Calcium and Vitamin D for bone density

Posted by ellerbracke @ellerbracke, Oct 1, 2019

A recent bone density test came back in the low average range for my age. My OBGYN recommended calcium and vitamin D. I checked with a family member who is a pharmacist, and she says that the benefits of calcium supplements are not clear cut. Regarding vitamin D, I’m in the sunbelt, and spend at least 2 hours per day outdoors during 8 to 9 months a year (early morning, or evening, sun screen between 10 AM and 5 PM if applicable for pool, beach, for example). I’m sure many people on this forum have done their own research regarding the benefits of calcium pills, and I would love to hear what the current consensus is. I exercise regularly, so my bones get a workout from the muscles pulling on them, if that makes a difference. I think the data I was given is that statistically I have an 8% chance of a hip fracture in the next decade, based on the test results.

@contentandwell

@hopeful33250 Thanks, Teresa. I have a PCP appointment on Monday so I may ask for that, but I am now taking calcium with vitamin D so now it’s probably fine.
JK

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Hi @contentandwell
The amount added to a calcium supplement might not be enough if you are low on Vit. D (and if you are experiencing bone loss you very well might be low on D). I've been told by docs that you need more than what is added to a calcium supplement. When you have your Vit. D level checked I'd be interested in knowing what the level is. At the lowest, mine was 17 and after taking 4,000 additional units per day (2,000 a.m. and 2,000 p.m.) I'm up to 30. Still not as high as it could be but much better.

Liked by lioness

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I was taking 500 of Vit D but my levels where low. I increased to 2000 a day and now my levels are back to normal. The Vit D in calcium supplement was not enough for me.

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@candrgonzalez

I was taking 500 of Vit D but my levels where low. I increased to 2000 a day and now my levels are back to normal. The Vit D in calcium supplement was not enough for me.

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@hopeful33250 Thanks Teresa. I will definitely bring that up with my PCP. This could be a somewhat contentious appointment so I hope to get everything in that I want. I’d better make a list.
JK

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Hi Theresa,
Vit D @ 30, take calcium 1200 daily. Osteoporosis due to 6 years on anastrazole for breast cancer. Prolia added 2 yrs. ago. Now intermittent severe pain in arms, wrists, hands. thigh and hip pain. Continuing calcium 1200 mg daily and Vit. D. Added glucosamine chondroitin and have had some relief. Also taking a break from anastrazole which is now recommended to take for 7-10 years. Do you have any info on organic calcium and Vit K2 for getting calcium into your bones?

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@kahli

Hi Theresa,
Vit D @ 30, take calcium 1200 daily. Osteoporosis due to 6 years on anastrazole for breast cancer. Prolia added 2 yrs. ago. Now intermittent severe pain in arms, wrists, hands. thigh and hip pain. Continuing calcium 1200 mg daily and Vit. D. Added glucosamine chondroitin and have had some relief. Also taking a break from anastrazole which is now recommended to take for 7-10 years. Do you have any info on organic calcium and Vit K2 for getting calcium into your bones?

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Hello @kahli and @contentandwell,

I don't know much about organic calcium. I also have experienced a lot of bone pain from osteopenia.

Here is a link to an article from the National Institute of Health about Vit K2 helping to prevent fractures,
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4042573/
Here is the first paragraph of the article,

"Vitamin K may play an important role in the prevention of fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Menatetrenone is the brand name of a synthetic vitamin K2 that is chemically identical to menaquinone-4. The present review study aimed to clarify the effect of menatetrenone on the skeleton in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, by reviewing the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the literature. RCTs that investigated the effect of menatetrenone on bone mineral density (BMD), measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and fracture incidence in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, were identified by a PubMed search for literature published in English. Eight studies met the criteria for RCTs. Small RCTs showed that menatetrenone monotherapy decreased serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) concentrations, modestly increased lumbar spine BMD, and reduced the incidence of fractures (mainly vertebral fracture), and that combined alendronate and menatetrenone therapy enhanced the decrease in serum ucOC concentrations and further increased femoral neck BMD. This review of the literature revealed positive evidence for the effects of menatetrenone monotherapy on fracture incidence in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Further studies are required to clarify the efficacy of menatetrenone in combination with bisphosphonates against fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis."

