When archaeologists study clues to learn about the past, one of the things that gives them a lot of information about people’s lives is the skeletal bones they left behind.
Just by looking at those bones, an archaeologist can tell what kinds of foods a person ate and what kind of climate they lived in.
If they did a lot of hard work, their bones are big and strong. If they lived sedentary lives, their bones are smaller and less dense.
Bone health tells a lot about the overall health of person. We can learn from what archaeologists have found and make sure we do everything we can to build and maintain strong, healthy bones.
People live longer today than ever before. To enjoy your independence and stay active, you need strong bones. When you’re older, the consequences of weak bones can strip away your independence in the blink of an eye. They can even be deadly.
Strong bones protect your heart, lungs, and brain from injury. And your bones serve as a warehouse for important minerals that you need throughout your life.
Taking care of your bones involves three major steps:
- Physical activity and weight-bearing exercises – For increasing or maintaining bone mass, as well as muscle mass, balance, and coordination.
- Eating a nutritious diet that protects your bone health – This includes clearing up some of the myths surrounding nutrients and supplements.
- Awareness of the “Silent Thief" - How bones begin to weaken and how to keep yours strong.
Are you ready to take charge of your bone health? Let’s get started.
How the “Silent Thief” Earns Its Name
Sometimes, people think of bones as nothing more than structural supports for the body. But bones are far more than that. Bone is a living substance that contains blood vessels, nerves and cells, and serves as a storehouse for minerals in your body.
Two types of cells control your bone structure:
- Osteoblasts – cells that build your bones
- Osteoclasts – cells that break down old or damaged bone to make room for new bone
Osteoblasts produce a protein called osteocalcin that strengthens your skeleton. They are in charge of directing bone formation and mineralization.
Very simply, as long as the bone-forming activity of the osteoblasts – called absorption – is greater than bone breakdown of the osteoclasts – called resorption – you’re pretty much assured of maintaining healthy bones.
Your “bone growth” stage stretches from birth until about age 30. That’s when the activity of the osteoblasts and the osteoclasts gets to be about equal and you reach what’s known as “peak bone mass.”
After that point, the ostesoclasts slowly begin to be more active than the osteoblasts, and you enter the period of normal age-related bone mineral loss that continues for the rest of your life.
Ideally, you want to start giving your bones the care they need as early in life as possible. The foundation for strong bones starts at a very young age and includes good nutrition and regular weight-bearing exercise.
If not given proper care, bones can begin to weaken too rapidly early in life. It’s a symptom-less process that quietly steals away your bones. You can’t feel it happening, at least not in the early stages.
That’s why doctors call it the “silent thief.”
And women need be especially mindful about taking care of their bones. A woman’s normal bone loss accelerates during and after menopause for about five to seven years before returning to the slightly slower rate that men experience.
A woman can lose as much as 35% of her bone density during those few short years.
These Silent Thief “Helpers” Can Accelerate the Breakdown of Your Bones
Many people have weak bones and don’t even know it.
And many people may be making mistakes now that can have negative effects on their bone health later.
Here are some of the most common bone health antagonists you need to be aware of:
- Undiagnosed Gluten Intolerance
It’s possible that the grains you’re eating could be contributing to less-than-optimal bone health. If you have undiagnosed gluten intolerance, you may not be absorbing the nutrients you need for bone health.
In one study that investigated how gluten intolerance affects bone density, when subjects followed a gluten-free diet for one year, their bone density improved.
- Smoking and Drinking
Smoking increases your rate of bone loss, and consuming more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb calcium, slowing new bone formation.
- Soft Drinks
Animal studies show that the phosphoric acid in soda weakens your bones by promoting the loss of calcium. And diet sodas might be even worse.
In a study, researchers found that human parathyroid hormone concentrations rose strongly following diet soda consumption, leading to a greater release of calcium from bone.
The best way to know for sure if your bones are in good health is to have your bone density tested.
