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.

@parrotqueen

Regarding a test for Vitamin K2 – there is not one yet that I know of. My doctor was concerned about the supplement I'm using for vitamin K2 – she wants me to take it every other day. There is no hypervitaminosis with Vitamin K2. Also, the most common recommended dose I see is 45 mg or 45,000 mcg. There was something about K2 on You Tube that I watched – and there are books about K2. If you go to Amazon, there are maybe 5-6 books on Vitamin K2. One that is quoted a lot is Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox (I think that is the name – if you type in Calcium Paradox the book will come up).

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@parrotqueen Thanks for all the info. You certainly have an extremely complex history. It's no wonder you have had to get very informed about your own health conditions. Years and years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I used to be a claims examiner for Blue Cross. I recall there were many, many claims for drug coverage of Armour Thyroid. At that time it meant nothing to me. Now I am on levothyroxine and that seems to be doing exactly what it needs to do.
When I was taking all of that magnesium I had non-alcoholic cirrhosis and was waiting for a liver transplant. One of the medications I was taking must have been depleting my magnesium I assume. I no longer take any magnesium and my labs, including magnesium, are monitored bi-monthly and that is fine now.
I would like to question my doctor about the D2 vs D3 but I assume he must have a reason. I think I will wait until I see him next month rather than send a message on the portal. I have an endo appointment this month so maybe I will ask that doctor if he knows why my other doctor (whom he knows) would order that.
I will also look into vitamin K. Thanks again.
JK

Liked by lioness, parrotqueen

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My husband and I were on a RV trip to Colorado. On the way we home we were at one in New Mexico.. He was in the office and was talking with the owner. He saw that my husband had tremors and they started talking about meds. My husband does t not take anything, but I want him to. He said his mother was real bad with authoritis or osterperosis and she was real humped over and could not stand up straight. He put her on CORAL CALCIUN and CBD and now she is walking better and stands up straight.

Liked by lioness

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I'm very interested in this discussion. I live in a northern clime (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) so the amount of sunlight I get throughout the year is affected by the winter months. I've been in the osteopenia range since my mid-40's despite years of weight bearing exercise including hiking, walking and weight-lifting. My mother had osteoporosis which is a big risk factor. My vitamin D level was tested and found to be very low (this was 8 years ago) so I went on megadoses of Vitamin D and have continued with calcium and Vitamin D supplements. I was diagnosed with osteporosis 8 years ago (in my hip) and finally agreed to go on Fosomax two years ago. My next DEXA scan will be in another year and my PCP and I will decide whether to discontinue the Fosomax (I'm hoping for the best).

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I forgot to say that my husband said the man said his mother had better bone density after a short while doing this.

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I live in sunny California and I am a gardening fool – I almost spend more time outside than I do inside. My vitamin D level was at 3 when I got tested about a dozen years ago – despite all that sunshine. Researchers claim there is too much particulate in our air and it prevents us from getting the full vitamin D experience we need. I began taking vitamin D3 and got my level up to between 80 and 90 ng/ml, and this has improved my health in so many ways and very dramatically. I have talked to many women who have done a ton of weight-bearing exercise and they all said it did not one thing for their bone density. A close friend who is a doctor and a long-distance runner told me she honestly believes it is worthless where bone density is concerned. As I have said many times here, I think the best thing is to EAT your calcium. If you can't eat enough calcium daily, then you might want to supplement. I take a food-based calcium; there are many brands of food-based calcium on the market, including Garden of Life, Rainbow Light, New Chapter, and more. AlgaeCal currently has been found to have lead in it and also only has 87% of the magnesium they advertise on the label. I also take Vitamin K2 (MK4 and MK7), magnesium, boron, vitamin C, a food-based multivitamin, and I have some collagen from grass-fed cows. You need the K2 to tell the calcium to go to your bones – otherwise it can pile up in your arteries or contribute to kidney stones. I have posted several websites that talk about vitamin K2 – you can do an internet search and find a lot to read about K2. The MK4 and MK7 varieties of K2 are easily absorbed by the human body and do different things – you want a K2 that has both. My DEXA scan was -5.7, so I am trying as hard as I can to get some bone growth. I am taking Human Growth Hormone because I have a deficiency (that's how I got osteoporosis to begin with), and I am also using a low-dose estrogen patch and progesterone.

