Re­in­forc­ing the body’s bone struc­ture

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - STAR SPECIAL -

The struc­ture of bones can be likened to con­crete used to make build­ings. When a build­ing is first as­sem­bled, the frame is built with cast iron rods. Ce­ment is then poured around these iron rods to form a struc­ture, strong enough to with­stand rock­ing while main­tain­ing strength.

With­out the iron rods, the ce­ment would be brit­tle and frac­ture even with mi­nor move­ments. With­out the ce­ment, the iron rods would have no sup­port.

A sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion hap­pens with our bones. The iron rods rep­re­sent the bones in our body and the ce­ment sur­round­ing the rods are formed by min­er­als such as cal­cium and phos­pho­rus. These min­er­als give the bones strength.

Bones are com­posed of liv­ing and grow­ing tis­sue. Bones sup­port and pro­tect the or­gans in the body and also pro­duce red and white blood cells.

In ad­di­tion to their me­chan­i­cal func­tions, bones form a reser­voir for min­er­als, with the most no­table min­eral be­ing cal­cium. Nine­ty­nine per cent of the body’s cal­cium is stored in the bones and 1% is in teeth.

Cal­cium plays an im­por­tant role in trans­mit­ting sig­nals to nerves and mus­cles and also plays a part in var­i­ous other bod­ily func­tions.

In or­der to keep these func­tions reg­u­lated, the cal­cium con­tent in the blood must be main­tained at a spe­cific level.

When cal­cium lev­els in the blood are too low, cal­cium is re­leased from the bone into the blood­stream. This process is known as re­sorp­tion, which re­sults in the break­down of bones.

Cou­pled with the re­build­ing of bones (a process known as for­ma­tion), both these pro­cesses con­sti­tute bone re­mod­elling. By re­plac­ing old bone cells with new ones, the con­tin­u­ous bone re­mod­elling cy­cle en­sures that the cal­cium sup­ply in the body is ad­e­quate and is al­ways in bal­ance.

how­ever, if the re­sorp­tion rate is greater than the for­ma­tion rate, the loss of bone mass will oc­cur. If the for­ma­tion rate is greater than the re­sorp­tion rate, bone mass will in­crease.

Os­teo­poro­sis

Os­teo­poro­sis is a bone dis­ease that oc­curs when the bone min­eral den­sity (BMD) is re­duced. When BMD is re­duced, the risk of frac­tures in­creases.

While cal­cium is con­sid­ered to be the main bone nu­tri­ent, stud­ies have shown that too much at­ten­tion paid to cal­cium in­take of­ten causes an im­bal­anced in­take of other nu­tri­ents, which could also in­crease the risk of os­teo­poro­sis.

Ide­ally, cal­cium should be taken along with other nu­tri­ents such as vi­ta­min D and mag­ne­sium to max­imise its bioavail­abil­ity.

Re­cent statis­tics by the In­ter­na­tional Os­teo­poro­sis Foun­da­tion (IOF) have shown that 50% of Malaysians are at risk of de­vel­op­ing os­teo­poro­sis when they reach their 50s, with women in their 30s and above be­ing the group with the high­est risk.

In Malaysia, there are 88 and 218 cases of hip frac­tures in males and fe­males re­spec­tively in ev­ery 100,000 peo­ple.

Ac­cord­ing to statis­tics, 51.8% of Malaysian women will suf­fer from mild os­teo­poro­sis af­ter menopause.

Sea­weed-based cal­cium: Aquamin

Branded as Aquamin, the red al­gae Lithotham­nion sp. is a liv­ing, ed­i­ble plant rich in cal­cium and 74 other trace min­er­als.

It is found along the coast of Ice­land, where these al­gae ab­sorb es­sen­tial min­er­als from the sea dur­ing their growth phase, giv­ing them a multi-min­eral prop­erty that con­tains mag­ne­sium, potas­sium, phos­pho­rus and the trace min­er­als boron, stron­tium, vana­dium, cop­per, sil­ica, se­le­nium and zinc, all of which are im­por­tant for bone health.

