When I had my first genomic test done, I was shocked to find out how many markers that I had that could lead to osteoporosis. What??? I exercise, eat a diet high in bone-building nutrients, or what I thought was bone-building nutrients. And, osteoporosis did not run in my family, or at least that I know of!
Does Calcium Supplements Really Prevent Bone Loss?
Osteoporosis now affects over 200 million women worldwide and this number continues to grow. In the United States, the recommendation to slow bone loss is calcium supplements and now vitamin D. Compared to other countries, the US recommends the highest calcium intake yet we have not seen a reduction in osteoporosis or fracture rates. Maybe we should be doing something else besides taking calcium supplements??
That is when I learned that there were many other causes of bone loss other than not getting enough calcium and vitamin D. The building of bone is affected by many different nutrients, hormones, genetics, and medications like Advil, PPI’s and some anti-depressants.
How Do Our Bones Rebuild?
Bones are not static – our bodies are constantly getting rid of old bones (resorption) and replacing them with new bone cells, just like our skin. Bone loss occurs when the process of the elimination of old bone cells and the building of new bone cells gets out of balance.
So what can tip that balance into the wrong side? Inflammation and oxidative stress can both increased bone resorption and decrease bone formation. If your body does not control inflammation or oxidative stress well, then you have a risk of getting osteoporosis.
When is the last time your doctor looked at inflammatory markers or oxidative stress markers?
Or, had a conversation on how important anti-oxidants are for bone health? Inflammation is greatly controlled by our hormones, nutrients, and the balance of essential fatty acids (you know fish oil or EPA/DHA). Been recommended a high-quality fish oil or EPA/DHA for bone health lately?
My genomic markers for bone health was not just about my inability to synthesize vitamin D, but my poor methylation, lack of genes that provide powerful anti-oxidants and markers for chronic inflammation.
So no matter how much calcium I take, this will not support my bone health. It might actually be worse for me as I have some cardiovascular markers and too much calcium is bad for the old ticker!
But if I knew that I needed more anti-oxidants than most or that I should avoid caffeine – this could go a long way in saving my bones. And, now I had one more reason to support methylation!
Eileen Schutte, MS, CN, FMN – One of my biggest passions is to help clients overcome autoimmune skin conditions like psoriasis, naturally. My other passion is nutrigenomics, speaking to your genes through nutrition, and providing a truly personalized nutrition approach. I hold a master's degree in functional nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut graduating Summa Cum Laude. After completing my masters I went on to get my certification in functional nutrition medicine, and am a Certified LEAP Therapist (food sensitivities program).