Whatever your test results, you’re never too young – or too old – to be proactive about taking care of your bones. As we’re about to discuss, there’s much you can do to help keep your bones strong or to help strengthen them if they’re not as strong as you’d like them to be.
Exercise: Essential to Strong, Healthy Bones
Healthy bones are dense, porous and soft on the inside. The hard cells that make up the outer layer not only give your body its structure – they also protect that soft living interior full of blood vessels, nerves and stem cells.
However, as you age, your bones tend to become less dense and more brittle – especially if you don’t get the right kind of exercise.
Because bone is living tissue, it requires regular physical activity to renew and rebuild itself. Whenever you jump, run, or lift a weight, the stress on your bones sends signals to your body telling it to add new cells to your bone structure.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, “Physical Activity and Health: A Surgeon General’s Report,” healthy individuals should do:
- A minimum of 30 minutes of weight bearing physical activity of moderate intensity on most days of the week (if not daily).
- Strength training at least two times a week.
Weight bearing exercises – activities that force you to work against gravity – strengthen bones by stimulating the bone-building cells, osteoblasts.
There are lots of great ways to work weight-bearing exercise into your routine.
A good example of an exercise that’s easy to include is a walking lunge. This helps build bone density in your hips, even if you don’t have additional weights.
Using resistance bands, lifting weights and doing yoga also help build bone density and strength. Other weight-bearing activities include tennis, kickboxing, jogging, climbing stairs, hiking, and dancing.
Even brisk walking counts as a weight-bearing exercise and is highly beneficial.
In addition to strengthening your bones, weight-bearing exercise strengthens your muscles. The stronger your muscles, the better your balance and coordination. And that’s vitally important, especially as you age.
Of course, always consider your current physical condition, and consider consulting with your doctor before starting any new type of exercise program.
The Intricate Dance Between Bone-Building Nutrients
In addition to getting the right kinds of physical activity, maintaining and rebuilding healthy bones requires balancing four major nutrients: Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 and Magnesium.*
The functions of these four nutrients are intertwined and depend on each other for strength – much like twisting vines.
Just as you can’t untangle a thick bunch of vines without wrecking their combined strength, you can’t take out one bone-building nutrient without affecting the actions of the others.
- Vitamin D maintains skeletal calcium balance by promoting calcium absorption in your intestines.*
- Calcium and phosphate depend upon Vitamin D for bone formation.*
- Vitamin K2 helps to cement the calcium you absorb into the bone matrix rather than depositing it on the inside of your blood vessels.*
- Magnesium plays a key role in activating vitamin D so it can assist in calcium absorption.
If one of these nutrients is missing – or not present in the right amount – it can have a far-reaching impact on your bones.
Finding ways to make sure you’re getting enough of each of these nutrients is key to protecting your bones from the silent thief.
Calcium’s Key Role in Keeping Your Bones Healthy
We know that healthy bones require plenty of bone-building nutrients. And ideally, you get many of these nutrients from the foods you eat.
Unfortunately, diets have changed over the years and modern diets tend to be heavy in meat and grains, which are naturally low in calcium. Not only that, but they can also have an acidic effect on your body when eaten in excess.
Your body is always working to maintain a balanced pH. When it becomes too acidic, it releases minerals – including calcium from your bones and teeth – in an effort to lower pH levels.
Fortunately, dark green leafy vegetables are not only rich in calcium. They also have an alkalizing effect on your body – two important reasons to eat plenty of fresh leafy greens.
It’s also important to eat a reasonable amount of protein, as protein deficiency interferes with calcium absorption in your intestines.
Remember, the balance of bone-building nutrients is key.
Below are some great ways you get your calcium from healthy sources. Some high-calcium foods, such as fermented cheeses and butter from pastured cows, also contain naturally high amounts of vitamin K2.
