Background and Introduction to Bone Health
We believe a brief background for our Food State Selenium supplement is important to consider in comparison to the traditional multi so called “natural” supplement forms of Selenium. We believe that the information is important for consideration; hence the overview below is presented to help your Selenium formula choices.
Joint and bone health is becoming a bigger and bigger issue, especially for women during and after the menopause. There are a variety of conflicting stories around concerning what is good and bad for joints and bones. Here we aim to clarify some of those beliefs, and explain how Food and Food State nutrients fit into the picture.
Calcium in particular is a big issue with regard to bone health, with several misconceptions surrounding it. Basic knowledge tells us that bones contain calcium, and this is where bone nutrition began – with supplying as much calcium as possible to people with brittle bones to “force” more into their skeleton and improve strength.
Unfortunately the logic does not fully stand up to scrutiny. Bones consist of far more than Calcium – the simple fact that Calcium itself does not work to help us alone.
Bones are in fact a complex structure of many mineral compounds (including Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Silicon and Sulphur), along with protein and collagen to build up the honeycomb matrix.
Supplying any one of these in excess would in theory help to make more bone, but only to the extent that the other parts are present to combine into the matrix.
What therefore what tends to happen with high doses of calcium (e.g. as calcium carbonate) is that the excess in the blood actually needs to be balanced.
To achieve that balance (because the body cannot incorporate such calcium into the bone without other nutrients and their protein delivery carriers) phosphorus is required and this important mineral may be taken from the bones. The net result therefore is that the bone is corroded further.
Something to bear in mind when trying to preserve bone health is the need for calcium by the remainder of the body. This vital mineral is also used for brain function, blood clotting, muscle contraction and communication between cells.
The supply for all these needs comes from calcium circulating in the blood. If that supply fails (i.e. dietary supply is not sufficient) then calcium is pulled from the bones to compensate. Therefore, keeping available calcium supplies balanced is vital to bone health – not just the emphasis on getting calcium into bones.
So how do Food State nutrients and our approach help this situation?
Primarily, all our nutrients have their own inherent delivery systems, so that they won’t rob the body of its own resources to satisfy their own needs. Secondly our formulae are carefully designed to include a variety of nutrients needed for particular functions within the body, rather than focusing on just one element.
This way we help you to take care of the body as a whole, by treating systems and their nutrition as a whole.
Good Bone Integrity and Diet
Just as emphasis is mainly on Calcium for bone health, so the concentration also tends to be on just one food group for obtaining it.
Many dairy foods are indeed rich in calcium. We need however to concern ourselves not only with quantity, but also with quality, specifically how well the calcium can be absorbed.
Dairy foods tend to encourage mucus production within the digestive tract, interfering with the absorption of nutrients across the intestinal wall. Coupled with this, in the presence of milk proteins calcium absorption is poorer still, making dairy foods a possible, but unreliable source of bone nutrition.
Although leafy green vegetables may appear gram for gram to contain less calcium, their digestibility and ease of absorption makes them a particularly good source.
Protein consumption in general is an important factor in bone nutrient absorption. There is a direct correlation between meat consumption and bone loss, with women over 50 excreting twice as much calcium if they are heavy meat eaters as those who are not.
High meat consumption increases acidity in the stomach, which over time encourages acidification of the body tissues resulting in increased calcium loss from the bones.
Well-balanced vegetarian diets therefore appear to result in less cases of osteoporosis, and replacing meat protein in the diet with plant-based proteins may be beneficial to bone health.
Try beans, soya, nuts, seeds and pasta instead of meat to provide more bone friendly protein. Soya in particular seems to be beneficial, as cultures where women consume soya products regularly (e.g. in Japan) have very little osteoporosis.
The balance of fats and oils in the diet is critical to calcium balance. Essential fatty acids are needed to absorb calcium and build bone, however high fat diets (especially saturated fats) interfere with calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss.
Ensure the diet is rich therefore in essential oils from nuts, seeds and oily fish; but low in saturates such as animal fat, processed fats (especially highly hydrogenated ones).
Caution: Two oils to be wary of are coconut and palm oil. Although these are vegetable oils they still interfere with the digestibility and utilisation of calcium and other minerals.
Other obvious dietary factors to consider are refined sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol. Any of these taken in excess will exacerbate bone loss so each should be tempered to protect bones. As always, emphasis on a whole-food diet, rich in fresh plant based foods is the key to naturally avoiding all these exacerbating factors.