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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Calcium, Vitamin D supplements for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis

"Health claims for calcium and a reduced risk of osteoporosis will now be allowed a broader scope with fewer restrictions. FDA recently announced in a Federal Register notice that it is amending its labeling regulation on the calcium and osteoporosis health claim to include vitamin D so that, in addition to the claim for calcium and osteoporosis, a claim can be made for the relationship between calcium and vitamin D and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. The agency also eliminated several caveats formerly required to appear with the claim, including the requirement of a statement that a total dietary intake greater than 200 percent of the recommended daily intake (2,000 mg of calcium) has no further benefit to bone health.

Furthermore, the updated labeling regulation will make optional the reference to the need for physical activity. This final rule is effective Jan. 1, 2010"

Source: Douglas S. Kalman PhD, RD, CCRC, FACN
Director, Nutrition & Applied Clinical Research
Miami Research Associates
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Gary comments:
While it is great to see the FDA recognising the health benefits of nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, I still think they are a wee bit off track.  For a start, I wonder if there are true health benefits from taking massive clumps of synthetic vitamin D and potentised calcium like calcium

 gluconate?

Sure, these chemicals might pump calcium galore into the bones; but this is not the form of calcium naturally found in the body and does it drive calcium into tissues like artery walls?  I think it is safer to dribble in small amounts of calcium in the form found in the body and to give all of the fat soluble vitamins, proteins and fatty acids that the body uses for constructing healthy tissue, including bones.

It was interesting cycling around Samoa a week ago and to note that there were few signs of osteoporosis and arthritis among the propulation outside of the only real town - Apia.  The diet of the typical Samoan in the countryside is not particularly high in calcium and defintely not 2,000mg per day.  Healthy Samoans have impressive bones that do not fracture easily.  For example; easily the highest bone percent yet measured on the Salter 9106 scales is my Samoan Brother In Law.

Here's my Osteoporosis prevention advice as influenced by the Samoan lifestyle:
  • Exercise outdoors daily, including walking and gardening.  How about a brisk walk and then find a Tai Chi class that is taken outdoors?
  • Get out in the sun daily, exposing the legs and torso (no sunburn)
  • On days of no sun - take 2,000iu natural vitamin D supplement but not more
  • Get Vitamin K from natural sources, including taro leaves cooked in coconut oil
  • Get other fat soluble vitamins from cod liver oil, fish head soup, shell fish, wheat germ oil
  • Get essential fatty acids from flax oil, olive oil, evening primrose oil, fish oil, coconut oil, free range eggs, New Zealand butter and raw organic full-fat milk (Fat soluble vitamins and other natural anti-oxidants in the diet prevent these fats from oxidising and harming the body)
  • Get loads of minerals from beef and chicken broths, all kinds of green leafy vegetables, whole grains and nuts
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily - never the same one in a row.  Get adventurous with your fruit and veges!
  • Go to a remote Pacific island yearly during mid-winter, chill out, eat only the local foods and explore the reefs by snorkel and goggles.

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