to prevent, treat or cure diseases must be considered as a drug. Our only claim is that our Royal Maca® Bone & Hormone Support product, along with our other Royal Maca® products, supports bone health, based on the scientific evidence referred to here.