Last week I wrote a post about lactoferrin, a protein that does many things in the body including helping maintain healthy bones. Donna Merrill, one of the bloggers that I follow regularly, said that the bone benefit was what appealed to her about that post, so I thought I should share what else I know about how to keep strong bones.
The Most Important Thing to Building Strong Bones
You may be surprised by this because it isn’t something that you need to buy or that I can make money on. The absolutely most important thing that you can do to keep strong bones, or build strong bones, is to use them. You’ve heard the phrase “use it or lose it,” right? That is absolutely true with your bones. If you use your bones, your body will make them stronger. If you don’t use them, then your body will reassign those resources somewhere else.
What do I mean by “use your bones?” Do something that puts pressure on them. Take a walk. Do jumping jacks. Bounce on a trampoline if you have one. If you d0n’t have one, you can get a rebounder, which is basically a mini trampoline. A rebounder doesn’t take much space and is a great way to get some exercise.
How Does Using Them Build Strong Bones?
The minerals in your bones form a crystal matrix that emits a pulse when it gets compressed. This is called the piezoelectric effect. There is a great explanation of piezoelectricity on www.explainthatstuff.com.
Basically, when you squeeze a piezoelectric crystal, like quartz or bone, it deforms slightly and creates a charge on the surface of the crystal that can drive a small current when put into an electric circuit.
The reverse is also true. When you apply a current to a piezoelectric crystal it will deform slightly. This is how electronic devices, like digital watches and the computer that I’m typing this on, are clocked. We use the piezoelectric effect all the time. Now you know that you are also using it every time you stand up, take a step or lift a weight.
When you take a step, the bone matrix in your leg bones gets compressed and sends out an electric pulse. This tells the body what bones are being used and need to be reinforced.
Do You Get Enough Calcium?
Calcium is probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of strong bones. The bulk of our bones is made up of calcium. Actually, the calcium stored in your bones isn’t just to make them strong. Your bones are a warehouse to store calcium so that it is readily available for all of the other body functions that require calcium.
What is Calcium Used for in Your Body?
Calcium ions are used to power the electrical system in your heart. Your heart has its own electrical system separate from the rest of your body. It exists specifically to keep your heart beating properly no matter what happens in the rest of the body. It needs a regular supply of calcium to be able to do its job.
Your body also has a very narrow pH range in which it can support life. If your pH gets too high (alkaline) or too low (acidic) you will die. Period. End of Story.
High pH isn’t usually a problem for most people, but low pH is. We have a very acidic diet in the western, so called “civilized,” world. Processed foods, milk, alcohol, coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks are all very acidic. When they get into your bloodstream your body has to work quickly to adjust the pH back to normal, which is slightly alkaline between 7.3 and 7.5 pH.
One of the minerals that the body keeps on hand to buffer your blood is calcium. So if you like to eat fast food, drink your coffee or soda, or have one of those energy drinks, you can expect that your body’s need for calcium is going to go through the roof and it’s going to come from your bones.
Do You Need More Calcium?
We’ve been taught from birth that we need to drink plenty of milk so that we can build strong bones. That’s the dairy farmers doing a great job of marketing. Spinach, kale, turnip greens, sesame seeds and chia seeds are great sources of calcium as well as other nutrients that are very beneficial for your body. If you don’t think you are getting enough calcium from other sources then you can always supplement.
From what I have read, most people actually get enough calcium in their diet. The main thing is to make sure that you aren’t depleting it by eating or drinking acidic foods and drinks, and to make sure that you are getting the other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to process the calcium.
Your body cannot process calcium by itself. The most important help it needs is from vitamin D (which is actually a steroid, not a vitamin). Here’s an old post that I wrote about vitamin D a few years ago.
One thing about vitamin D3 that I don’t think many people know is that it is fat-soluble. That means that if you are carrying around a little extra weight then you may need to increase the amount of vitamin D3 that you get in your diet to have it available in your body.
Of course, there are also the ability of lactoferrin to regulate the resorption of bone mass that I wrote about last week.
I source most of my supplements from Nikken and they have a few supplements that can help you maintain your bone density. As I said above, most people actually get enough calcium in their diet. They just need help getting the other nutrients that the body needs in order to make use of that calcium. OsteoDenx is for those people. It contains vitamin D3, a form of lactoferrin specifically for helping bones, and other nutrients.
If you don’t think you get enough calcium, Nikken’s calcium supplement is Calcium Complex 2.0. It contains calcium, more vitamin D3, vitamin K, and even more of the minerals that help the body use the calcium.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this information. Is bone density an issue for you? Have you learned other information that you have found useful to maintain strong bones? Please share in a comment below. I would also greatly appreciate it if you would take a moment to share this post with your followers on Facebook or Twitter.
Disclaimer and Disclosure
I am not a doctor and make no medical claims whatsoever. Nikken’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. If you feel that you have bone density issues then you owe it to yourself to get checked out by a knowledgeable professional.
I am an independent Nikken distributor and I may earn a commission if you order products through the pages linked to from this post.