When choosing dairy, look for products made from raw, hormone-free, unpasteurized milk:
|Sesame seeds (1/4 cup)
|Sardines, canned in oil with bones (3 ounces)
|Yogurt (unsweetened) (1 cup)
|Goat’s milk (1 cup)
|Swiss cheese (1 ounce)
|Spinach (1 cup cooked)
|Collard greens (1 cup cooked)
|Canned salmon with bones (3 ounces)
|Almonds (2 ounces)
|Navy beans, cooked (1 cup)
|Broccoli, raw (1 cup)
Vitamins D3 and K2 – Not Quite so Easy
When it comes to getting vitamins D3 and K2 in your diet, it’s more challenging to find good food sources.
The best source of vitamin D, of course, is exposure to sunlight. Most people may need as little as 15 to 20 minutes of noontime exposure each day on enough exposed skin to maintain serum vitamin D levels in the ideal range.
However, many, if not most, people in the United States are vitamin D deficient because they don’t receive enough healthy sun exposure. And if you’re 50 or older, your skin may not produce as much vitamin D in response to sunlight.
In these situations, an oral vitamin D3 supplement is a great way to keep your vitamin D at a healthy level. Check your serum vitamin D levels regularly to make sure they remain in the optimal range of 50 to 70 ng/ml.
You can check to see if you’re one of the many people who may be deficient in vitamin D with our convenient test kits. They check not only vitamin D levels but also the levels of other essential vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin K is available as either K1 or K2. While vitamin K1, found in green vegetables, is important for your health, it does not significantly contribute to building your bones. Only vitamin K2 does that.
Here’s the challenge… Vitamin K2 is found mainly in grass-fed organic animal products like egg yolks, butter, and fermented dairy, and in fermented vegetables, such as natto and sauerkraut. If you don’t eat large amounts of these foods, it is difficult or impossible to get enough vitamin K2.
Unfortunately, unlike vitamin D, there is no test for measuring vitamin K2 levels yet. So the only practical way to know if you need vitamin K2 is to look at the sources in your diet, add them up and see whether you are getting at least 180 mcg of vitamin K2 every day.
If you come up short, then it would be wise to consider a vitamin K2 supplement.
The Problem With Most Bone Health Supplements
The average person considers calcium the “darling” of bone health. But it can’t do its work alone, and the type of calcium you consume makes a huge difference.
Relying on the wrong type of calcium may actually present risks to your health.
Many experts believe most bone health issues today aren’t due to insufficient calcium. Rather, it’s a lack of the other nutrients – vitamins K2 and D, and magnesium – that may be putting people’s bone health at risk.
The balance of bone-building nutrients is what truly matters. Taking too much calcium or taking a calcium supplement without its other co-nutrients can be hazardous to your health, particularly for your heart and arteries.
Calcium can end up in the wrong places in your body, especially if it’s not balanced with vitamin K2.
So, once you get the balance of nutrients in a calcium supplement right, you need to consider the type of calcium you’re taking.
You may not realize it, but the calcium used in most supplements comes from mined limestone or oyster shells. We’re not designed to eat rocks – or oyster shells – so it’s not a great idea to get your calcium from them.
It’s best to look for calcium that comes from from whole food sources, such as the one we’ll discuss in just a moment.
Calcium is known to be a tough mineral to absorb, with estimates for some types of calcium ranging as low as 20%. Choosing a whole food source that your body is designed to digest can help maximize absorption.
On product labels, if the source isn’t specified, the ingredients are most likely different forms of inexpensive-to-mine rock calcium. Look for sources you can verify come from whole foods.
In addition to knowing how well your body can use calcium, there’s something else you need to watch out for with calcium supplements…
Your Calcium Supplement May Be Exposing You to Lead and Aluminum
Over a decade ago, a university research team performed an analysis of over-the-counter calcium supplements after reports of excessive lead contamination surfaced.
- Four of the seven so-called “natural calcium” formulations from oyster shell and other natural sources had measurable or excessive lead content.
- Four of the 14 refined calcium formulations had similar lead content, including some brand name products from major pharmaceutical companies.
