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To See or Not to C

I have noticed over the years of writing articles for the journal that about a third of them are focused on things that interest me, another third on materials that are seasonally related and the last third trying to hopefully protect the public from scams, shams and misinformation. Every now and then I have the pleasure of rolling all three into one as is the topic of this article. It all started about two weeks ago when reading through a local and very popular internet blog.

Now don’t get me wrong, the site is generally informative and spot on, but this time a topic arose which I could not leave hanging. A local “health practitioner” has been overtly suggesting that osteoporosis is not caused by a lack of calcium at all, but rather by a lack of Vitamin C. I am also sure that if we purchased some of his/her tonics we would all be filled to capacity with this miracle vitamin and the devastation which is late stage osteoporosis would simply vanish. Wrong. The fact is, this theory is totally flawed and not based on any intelligible science.

Here are the basic truths of bone growth and loss. Bone tissue is comprised of approximately 25% water, good ole’ H2O; another 25% collagen, with the remaining 50% resulting from mineral salts (primarily hydroxyapatite and calcium carbonate). It is true that Vitamin C plays a major role in the production of collagen but amounts as low as 80-300 mg./day are more than adequate in regard to bone health, and the addition of larger amounts has zero effect on enhancing bone quality or quantity.

In fact, a 2008 study completed at Tufts University demonstrated that altering Vitamin C levels had zero effect in women of any age and “may” have shown a 5% change in men over 75. The same study demonstrated that the major effects from dietary alterations were caused from low levels of Vitamin E and Calcium.

With all that being said, I would like to make a bold statement regarding bone density. It is not what you put into your body that effects the healthy growth of bone, but more importantly the mechanical stresses placed on the bone which “drive” those nutrients into the bone. A couch potato with a perfect diet will have poorer bone density than a very active individual who may not be taking in the healthiest of foods. Do not get me wrong, I am in no way saying that dietary intake is not extremely important. What I am saying is that properly “loading” the bones with adequate pressure is the key ingredient in not only maintaining, but enhancing, bone density and health.

That is the reason why we started OsteoStrong Murrieta in the first place.

Specific and isolated compressive forces, known as osteogenic loading, with a minimum of four multiples of one’s bodyweight is the necessary force required to effectively stimulate new bone growth, regardless of age. This is the exact reason why children who are extremely active in their youth are much less prone to lower bone density changes as they age, and this same stimulus to activate new bone growth can be achieved at any age. So, to reiterate, many times we see or hear new information from supposedly trusted sources, when in fact that information has no bearing on enhancing one’s health, and at times may even have negative consequences. I will always attempt to make myself available for those who are seeking relevant up to date health and wellness information, so please don’t hesitate to call or stop by the office.

Written by Derek Albrecht

Dr. Derek K. Albrecht B.S., D.C., OsteoStrong Murrieta - JDG-OS Enterprises LLC

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