The al­gae is then har­vested by the Ice­landic govern­ment un­der a con­trolled 30-year li­cence. In­de­pen­dent mon­i­tor­ing and con­tin­u­ous re­search is done to en­sure har­vest ac­tiv­i­ties do not af­fect the ecosys­tem.

As only com­pletely cal­ci­fied al­gae is har­vested, young al­gae is left to grow to full ma­tu­rity.

Aquamin for bone and joint health

The pri­mary ben­e­fit of Aquamin is that it has been shown to re­duce lev­els of the parathy­roid hor­mone (PTh) in the body more ef­fec­tively than other forms of cal­cium.

PTh has a di­rect ef­fect on bone min­eral den­sity (BMD). It con­trols the amount of cal­cium in the blood­stream. When blood cal­cium is low, PTh is re­leased which pulls cal­cium away from the bones. As a re­sult, bones weaken and be­come brit­tle.

Bones are more prone to frac­tures if they are con­stantly ex­posed to a high level of PTh.

Aquamin has been clin­i­cally proven to re­duce the pro­duc­tion of PTh. This means cal­cium lev­els re­main in­tact in the bones and cal­cium loss from the bones is pre­vented. This way, the bones be­come stronger as more cal­cium is de­posited. The end re­sult is an in­crease in BMD.

Aquamin has shown this pos­i­tive ef­fect in pre- and post-menopausal women as well as in ath­letes in non-im­pact sports (i.e. cy­cling), all of whom ex­hibit lower-than-nor­mal bone min­eral den­sity.

Mea­sur­ing the ab­sorp­tion of var­i­ous forms of cal­cium is dif­fi­cult. Ab­sorp­tion can vary ac­cord­ing to the source of cal­cium, the de­liv­ery form, the in­di­vid­ual hu­man sub­ject, di­gestibil­ity and meal con­sump­tion.

The re­duc­tion in PTh lev­els in hu­mans is so linked to cal­cium lev­els that the abil­ity of Aquamin to re­duce PTh is the con­clu­sive proof of its su­pe­rior bioavail­abil­ity.

Of­fer­ing a range of min­er­als from a sin­gle nat­u­ral source, this fur­ther en­hances the bioavail­abil­ity of Aquamin.

It is be­lieved that the por­ous na­ture of Aquamin is the key to its su­pe­rior ab­sorp­tion. In stud­ies con­ducted on bone cells, Aquamin was shown to ef­fec­tively rem­iner­alise cells, in­creas­ing the num­ber of os­teoblasts.

Os­teoblasts are re­spon­si­ble for new bone for­ma­tion. Re­searchers the­o­rised that the syn­er­gis­tic ef­fect of the min­eral com­plex in Aquamin is re­spon­si­ble for the in­crease in os­teo­ge­n­e­sis (bone for­ma­tion ac­tiv­ity).

Con­clu­sion

Cal­cium is an es­sen­tial nu­tri­ent for bone health. A 5% to 10% dif­fer­ence in peak bone mass can in­crease the risk of hip frac­tures later in life.

Aquamin is an or­ganic and plant-based multi-min­eral that helps pre­vent os­teo­poro­sis. Rich in cal­cium and min­er­als such as mag­ne­sium, zinc, se­le­nium and other im­por­tant trace min­er­als, it helps in­crease BMD.

De­rived from a unique red sea­weed al­gae, this patented in­gre­di­ent has demon­strated an ef­fec­tive cell rem­iner­al­i­sa­tion mech­a­nism by in­creas­ing the num­ber of os­teoblasts, thus in­creas­ing os­teo­ge­n­e­sis.

This in­for­ma­tion is con­trib­uted by an in­house phar­ma­cist at Cam­bert (M) Sdn Bhd.

Branded as Aquamin, the red al­gae Lithotham­nion sp. is a liv­ing, ed­i­ble plant rich in cal­cium and 74 other trace min­er­als.

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