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Bone Supplements

Bone supplements represent one of the most diverse categories in health nutrition today. Bone-Supplements | ArticleA search of a leading on-line vitamin retailer revealed that there are over 350 different calcium brands or combinations. Additionally, there are a number of non-calcium products available, marketed as bone supplements. These include vitamin D, strontium, and soy isoflavones.

One researcher compiled a list of 20 essential bone-building nutrients, excerpted below:

Nutrient Therapeutic Range Adequacy Considerations
Calcium (Ca) 1000–1500 mg Typical diet is inadequate.
Phosphorus (P) 800–1200 mg Inadequate intake is rare.
Magnesium (Mg) 400–800 mg Intake generally inadequate.
Chromium (Cr) 200–1000 mg Common intake is 50 mcg or lower.
Silica (Silicon — Si) 5-20 mg Intake generally suboptimal.
Zinc (Zn) 20–30 mg Marginal zinc deficiency is common.
Manganese (Mn) 10–25 mg Intake generally inadequate.
Copper (Cu) 1–3 mg 75% of diets fail to contain RDA.
Boron (B) 3–5 mg Common daily intake is only 0.25 mg.
Potassium (K) 4000–6000 mg Intake averages 2300 mg for women.
Strontium 3–30 mg Daily dietary intake: 1 mg to 10 mg +
Vitamin D 800–2000 IU Deficiency common among elderly.
Vitamin C 1000–3000 mg+ Average daily intake is about 100 mg.
Vitamin A  5000 IU or less 44% of US intake below Avg. Requirement.
Vitamin B6 25–50 mg   Widespread inadequate consumption
Folic acid/Folate or (vit B9)   800–1000 mcg
(0.8–1 mg)
Inadequate intake
Vitamin  B12 10–1000 mcg 40% of US has marginal B12 status.
Vitamin K1 1000 mcg Well below Adequate Intake.
Vitamin K2 (MK7) 45–180 mcg Average US intake 9–12 mcg
Fats 20–30% of total calories. Essential fatty acids inadequate
Protein 1.0–1.5 g/kg  Daily intake commonly exceeds 100 g


Comparing Bone and Joint Supplements
Effective bone supplements, such as AdvaCAL, are generally different than joint and bone products, which typically contain ingredients for mobility and healthy inflammation. Many of these brands have no calcium or vitamin D. There is also little evidence that popular joint nutrients such as chondroitin, SAM-E, or glucosamine build bone density in clinical research. The one nutrient that some experts believe could be useful for bone mass in joint and bone supplements is Omega 3 oil, also known as Essential Fatty acids (EFA).

According to Naturopathic doctor, Tori Hudson (drtorihudson.com):

“In animal studies, EFA deficiency leads to the development of severe osteoporosis along with increased calcifications in the kidney and the walls of the arteries. This is similar to what we see in elderly patients with... loss of bone calcium..  Supplementing our diet with oils high in GLA may improve absorption of calcium and enhance the calcium content in the bone. Supplementing with fish oils may improve the blood levels of calcium and help to correct a deficient calcium effect in the bone.”

Bone-Supplements | ArticleThe large number of bone-related nutrients partly explains why there are so many combination bone supplements available. It is also clear the list above that many Americans are deficient in several of these nutrients. Unfortunately, few people would bother to swallow a pill everyday containing the therapeutic levels of all these bone supplements.