Throughout life, cells known as osteoblasts construct bone matrix and fill it with calcium. At the same time, osteoclasts work just as busily to tear down and resorb bone. This fine balance is regulated by many factors, including systemic hormones and cytokines. Bone mass reaches its peak by the middle of the third decade of life and plateaus for about ten years, during which time bone turnover is constant, with bone formation approximately equaling bone resorption.1,2
As our bodies age, this fine balance is lost. As the relative hormone levels shift in midlife — more drastically in women than in men — the osteoclasts gain the upper hand and bone mass begins to dwindle. Some bone is already being lost by the time women reach menopause, but the rate of loss can increase up to tenfold during the first five years after menopause.2-4
Bone density loss is not just associated with calcium deficiency, but also with an insufficient intake of a host of other nutrients5-12 including magnesium11,12 and vitamin D3.13,14 In order for calcium to help maintain healthy bones, adequate amounts of vitamin D3, zinc,15,16 magnesium,17 manganese,9 and other nutrients should be available so that calcium and phosphorus can be incorporated into the bone matrix. Additionally, many forms of calcium are not particularly well absorbed.18-20
While loss of bone mineral density is more commonly experienced by women, aging men can also have this issue.21 Both men and women may experience significant deficits of magnesium if they do not supplement. Bone Restore now contains 300 mg of magnesium. Magnesium is not only needed to maintain strong bones, but it is critical to promoting a healthy vascular system.22,23 In fact, magnesium is critical for facilitating hundreds of enzymatic reactions that our bodies require to maintain optimal health.24,25
To overcome the impediments that preclude aging adults from achieving optimal calcium status, Life Extension offers a proprietary comprehensive mineral formula called Bone Restore which has been designed to support healthy bone density and strength. Bone Restore provides 700 milligrams of elemental calcium from three different forms, along with the critically important nutrients magnesium,17 boron,5,26,27 zinc,8,15,16 silicon,28-30 manganese9 and vitamin D313,14 needed for healthy bones.
In fact, the boron in this formula, called FruiteX B® OsteoBoron®, is a calcium/carbohydrate/boron complex, similar to what is found in fruits and vegetables and is more bioavailable than boron citrate. Scientific research has established the beneficial effects of boron on the strength of bones and joints.5,31-34
One reason why aging people experience bone mineral density loss even though they are taking calcium supplements is that they may not be absorbing enough elemental calcium. Bone Restore provides calcium in capsule form to ensure that it breaks down fully in the digestive tract.
Calcium and other minerals are best not taken with fiber, because fiber can interfere with their absorption.35-37 There is evidence that calcium from supplements and dairy foods may inhibit iron absorption, although it has been very difficult to distinguish between the effects of calcium on iron absorption versus other inhibitory factors, such as phytate.38-40 Although current understanding of this suggests that the inhibition of calcium on absorption of iron is of short duration and the body has adaptive mechanisms.41
Calcium supplements are best taken with meals. They should always be taken with a full glass of water, juice, or other liquid to enhance solubility.42 If calcium-containing formulas are taken only once daily, they may be best taken in the evening.43