Fast-forward ten years… The situation with heavy metal contamination of calcium supplements hasn’t improved – it’s actually gotten worse.
A different group of independent researchers recently tested 27 commonly used calcium supplements for lead content. In the more recent study, lead was almost always found associated with calcium.
While tiny amounts of lead are naturally found with calcium, excessive levels of lead are a big concern for your health.
Surprisingly, only 10% of the supplements actually met the U.S. acceptable daily lead limit set by Proposition 65. Nine out of 10 calcium supplements tested did not meet the “safe” limits for lead. They contained excessive lead.
And the highest amounts of lead were found in chelated calcium supplements, a popular choice among health-conscious shoppers.
Lead contamination isn’t your only concern. Aluminum has also been found in calcium carbonate supplements labeled “oyster shell” or “natural source.”
And aside from lead and aluminum, some imported calcium supplements were also found to contain significant levels of cadmium and mercury.
Always be cautious when buying a calcium supplement. Know where it came from, its source, its bioavailability and who made it. That bargain bottle of calcium may not provide what your body needs nor the safety you expect.
A Solution to Support Your Bones and Help Ward Off the “Silent Thief”*
While you want to avoid supplements with inferior source material and imbalanced nutrients, a well-designed calcium supplement can be just the solution you need for giving your bones the extra support they need, whether you’re 35 or 65.*
Our Calcium with Vitamins D3 and K2 is a daily supplement that provides balanced ratios of calcium, vitamin D3, and vitamin K2. We are careful in our formulation to make sure the levels of vitamin D3 and K2 match the most recent recommendations.
Magnesium is important for bone health, too, so why did we leave it out?
Adding magnesium to this supplement would have made the capsules too large for some people to comfortably swallow. To get the maximum benefit for your bones, take our Calcium supplement in conjunction with our Magnesium supplement – Magnesium L-Threonate.
Here’s what makes our Calcium blend formula unique:
- Contains whole food calcium from organic eggshells that also contain other important trace minerals
- Offers balanced ratios of vitamins D3 and K2 with a lower level of calcium that may be safer for your heart health.* Lead levels in eggshell calcium products are much lower than in mined minerals
- Is nearly 20% more absorbable than other forms of calcium carbonate
- Uses an advanced patented form of Vitamin K2 – the only one that’s clinically proven to help maintain bone density and strength, and promote healthy, flexible arteries*
- Contains 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 as Cholecalciferol per serving
- Avoids magnesium stearate and genetically engineered ingredients
Let’s take a closer look at what this formula has to offer…
Absorption Matters, Especially If You’re 50 or Over
As you age, your need for bone health support increases. Age-related factors increasingly work against your body’s ability to utilize nutrients and protect important organ functions:
- Your skin produces less vitamin D in response to sunlight.
- The pH in your jejunum, or the middle portion of your small intestine, starts to drop, hindering absorption of calcium.
- Your ability to activate vitamin K2-activated proteins that regulate calcium decreases.
- Your absorption of magnesium decreases with age.
Calcium with Vitamins D3 and K2 provides nutrients in advanced forms for maximum absorption and superior bioavailability, far exceeding what you’ll find in many other bone health formulas.
No matter your age, absorption and bioavailability matter.
One of Nature’s Purest and Most Absorbable Forms of Calcium
Remember, where your calcium comes from is vitally important for purity of the product and your body’s ability to utilize it.