I will not use drugs like Prolia and Fosamax as I have not found any proof they do any good, and I have found proof that they can cause a great deal of harm. You have to do what you and your doctor think is best for your own body. It might be worth talking to your dentist about Fosamax.

Please do some research into Vitamin K2 – you will likely find some answers there.

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@janett18

Hi, I have fibromyalgia and get horrible burning in my legs. The only thing that has helped is Gabapentin which a dr needs to prescribe. Hope this helps.

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I read something about this – but for the life of me, I cannot remember what. I think it was magnesium they recommended for this kind of leg problem. I take 900 mg of gabapentin four times a day (the maximum dose) to keep shingles away and for neuropathy. It is a great drug if you have nerve pain. I also have fibromyalgia very bad – and I think a good muscle relaxer also helps as well as the gabapentin. I also do not consume any sugar – I'm on a very strict no-sugar diet. (Sugar causes inflammation and inflammation causes disease.). I really think going off sugar helped my fibromyalgia.

What bothers me most about fibromyalgia is that many doctors still think it isn't real. It has recently been proven to be very real – as we can attest. I think there will start being some progress made in treatment now that they have established it is real. Don't let anybody dismiss you about it.

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@parrotqueen

I have been sickly since I was a child. I have more than 15 autoimmune diseases, a pituitary tumor, no immune system, and more! I started taking Vitamin C when I was a teenager because I had a cold every week! (I had my tonsils out when I was 18 and that stopped that at least.). But I had that undiagnosed pituitary tumor and I didn't know why I had all these other symptoms (my adrenals weren't working, I didn't have any Human Growth Hormone, my thyroid wasn't working, etc.). I started experimenting with other supplements. I had a very bad skin disease called Hidradenitis suppurativa that didn't really have many treatment options back in 1976 – but I learned that people in India didn't suffer from that disease – and I learned that it was because they eat a lot of turmeric. I began taking turmeric and my skin disease went away (my arthritis also thanked me). This led me to look for other remedies amongst the vitamins and herbs. Also, doctors used antibiotics on me so much, I became resistant to all but the three IV hospital antibiotics such as vancomycin. My infectious disease doctor told me to look at herbs for answers. I should also say that I worked in one of the first biotechnology research labs (where polymerase chain reaction was discovered!) with many scientists and doctors, and there were many conversations about healthcare. I do extensive research – and as I have mentioned here before (I know we are not supposed to mention websites – but this one was allowed) – I am also a member of ConsumerLab.com which is a consumer watchdog group for supplements. They post MANY peer-reviewed research papers about vitamins and herbs, and they test supplements to be sure they are what they say they are and do not have anything else in them, they are the strength they say they are, they are in a form that can be used by the body (some of these pills don't come apart fast enough in the body – so the pills go right through you), etc. I try to be as informed as I can be before I take a supplement. Finally, because my adrenals do not work, I must take a low dose steroid pill daily. Steroids, antibiotics, hormones and stress are some of the things that can disrupt the balance in your gut and cause Candida overgrowth. This is not a problem that most doctors will acknowledge. I became very ill and could not leave the house for three years. I finally figured out I had Candida overgrowth, and I treated it myself with probiotics, herbal antifungals, and a no-sugar diet. To see a functional doctor for this problem would have easily cost me $2,000 for the first visit. I decided I would educate myself, and that is what I have done. I read everything I can get my hands on that talk about gut health. Hipppocrates said that all disease begins in the gut and I think he was probably correct. My body is turning around big time since I embraced this diet. From my teeth to my toes, everything is healing – even though I am 68 and almost 69. I had pre-cancerous cells in my gut, and they are gone now! So that is my history with herbs and vitamins. I learn a lot from being in online support groups also. I get ideas from other people (like you) and that leads me to do some investigating. One last thing I'd like to say: When I was 61, my parrots' veterinarian (!!!) called me at home to discuss my thyroid. He suggested I try Armour Thyroid because I complained I never felt any benefit from taking synthetic thyroid meds. What a huge boost that was to my system! So I have learned throughout the years to always question my medications and to keep looking until I find what works.