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@kahli

Hi Theresa,
Vit D @ 30, take calcium 1200 daily. Osteoporosis due to 6 years on anastrazole for breast cancer. Prolia added 2 yrs. ago. Now intermittent severe pain in arms, wrists, hands. thigh and hip pain. Continuing calcium 1200 mg daily and Vit. D. Added glucosamine chondroitin and have had some relief. Also taking a break from anastrazole which is now recommended to take for 7-10 years. Do you have any info on organic calcium and Vit K2 for getting calcium into your bones?

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@kahli One thing you may want to look at is Hydrolized Collagen our bones and organs need collagen I take bone meal powder 1 rounded teaspoon a day in smoothie or add to cereal. It is naturel but you will have to add a Vitamin D 3 I take 5000 units as my D was low on lab results. I get this from Amazon it is the Kal brand

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@hopeful33250, @lioness
Thank you for your replies and help. I bought collagen from Amazon, not sure it would help. Obviously I am on the right track. Take K2. once a day, collagen hydrologized one a day in hot tea. The nih (National Institute Hospital) report was excellent.
Prolia warnings say pain in thigh and hip. also possible femur fractures. Since it is injection, you can't take it back! Have had 4 doses, 1 every 6 mon. Not sure I will take it again. Bone density due next Feb. In the meantime added the Vit K and collagen and trying to get 3 glasses of milk everyday. So Feb. will tell if any improvement. Costco now carry's the Vit. K2 .

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@kahli

@hopeful33250, @lioness
Thank you for your replies and help. I bought collagen from Amazon, not sure it would help. Obviously I am on the right track. Take K2. once a day, collagen hydrologized one a day in hot tea. The nih (National Institute Hospital) report was excellent.
Prolia warnings say pain in thigh and hip. also possible femur fractures. Since it is injection, you can't take it back! Have had 4 doses, 1 every 6 mon. Not sure I will take it again. Bone density due next Feb. In the meantime added the Vit K and collagen and trying to get 3 glasses of milk everyday. So Feb. will tell if any improvement. Costco now carry's the Vit. K2 .

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@hopeful33250 @lioness,
Sorry, nih (National Instutute of Health)

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@kahli

@hopeful33250, @lioness
Thank you for your replies and help. I bought collagen from Amazon, not sure it would help. Obviously I am on the right track. Take K2. once a day, collagen hydrologized one a day in hot tea. The nih (National Institute Hospital) report was excellent.
Prolia warnings say pain in thigh and hip. also possible femur fractures. Since it is injection, you can't take it back! Have had 4 doses, 1 every 6 mon. Not sure I will take it again. Bone density due next Feb. In the meantime added the Vit K and collagen and trying to get 3 glasses of milk everyday. So Feb. will tell if any improvement. Costco now carry's the Vit. K2 .

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It sounds as if you are doing a lot of the right things, @kahli. I'll be interested in hearing how your February bone density looks. I hope you show improvement (or at least no decrease) in bone density. Have you had any fractures?

Will you post again and let me know if the supplements and injections are helping with the bone pain?

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@hopeful33250

It sounds as if you are doing a lot of the right things, @kahli. I'll be interested in hearing how your February bone density looks. I hope you show improvement (or at least no decrease) in bone density. Have you had any fractures?

Will you post again and let me know if the supplements and injections are helping with the bone pain?

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I think the bone pain is fro anastrazole causes the osteoporosis and the prolia is supposed to increase cells making bone – nut side effects are horrible. Yes, I will let you know the results of bone density in Feb. Thank you both for your replies and support. Maybe we can help others.