Calcium with Vitamins D3 and K2 uses eggshell calcium from Certified Organic eggshell. This form of calcium offers a number of benefits:
- Eggshells are a 100% natural and sustainable whole food source
- Organic ensures that only eggshells from organic eggs are used, laid by chickens fed an organic diet and not genetically modified grains like GMO corn, and not exposed to dangerous non-organic pesticides and herbicides
- Contains naturally occurring transport proteins for maximum absorption and bioavailability*
- Includes other important essential trace minerals naturally found in eggshell that lend additional bone building support*
- High elemental calcium allows for a smaller dose, which studies show may be healthier for your heart*
- Far lower lead content than other natural calcium sources
- Multiple human clinical trials have shown the effectiveness of eggshell calcium in supporting bone mineral density*
- Non-chemical, eco-friendly manufacturing process in an FDA-regulated GMP facility
- Ultra-refined eggshell calcium promotes digestive comfort, unlike some other calcium formulas*
A calcium supplement should support your health, not put it in additional risk because of potentially dangerous additives or levels of toxic metals.
Calcium Can’t Get the Job Done Alone… You Also Need Vitamin K2
Calcium from the right source and in the right amounts is essential for bone health, but you must also have vitamin K2 to help ensure the calcium ends up in your bones where it belongs.
There are several different forms of vitamin K2: MK4, MK7, MK8, and MK9. Each has its own unique ability to reach certain tissues in your body.
Dietary supplements mostly use synthetic vitamin K2 as menaquinone-4 (MK-4) or natural vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 (MK-7).
MK-7, the form you find in natto (typically made from fermented soybeans) is especially valuable in that it:
- Is natural, not synthetic and completely absorbed because of its high bioavailability.
- Has a long half-life, allowing easy once-a-day dosing.
One of the reasons we chose to avoid the synthetic MK-4 form of vitamin K2 is that it needs to be taken three times a day.
Instead, Calcium with Vitamins D3 and K2 uses the advanced form of MK-7, MenaQ7®, which allows it to be taken just once a day.
Also, the form of MK-7 in Calcium with Vitamins D3 and K2 is sourced from natto made with fermented chickpeas instead of soy, since many people are sensitive or allergic to soy.
MenaQ7® is a patented and clinically supported vitamin K2 that helps:
- Maintain or increase bone density and strength.*
- Support optimum calcium absorption and utilization.*
- Promote normal blood clotting.*
- Support the development of healthy, flexible arteries for cardiovascular health.*
Plus, MenaQ7® also provides the convenience of once-a-day dosing.
5 Important Reasons to Take Charge of Your Bone Health Today
If you’re not already giving your bones the care they need, it’s time to start paying attention to this important aspect of your health. There are many reasons to make this a priority. Here are just five:
- You want to live a long, active life and enjoy the activities you love into old age.
- You want to maintain your independence as long as you can, and that’s largely dependent on having strong, dense bones.
- You need strong, dense bones to protect against falls and other bodily and organ injury.
- Healthy, strong bones are like nutrient insurance. Your bones are a life-long storehouse for important minerals.
- Taking care of your bones may help you maintain a sharp, clear mind. In a study of 987 men and women, those with the lowest bone mass measurements were more than twice as likely to develop cognitive impairment as those with stronger bones.
It all boils down to this: You need to do all you can to protect and strengthen your bones to ward off the “silent thief.” Tragically, the only way many people discover their bone density isn’t what they want it to be is when a bone breaks.
Decide to take action today to strengthen your bones and protect your health for years to come…
An Outstanding Solution for Robust Bone Health*
There is no better – or easier – way to help take control of your bone health.* Through careful research and thoughtful formulation, we have brought together three of the most promising ingredients that are clinically tested to:
- Maintain or increase bone density and strength.*
- Support optimum calcium absorption and utilization.*
- Support the development of healthy, flexible arteries for cardiovascular health.*
The good news is… you don’t need to go out and buy individual supplements to get these potential benefits. We’ve bundled them together for you.
Calcium with Vitamins D3 and K2 combines the advanced form of Vitamin K2 MK-7 with whole food Calcium Carbonate from Organic Eggshell. To complete the perfect ratios, we’ve added 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 as Cholecalciferol.
Plus, it’s available in a 30-day or 90-day supply.
It’s never too late to get started taking care of your bones. Take the next step toward optimal bone health today, and order your supply of Calcium with Vitamins D3 and K2.