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@parrotqueen Very impressive I like what you have done to heal yourself yes if you give the body the right stuff it will heal itself. I have studied herbs, homeopathics and essential oils since the 70,s Dr Earl Mandel had the book out herbal Bible I think it was called , now I have the 5th edition from Phyllis Balch I really like this book . She tells you what not to use if your on certain meds, especially Coumadin . I to an on ConsumerLab.com they give you as you said a lot of info about what not to take also . I use all holistic meds herbs homeopathics also .. Glad to know alittle more about your education into holistic health

Liked by parrotqueen

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@parrotqueen

I read something about this – but for the life of me, I cannot remember what. I think it was magnesium they recommended for this kind of leg problem. I take 900 mg of gabapentin four times a day (the maximum dose) to keep shingles away and for neuropathy. It is a great drug if you have nerve pain. I also have fibromyalgia very bad – and I think a good muscle relaxer also helps as well as the gabapentin. I also do not consume any sugar – I'm on a very strict no-sugar diet. (Sugar causes inflammation and inflammation causes disease.). I really think going off sugar helped my fibromyalgia.

What bothers me most about fibromyalgia is that many doctors still think it isn't real. It has recently been proven to be very real – as we can attest. I think there will start being some progress made in treatment now that they have established it is real. Don't let anybody dismiss you about it.

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@janett18 I have had fibromyalgia since the 90,s then still it was all in my head to all Dr,s except my rheumatologist . I went to a group and was told that even by doing isometric exercises will help relax the muscles. I still do this and use a TENS unit for my back this relaxes the muscles. I take 450mg to 600mg of magnesium a day , When I overdue it it is the 600 for a day or two then back to the 450 and My lab work is within normal limits for fibro so that tells me I needed more the what the RDA says.

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@lioness

@kahli Thanks for your response I have had my magnesium checked and it is within normal limits. I have fibromyalgia and Dr. did subscribe Gabapentin but the dose doesn't agree with my so I will talk to her about reducing the dose to see if it will work out . The fibro group stated that more magnesium is needed for us fibro folks so I take 450mg but my labs are all within normal limits for this so it maybe something you @janett18 may want to talk over with your Dr. like I'm going with gabapentin.

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@kahli I meant that the 450mg is twice a day and within normal limits for me . One of the fibromyalgia groups said they found that more magnesium is needed for us . I may increase it since I still have constipation at times. Not sure yet will have to think about it ,it may just be my age that is the culprit for this . LOL

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@lioness

@kahli I meant that the 450mg is twice a day and within normal limits for me . One of the fibromyalgia groups said they found that more magnesium is needed for us . I may increase it since I still have constipation at times. Not sure yet will have to think about it ,it may just be my age that is the culprit for this . LOL

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Lioness – I just looked at my calcium – the one I ordered by mistake. It has 1,000 mg of magnesium and only 500 of calcium! I've been taking that for a couple of months now and didn't pay much attention to it until now. I have not had a problem with diarrhea which is odd as that used to happen if I took even a little extra magnesium. I am having a serious pain issue in my back lately, and the fibromyalgia in my arm has been off the hook. Perhaps that explains why I am tolerating such a high dose.

Did you not say you have to take thyroid medication? I just got my thyroid dose increased and I was surprised to find my ongoing issue with constipation has disappeared with the higher dose. If you have a constant problem with constipation, you might want to get your thyroid checked again. My doctor said my previous dose was adequate, but when I told him how I was feeling, he told me to increase my dose. I was taking a dose of Milk of Magnesia every night to cope (on the advice of my infectious disease doctor). I don't think we have to accept constipation just because we are aging. I refuse.

