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.

@hopeful33250

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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Only 1 a week.

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@asegura

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

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@asegura Thank you, I will run that by my transplant team to see if it’s allowable for me. They will not recommend anything that is has substances that are not monitored.

Thanks too, @051703 for your input, and welcome to Connect.
JK

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@hopeful33250

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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I take 1 capsule a week, and yes they will repeat in 12 months from onset. I am also working on increasing my vitamin D levels even more by increasing natural nutrients.
Shiitake & Button mushrooms
Tuna
Sardines
Eggs
Catfish
Sockeye Salmon
Avocado
Pecans
Almonds

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@lioness

@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 only drink water. I got the collagen but I just can't handle it in plain water. I'm trying to think of something that would taste good that has no sugar. It's supposed to really help. UGH. You are better women than me, lioness, khali, et al.

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@asegura

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

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I stopped taking strontium after reading negative reviews about it. It is banned in Europe. It has been shown to give the appearance of new bone growth on MRI or X-ray, but not in reality. Different kinds of strontium have been linked to cancer. I have three bottles of it in my kitchen that I'm afraid to take. If anybody knows some good news about strontium, please let me know.

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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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Thank you so much for this information. I hear a lot about Vita K2 which is supposed to be very good to build bones but when I talked to my PCP about it she said NO. She says that there are no studies to prove this. I think I am going to try it anyways. Will you please update when you get your bone density test? I do not drink milk as I have a milk allergy.

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@jmanj

Be careful of the Zumba unless it is aimed at the “older” practitioners. Regular Zumba can be extremely hard or knees and ankles, as well as spine twisting and risk of tripping yourself up. I’m doing a class now that is more “line dancing” in its approach. The steps and sequence are reviewed before actually doing the dance, and there are not so many confusing step changes. You still get a good, sweaty workout with gentle impact on your bones. But this approach is just so much safer.

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A physician friend of mine once mentioned that the ER sees a lot of injuries from Zumba

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@candrgonzalez

Thank you so much for this information. I hear a lot about Vita K2 which is supposed to be very good to build bones but when I talked to my PCP about it she said NO. She says that there are no studies to prove this. I think I am going to try it anyways. Will you please update when you get your bone density test? I do not drink milk as I have a milk allergy.

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Yes I will update as soon as I get my next scan done. I also do not do milk – although I eat cheese. I take a digestive enzyme to help me tolerate cheese. Don't take anybody else's word for it when it comes to your bone health – read everything you can get your hands on. There are many books and medical journal submissions about Vitamins D3 and K2, as well as calcium and magnesium. Vitamin K2 tells the calcium where to go – to your bones and not your arteries! It's much harder to rebuild bone than it is to guard what you already have.

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@051703

I take 1 capsule a week, and yes they will repeat in 12 months from onset. I am also working on increasing my vitamin D levels even more by increasing natural nutrients.
Shiitake & Button mushrooms
Tuna
Sardines
Eggs
Catfish
Sockeye Salmon
Avocado
Pecans
Almonds

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It is always best to get our vitamins from food, so you are doing the right thing. Sesame seeds are also good. I eat a lot of arugula to get my vitamin K2 (plus I put kale and ground almonds and pecans in my veggie burgers). The high dose of D3 you are taking is also given to people with MS. I hope this high dose works for you.

An interesting thing about vitamin D3. If you feel like you are getting the flu or a cold, increase your D3 to 10,000 IU per day (I do it in two doses) for 10-14 days. Last time I did this when I was getting a horrible cold with swollen glands the size of golf balls in my neck. After I took the first dose, I started getting my bedroom set up figuring I'd be sick a few days. By the time I had everything set up, I noticed my glands were going down and I was feeling. better! I continued to take the high dose for 10 days and I continued to feel well! As the dose would wear off, I'd feel a little sick. I think I sneezed twice and had no other symptoms! Vitamin D3 is actually a hormone – not a vitamin – and it is very powerful. It works with over 250 systems in the human body. It also helps to reduce falls (by 50%) in the elderly. You can learn more by going to the online Vitamin D Council. There has been a ton of research done.

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@parrotqueen

I only drink water. I got the collagen but I just can't handle it in plain water. I'm trying to think of something that would taste good that has no sugar. It's supposed to really help. UGH. You are better women than me, lioness, khali, et al.

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@parrotqueen I take it I'n my smoothie you don't taste it then . I usually make a fruit smoothie try this you can do it .

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Thank you, Lioness. That is a great suggestion. Only problem is – I cannot eat sugar in any form – not even in fruit. I am allergic to sugar. So, no smoothies for me, sadly. I used to live on smoothies back in the 80s. People thought I was crazy.

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@parrotqueen

Thank you, Lioness. That is a great suggestion. Only problem is – I cannot eat sugar in any form – not even in fruit. I am allergic to sugar. So, no smoothies for me, sadly. I used to live on smoothies back in the 80s. People thought I was crazy.

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@parrotqueen So sorry you cant have smoothies lets see what about herbal tea? or sprinkle on oatmeal or the like? I'm not sure if you could bake anything with it in it.

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@parrotqueen

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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Hi @parrotqueen, I noticed that you wished to post two URLs to web resources with your post. You will be able to add URLs to your posts in a few days. There is a brief period where new members can't post links. We do this to deter spammers and keep the community safe. Clearly the links you wanted to post are not spam. Please allow me to post them for you.

– For nutrition information https://nutritiondata.self.com/
– To check the safety of supplements https://www.consumerlab.com/

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@hopeful33250

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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@hopeful33250 That article gets very technical. Medical jargon eludes me.
I saw my PCP today and he mentioned giving me an Rx for vitamin D, but then did not! I think other than that though I will wait until I see an osteoporosis specialist, and run everything by my transplant team. I will check with the transplant team on the high dose of vitamin D also, I run everything by them.
JK

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@colleenyoung

Hi @parrotqueen, I noticed that you wished to post two URLs to web resources with your post. You will be able to add URLs to your posts in a few days. There is a brief period where new members can't post links. We do this to deter spammers and keep the community safe. Clearly the links you wanted to post are not spam. Please allow me to post them for you.

– For nutrition information https://nutritiondata.self.com/
– To check the safety of supplements https://www.consumerlab.com/

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Thank you so much for posting those links. I think they are very important for people who are interested in nutrition and who might be needing supplements. I appreciate you posting those links.

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