Want Strong Bones?

Want strong bones? Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Sophie Pollon-MacLeod ND recommends these 5 things.

Bone health is one of the most common, preventable health conditions that exists in Canada. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a reduction in bone density, leading to an increased risk of fracture. 

  • Currently 2.3 million Canadians are living with osteoporosis 
  • At least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime 😯
  • Post menopausal women are the most at risk  
    • During menopause , a reduction in the production of the hormone estrogen has a significant impact on bone health thus putting this population at high risk of osteoporosis & fragility fractures.
  • Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.eep reading to learn 5 key preventative strategies to improve your bone health today.

Keep reading to learn 5 key preventative strategies to improve your bone health today!  

Want to know your risk ? Try this quiz here: https://osteoporosis.ca/risk/ , your health care provider should also complete a FRAX (fracture risk assessment tool) to help determine fracture risk and best course of action in regards to assessment (bone mineral density scan), treatment options and preventative strategies

1. Jump up and down! no seriously …
It is a known fact that our bones respond really well to weight bearing activity and mechanical loads that produce high magnitude strains at high frequencies such as high intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training . The Lifting Intervention for Training Muscle and Osteoporosis Rehabilitation (LIFTMOR) trial looked at the efficacy of High-intensity resistance and impact weight-bearing training (HiRIT) in postmenopausal women. Over a period of 8 months, they compared a group of women participating in 30 minute strength bearing high intensity activity 2 x per week to their control group completing 30 min 2x a week of low intensity exercise (< 60% RM) and stretching. The results were quite remarkable. The women participating in the HiRIT activity showed superior improvements in femoral neck and lumbar spine bone mineral density ranging from 6-12% in comparison to the low intensity group. One final bonus and yay for HIIT training, none of the women in the study experienced any fractures and the safety and compliance of the HiRT was positive overall. 

Don’t know where to start?  

2.  Algae is the New Calcium 
If you want strong bones you need to be achieving a daily intake of a minimum of 1000-1200mg of calcium from either food, supplements or a combination of the two. These requirements are especially important as we age, and as dietary absorption of calcium starts to decrease exponentially after the age of 40. 

Ok, so now that you are thinking I need to get my calcium intake up, you hit the health food store and start to get very overwhelmed at the mountain of calcium supplements available. How do you know which calcium to buy? 

Let’s start with Algae derived calcium. This is a new to the market calcium sourced from the sea plant Lithothamnion superpositum. What makes algae calcium so special ?

  • It’s a calcium powerhouse: AlgaeCal contains 4 different types of Calcium : calcium hydroxide, calcium chloride, calcium sulfate & calcium carbonate 
  • Sourced in nature with all the goods: AlgaeCal contains a naturally balanced mineral matrix ,containing magnesium and other trace minerals, optimizing absorption. 
  • It actually improves bone mineral density: Algae cal has been studied to actually improve bone mineral density, vs other calcium sources just slow down bone loss.

Link to Algae calcium – Bone sure https://shop.nutrichem.com/collections/biomed/products/bonesure , https://shop.nutrichem.com/products/red-mineral-algae 

3. Menopausal? Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy 
According to the 2022 position statement by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been shown to prevent bone loss and reduce risk of fractures in menopausal women without osteoporosis (cauley). Women taking HRT experienced a 3.7% increase in hip bone mineral density (BMD), compared to 0.14% in the placebo group. Keep in mind, HRT is indicated as a preventative strategy, not as a first line treatment for those diagnosed with osteoporosis. NutriChem’s Naturopathic doctors are highly experienced in prescribing and monitoring patients on HRT. If you are interested in learning more about HRT, sign up for our our May 4th hormone event.
4. Don’t wait until it’s too late to test your Vitamin D levels
In 2010, the government of Canada issued a statement that OHIP will no longer cover Vitamin D for the general population screening. Vitamin D testing is only covered for those with a diagnosis of the following: osteoporosis, osteopenia, renal disease and malabsorption syndromes. Leaving a highly Vitamin D deficient Canadian population behind as we know over 30% of Canadians are deficient in vitamin D (stat can). When it comes to bone health, optimal Vitamin D levels are crucial. As a Naturopathic doctor, I see a lot of individuals who are taking a Vitamin D supplement, yet their blood test results do not reflect their supplementation. This is due to a number of reasons such as incorrect dosing, form of Vitamin D and poor absorption. For those who are deficient in Vitamin D with challenges with absorption, intramuscular vitamin D injections may be indicated. If you are interested in getting your Vitamin D levels tested, it inquire through clinic@nutrichem.com for more details.

5. Mind your microbiome
The gut microbiome is widely unrepresented when it comes to bone health. Emerging research is indicating just how important these little bugs are for building strong bones. The positive relationship between the health of your microbiome and the health of your bones is due to the role our microbiota plays in absorbing vitamins and minerals such as calcium & vitamin D. Prebiotics have been shown to increase calcium absorption in the lower GI tract. Examples of these prebiotic compounds include fructooligosaccharides (FOS), inulin, galactooligosaccharides and xylooogosaccharides (XOS). NutriChem’s XOS factor prebiotic contains a factor 4 fiber and XOS prebiotic. 

1. Cauley JA, Robbins J, Chen Z, et al. Women’s Health Initiative Investigators. Effects of estrogen plus progestin on risk of fracture and bone mineral density: the Women’s Health Initiative randomized trial. JAMA 2003; 290:1729-1738
2. Felício-Fernandes, G., & Laranjeira, M. (2000). Calcium phosphate biomaterials from marine algae. Hydrothermal synthesis and characterisation. Quimica Nova, 23, 441-446.
3. Torgerson, D. J., & Bell-Syer, S. E. (2001). Hormone replacement therapy and prevention of nonvertebral fractures: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. Jama, 285(22), 2891-2897.
4. Kemmler, W., Shojaa, M., Kohl, M., & von Stengel, S. (2020). Effects of different types of exercise on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Calcified tissue international, 107, 409-439.
5. https://osteoporosis.ca/
6. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-624-x/2013001/article/11727-eng.htm
7. Watson, S. L., Weeks, B. K., Weis, L. J., Harding, A. T., Horan, S. A., & Beck, B. R. (2018). High‐intensity resistance and impact training improves bone mineral density and physical function in postmenopausal women with osteopenia and osteoporosis: the LIFTMOR randomized controlled trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 33(2), 211-220
8.  Zhao R, Zhao M, Xu Z. The effects of differing resistance training modes on the preservation of bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int. 2015; 26(5):1605–18