I have always meant to buy the Herb Bible – you have inspired me to finally hunt it down. Thank you for mentioning it. Sounds like you and I have both been interested in herbs for a very long time. Good to meet you.

Today I decided to start taking the Moringa I bought last year and forgot to take. It has calcium in it and is good for energy (which I need). It worked! I got up and did a bunch of housework today. (I've been sort of bedridden with a lower back issue – had an MRI on Friday. I'm hoping it is NOT a compression fracture.)

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After reading this discussion, i researched vitamin k as suggested and found this article by a dietitian which confirmed all that parrot queen had written here: https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/060113p54.shtml. Very helpful as I have osteopenia and just learned of my vitamin D deficiency. I was told by my rheumatologist to take 1000mg of supplement D3, but no more than that. And nothing was said about vitamin K!

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Hello members discussing vitamins and supplements in regards to bone health. It is important to remember that any supplements that are added to a diet or medication regimen should be discussed with a medical provider or pharmacist. Certain vitamins, like vitamin K, can have adverse affects that are potentially dangerous in combination with other medications. Connect is a safe place to share experiences, questions, concerns, and knowledge, but we must refrain from giving medical or medication advice.

Here is a good, thorough, read from the National Institute of Health site on vitamin K, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminK-HealthProfessional/.

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@parrotqueen

Lioness – I just looked at my calcium – the one I ordered by mistake. It has 1,000 mg of magnesium and only 500 of calcium! I've been taking that for a couple of months now and didn't pay much attention to it until now. I have not had a problem with diarrhea which is odd as that used to happen if I took even a little extra magnesium. I am having a serious pain issue in my back lately, and the fibromyalgia in my arm has been off the hook. Perhaps that explains why I am tolerating such a high dose.

Did you not say you have to take thyroid medication? I just got my thyroid dose increased and I was surprised to find my ongoing issue with constipation has disappeared with the higher dose. If you have a constant problem with constipation, you might want to get your thyroid checked again. My doctor said my previous dose was adequate, but when I told him how I was feeling, he told me to increase my dose. I was taking a dose of Milk of Magnesia every night to cope (on the advice of my infectious disease doctor). I don't think we have to accept constipation just because we are aging. I refuse.

I have always meant to buy the Herb Bible – you have inspired me to finally hunt it down. Thank you for mentioning it. Sounds like you and I have both been interested in herbs for a very long time. Good to meet you.

Today I decided to start taking the Moringa I bought last year and forgot to take. It has calcium in it and is good for energy (which I need). It worked! I got up and did a bunch of housework today. (I've been sort of bedridden with a lower back issue – had an MRI on Friday. I'm hoping it is NOT a compression fracture.)

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@parrotqueen Glad to hear from you . When I saw the amt of side effects in reg. meds that's when I started to read more I am a retired nurse but refused to have to take all those meds to counter the side effects. I don't have thyroid problems my last lab test was in normal range . I do take a Colace it does the trick for me I need to get more fiber in my diet and fruit . If you have any osteopenia or osteoporosis you need at least 1200 mg of calcium which is what I take in the bone meal powder from Amazon. I never took the Moringa Dr. Mandell,s book maybe in older library,s or book stores I don't know if it is in print now or not that's why I went for Phyllis Balch I really like this book. Friday I did to much exercise as the student nurses put us throw the wringer and Sat my fibro kicked up especially the nerves in my arms so took extra Gabapentin plus I have a Cream Topricin cream you rub on it is for fibromyalgia and neuropathy I find it a CVS
or online. Its about 25.00 but last along time . Hope you can find the book. Hope your MRI doesnt show a fracture . I have 2 fractures one in 2005 a work accident and just this year showed a fracture and bone density showed osteoporosis so on the bone meal hope my next dexa scan in 2 years shows it has helped I think it has already as I can lay on my left hip without pain. Another thing for pain I drink a Arnica tea get from Walmart. Arnica is homeopathic.