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I am an avid gardener living in sunny California. You cannot get enough vitamin D3 from the sun anymore because of too much particulate in the air. When I got my vitamin D3 level checked, it was an abysmal 3 ng/ml. My DEXA scan came back at -5.7 (serious osteoporosis is -2.5). This loss of calcium in my bones came about because of a pituitary tumor that caused serious hormonal deficiencies, more specifically a loss of human growth hormone. The tumor and HGH deficiency were not detected until I was 61 years of age. I went back on estrogen (low dose) and progesterone at age 68, as well as supplementation of Human Growth Hormone. I take 1200 mg calcium (600 mg in morning and 600 mg at night) with 2,000 IU of vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, boron, and 500 mg of magnesium. You MUST take Vitamin K2 or your calcium will wind up in your arteries instead of your bones! I take these supplements two hours away from anything else I am taking to avoid interactions. I eat piles and piles of kale and arugula with sliced almonds and pieces of cheese. I am lactose intolerant, so I take digestive enzymes to get the cheese in me. I eat salmon three times a week. Try to eat as much calcium as you can and subtract the mg of calcium you are getting from your daily total. (I have a kidney stone, so I have to watch that I don't get excessive amounts.). ConsumerLab has thousands of medical journal articles about supplements posted for you to read and they test to be sure your supplements are exactly what they say they are and nothing extra (e.g., lead, etc.). I have also increased the amount I walk each day in an effort to increase my bone strength. I take this very seriously as I have started fracturing. I just can't do sardines. I am avoiding the drugs like Prolia after speaking with woman who took it and have irreversible, devastating side effects (osteonecrosis of the jaw, etc.). Also, when you go off the drugs like Fosamax and Prolia, the new bone you made suddenly disappears. Those drugs seem to me to be very dangerous. I am getting a new DEXA scan early in 2020, and I'll try to remember to come back and give an update. I have only been on this regimen the past six months, but even a modest reversal of my bone loss would encourage me. Good luck, everybody!

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@kahli

@hopeful33250, @lioness
Thank you for your replies and help. I bought collagen from Amazon, not sure it would help. Obviously I am on the right track. Take K2. once a day, collagen hydrologized one a day in hot tea. The nih (National Institute Hospital) report was excellent.
Prolia warnings say pain in thigh and hip. also possible femur fractures. Since it is injection, you can't take it back! Have had 4 doses, 1 every 6 mon. Not sure I will take it again. Bone density due next Feb. In the meantime added the Vit K and collagen and trying to get 3 glasses of milk everyday. So Feb. will tell if any improvement. Costco now carry's the Vit. K2 .

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@kahli Let us know your bone density next Feb . Will be interesting to see what it is . I just ordered the grass fed collagen will get it on 14th Walmart had it .

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I too have very low vitamin D level and calcium. 6 months ago a Rhuematologist explained to me why I needed a prescription for Vitamin D with 50,000 eug’s and not just an over the counter vitamin. She explained that for some unknown reason my body was not absorbing and retaining the daily recommended amount, and unless I took this supplement my osteoarthritis and osteopenia would continue to increase. I would like to add this, along with some lifestyle changes and only taking this supplement much of my chronic pain has dissipated. I make sure I get the recommended sun exposure, using a protective SPF that has UVA/ UVB protection, and I eat a plant based diet almost daily.

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@051703

I too have very low vitamin D level and calcium. 6 months ago a Rhuematologist explained to me why I needed a prescription for Vitamin D with 50,000 eug’s and not just an over the counter vitamin. She explained that for some unknown reason my body was not absorbing and retaining the daily recommended amount, and unless I took this supplement my osteoarthritis and osteopenia would continue to increase. I would like to add this, along with some lifestyle changes and only taking this supplement much of my chronic pain has dissipated. I make sure I get the recommended sun exposure, using a protective SPF that has UVA/ UVB protection, and I eat a plant based diet almost daily.

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Hello @051703 and welcome to Connect. I see this is your first post and I'm glad that you added your own experience to this discussion on Vitamin D and bone health. I am glad to hear that your chronic pain has diminished, that is good news!

How often do you take the prescription Vitamin D? Will you be having another bone density test soon to determine if you have improved?

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@contentandwell

@ellerbracke @candrgonzalez What test shows Vitamin D level? I have a battery of tests every month because I am post-transplant and I just went through them. I do see calcium there, in the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel. Mine is 9.1 mg/dL and the range is 8.6 – 10.4 mg/dL so I am within that but I do not see Vitamin D anywhere. According to the DEXA I had a few weeks ago I have somewhat severe osteoporosis so this is a very concerning thing for me. I have an appointment with an osteoporosis specialist (an endocrinologist) but it's not until January so until then I want to be as proactive as I can be.
Thanks.
JK

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I take Alive Calcium it has Vit D 3, K2, magnesium citrate, strontium.

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