Surprising Nutrients Needed for Bone Health

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Our health coach Allie Might created this quick and informational guide to surprising nutrients needed for bone health.  Allie excels in coaching individuals to be on their best path, whether it's for weight loss, chronic disease reversal or to live a happier life.  Check out the list of nutrients needed for bone health. Some of these might be truly surprising!

Allie Might, INHC, AADP, ATT

It's no secret that thousands of people in our country break a bone every year. Whether it's due to osteopenia (when the body doesn't make new bone as quickly as it reabsorbs old bone.), osteoporosis (where bones become weak and brittle), or injured as a result of an accident or sports, science is showing that we can aid our bones in healing.

Our bones are complex and require special attention for healing and recovery. While we know our bones need the common nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamins D and K to stay strong and healthy. However, you may be surprised that there are other nutrients that can help in the healing process.

I've personally had quite the journey through numerous injuries, including sprains and broken bones. Along the way I've come to learn ways I can help support my body through the healing process. Aside from common supplements to ease the tenderness from wear and tear on joints like Curcumin, Bromelain and OPC-3, I rely on building blocks such as collagen, cartilage and vitamin C to aid in my recovery.

COLLAGEN

Collagen is a protein that has many uses and is one of the main components that holds our bodies together. It is good for our hair, nails, gives our skin elasticity and helps our connective tissues. While we naturally made this protein, it slowly starts depleting after 40 years of age.5 Some other factors we may experience that can cause damage to our bodies collagen is eating a diet high in sugar, smoking, UV sunlight, as well as those with auto-immune disease.5  Approximately 40% of our bones is made up of water and matrix, with 90% of the matrix to be collagen.1 The collagen is quite strong and aids in the formation of bone and cartilage.1 The body makes many different types of Collage, but relies on Collagen number 1 for most in most of its tissues for repair work. Type 1 and III collagen go hand in hand for bone and joint health, as well as skin, hair and nails. 

CARTILAGE

Cartilage is a firm, flexible tissue found throughout the body.2  It is an essential part of healthy bone healing. Cartilage is essential in producing the matrix for collagen.2 Studies show that the formation of cartilage can expand and eventually turn into bone, thus aiding in the healing process. 3 It is the newly formed cartilage that allows the bone to to form on, grow and heal.  Many cultures includes the cartilage as part of their diet when eating animal products, while others rely on gelatin and gelatinous soups.

Here is a Bone Broth recipe for a simple, hearty and nutritious healing food, that'srich in collagen, to heal bone and cartilage. 

Bone Broth Recipes

Eat 2-4 cups weekly – see recipe below for healing bone, spine, cartilage, joints, connective tissue

a.      If you don’t want to make it you can order here: https://brothmasters.com/

Recipes:

1.      Beef Bone Broth:

Ingredients · 3-4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones · 2 pounds meaty bones such as short ribs · ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar · 1 whole lemon, with peel, cut · 4 quarts filtered water · 3 celery stalks, halved · 3 carrots, halved · 3 onions, quartered · Handful of fresh parsley · Sea salt or Himalayan

Method

1. Place bones in a pot or a crockpot, add apple cider vinegar, lemon and water, and let the mixture sit for 1 hour so the acids can leach the mineral out of the bones.

2. Add more water if needed to cover the bones.

3. Add the vegetables bring to a boil and skim the scum from the top and discard.

4. Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24-72 hours (if you're not comfortable leaving the pot to simmer overnight, turn off the heat and let it sit overnight, then turn it back on and let simmer all day the next day)

5. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw in a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor and minerals.

6. Let the broth cool and strain it, making sure all marrow is knocked out of the marrow bones and into the broth.

7. Add sea salt to taste and drink the broth as is or store in fridge up to 5 to 7 days or freezer up to 6 months for use in soups or stews.

8. Always use grass-fed, hormone free meat

Alternatives: 

·      Chicken bone broth:  Use a whole chicken, on low in the slow cooker – Remove chicken after 3 hours – separate meat and add the carcass back for 7 more hours.

·       Lamb bone broth: If using lamb bones they are smaller and softer – Let simmer 16 hours on low in crockpot.

·       Fish bone broth:  Use 3 fish carcasses such as snapper, barramundi, or kingfish (whole, non-oily)

 

VITAMIN C

L-ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is a common vitamin we are all familiar with in our food. We find it in foods such as, but not limited to, juices, citrus and peppers.4 Studies have shown that vitamin C is essential in supporting our bone health.4 These trials suggest that 500mg per day for 50 days can be helpful in treating fractures.4 Vitamin C deficiencies can cause failure of bone grafts, as well as the delay and decease for collagen formation.4  This nutrient is an essential part of the healing process as it improves the mechanics of the new tissue forming.6  

In conclusion, when recovering from a bone injury, many things can help. Adding collagen, cartilage and vitamin c to a daily routine can aid in not only recovering, but in general boost bone health.  This can set us up for preventing injury and for easier and quicker recovery time when an injury occurs. Adding these essential nutrients, leading a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet can keep us on the right path. These are truly building blocks of strong and healthy bones.

 

References              

1) ASBMR Bone Curriculum, Collagen and Bone Matrix, https://depts.washington.edu/bonebio/ASBMRed/matrix. HYPERLINK "https://depts.washington.edu/bonebio/ASBMRed/matrix.html" HYPERLINK "https://depts.washington.edu/bonebio/ASBMRed/matrix.html" HYPERLINK "https://depts.washington.edu/bonebio/ASBMRed/matrix.html"html

2) Mandal, Ananya Dr, What is Cartilage?, News Medical Life Sciences & Medicine,                         http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Cartilage.aspx , updated Oct 8, 2014

3) University of Southern California. "Repair cartilage potentially can heal horribly broken bones: Ability to heal bone fractures is especially crucial for injured, multimillion-dollar athletes who spend big bucks to get back on the field or into the ring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160511102657.htm>

4) Adam Hart, MD, MSc, Adam Cota, MD, FRCSC, Asim Makhdom, MD, MSc, and        Edward J. Harvey, MD, MSc, FRCSC, The Role of Vitamin C in Orthopedic Trauma and Bone Health, The American Journal of Orthopedics, Am J Orthop. 2015;44(7):306-311

5) McIntosh, J. (2015, August 5). "What is collagen? What does collagen do?." Medical News Today. Retrieved from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881.php.

6) Dr. Susan E. Brown, The BEtter Bones Blog, "Can Vitamin C Speed Up Fracture Healing and Reduce Fracture Risk?"  http://www.betterbones.com/blog/post/vitamin-c-reduce-fracture-risk.aspx

 

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Dr. Millie Lytle