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@lioness

@parrotqueen Glad to hear from you . When I saw the amt of side effects in reg. meds that's when I started to read more I am a retired nurse but refused to have to take all those meds to counter the side effects. I don't have thyroid problems my last lab test was in normal range . I do take a Colace it does the trick for me I need to get more fiber in my diet and fruit . If you have any osteopenia or osteoporosis you need at least 1200 mg of calcium which is what I take in the bone meal powder from Amazon. I never took the Moringa Dr. Mandell,s book maybe in older library,s or book stores I don't know if it is in print now or not that's why I went for Phyllis Balch I really like this book. Friday I did to much exercise as the student nurses put us throw the wringer and Sat my fibro kicked up especially the nerves in my arms so took extra Gabapentin plus I have a Cream Topricin cream you rub on it is for fibromyalgia and neuropathy I find it a CVS
or online. Its about 25.00 but last along time . Hope you can find the book. Hope your MRI doesnt show a fracture . I have 2 fractures one in 2005 a work accident and just this year showed a fracture and bone density showed osteoporosis so on the bone meal hope my next dexa scan in 2 years shows it has helped I think it has already as I can lay on my left hip without pain. Another thing for pain I drink a Arnica tea get from Walmart. Arnica is homeopathic.

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Lioness. Thank you for sharing the name of that cream – I will look into it. I use a cream by Eucerin that has a lot of urea in it for my neuropathy in my feet – but I will try Topricin as I have NOTHING except gabapentin for my fibromyalgia – which is the worst in my right arm).

This just in – my best friend who is a scientist and doctor read what I sent him on Vitamin K2 and he ordered a bottle for me! That is high praise coming from him – he has been in shock with my alternative herbal treatments (that was five years ago) and now he is in awe of the positive changes I have been able to achieve (especially in regard to candida overgrowth).

I feel for you on the fibromyalgia flare. Apparently I did too much work yesterday and it is kicking my butt big time today.

Justin McClanahan – I clear everything with my doctor. She used to worry and now she takes notes when I come in. People who are on blood thinning medications such as warfarin need to be careful taking vitamin K2. I need to also factor in the turmeric I take – which is another blood thinner. I have had no problems yet. I have seen a hematologist and an infectious disease doctor – and given them a complete list of my supplements. And I research my supplements on ConsumerLab.com which posted a list of the best magnesium supplements today for anybody who is interested. There is a membership fee, but it issn't much for what you get in return.

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hello members discussing vitamins and supplements in regards to bone health. It is important to remember that any supplements that are added to a diet or medication regimen should be discussed with a medical provider or pharmacist. Certain vitamins, like vitamin K, can have adverse affects that are potentially dangerous in combination with other medications. Connect is a safe place to share experiences, questions, concerns, and knowledge, but we must refrain from giving medical or medication advice.

Here is a good, thorough, read from the National Institute of Health site on vitamin K, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminK-HealthProfessional/.

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I posted a note to you in my response to lioness. My doctor has approved all my supplements – in fact, I have cleared it with my PCP, hematologist, and infectious disease doctor as well as the doctor that fills in for my PCP when she takes off for Tibet. I so wish it didn't cost so much to see a functional doctor or licensed nutritionist. I just keep forging ahead reading all the peer-reviewed literature I can find. I am currently reading a book called Advanced Nutrition: Macronutrients, Micronutrients, and Metabolism by Carolyn D. Berdainier and Janos Zempleni.

I have also just read a peer-reviewed article on the effects of cannabis on bone health and I was impressed. I am using 20:1 CBD for pain and it is tremendously helpful (cannabis is also an anti fungal so it helps with the candida overgrowth problem that I have because I must take steroids for my adrenal fatigue caused by the pituitary tumor). The 20:1 means 20 parts CBD to 1 part THC – the THC boosts the CBD to work better, and it is such a small amount, it isn't felt. I will say the CBD made me a little bit groggy the first week or two I took it – but now I don't feel anything but pain relief.

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