Confused about best vitamins for osteopenia - Bone Health

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Confused about best vitamins for osteopenia

Exbury1905 profile image

Hi all, please see also my post at: healthunlocked.com/boneheal...

On the advice of HeronNS I decided to go off Prolia (after 1 injection) and to try the Vitamin route with increased exercise. I was already taking Vitamin D 2000 - 3000 I.U./day and calcium carbonate (from oyster shells) 1500 mg/day. I searched online and thought I was buying a D3+K2 mix but I must have clicked on the wrong item as I have Vitamin K2 100mcg capsules.

So my question is, should I continue with my former routine of Vitamin D and calcium, adding 1 capsule of Vitamin K2 daily? Or is there a better solution?

I also take daily Centrum 50+ for women (a multivitamin), 3 Capsules of Adeeva Glucosamine joint formula (glucosamine sulphate 1500mg, MSM 400mg, Quercetin 300mg and Bromelain 300mg) and 1000mg of wild salmon & fish oils.

In addition, I have chronic constipation which my gastro-enterologist tells me is due to IBS. for this I take 1 capsule of Align probiotic plus 1 capsule of Solgar comfort zone digestive complex daily.

Any tips welcomed

13 Replies

Hello Exbury. We're all different, so my comments are a generalisation, but might be worth considering. First, to me that sounds like a huge amount of calcium, unless you're not getting any from your diet. Current advice is usually to get as much from diet as possible, and only top up as necessary to meet any shortfall. I also wonder whether so much calcium carbonate is causing your constipation, as that's a known possible side-effect from standard calcium carbonate supplements. I don't know if oyster shells as a source would make any difference, but I doubt it as it's still calcium carbonate.

As far as Vit D is concerned, we all have different needs and the only way to find out how much is right for you is to get your blood tested. I have a friend whose blood level is 125nmol/litre on 2000iu daily, but mine recently was only 85nmol/litre on 4000iu daily!

K2 (either K2-MK7 or K2-MK4) is considered by many to be an essential co-factor with Vit D. Vit D helps absorb calcium from diet/supplements, but K2 is then needed to direct the calcium to your bones. Many also say magnesium is another important co-factor. And finally, boron may help increase the absorption of Vit D.

Exbury1905 profile image
Exbury1905 in reply to Met00

Hello Met00, thank you for your reply.

You might be right about the calcium, though in several places I have read that the recommended dosage for my age (70+) is 1200 mg/day...so I'm overdosing by 300mg.

I have also read that magnesium is important and that it can counteract the constipating effects of calcium (but in itself it can cause diarrhea!). So the question is, how much supplemental magnesium should I take and in what form?

And Boron - how much??

Met00 profile image
Met00 in reply to Exbury1905

Hello Exbury. There seem to be different views about how much calcium is needed, but this includes calcium in diet, not just from supplements. 1500mg a day sounds a bit high to me, but ultimately you need to decide which point of view you believe! However, it is possible to overdose on calcium, and if you're taking 1500mg daily in supplement form and getting more than 500mg in diet (easily achieved) you could be overdosing. See the following for advised limits: webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingre... "Be sure to consider total calcium intake from both dietary and supplemental sources and try not to exceed 1000-1300 mg of calcium per day".

I don't know much about magnesium, but have frequently come across a recommendation for about 350mg daily. Others say it should at least match the amount of calcium you're taking, and some say up to double the amount of calcium. I personally have little choice and those levels would be totally impossible for me! Even 350mg of magnesium is more than my stomach can cope with, even though I take the glycinate form that is claimed to be gentlest on the stomach. I've also tried epsom salts in the bath and magnesium skin spray, but both dry my skin out terribly. I do use magnesium body butter, which isn't quite so bad, but even that has a drying effect, so I'm quite limited.

As with everything, there are also different opinions about how much boron is needed. 3mg daily is the usual recommended dose, but some say anything up to 20mg daily (which is normally considered to be the upper safe limit), and a very few advocate considerably more than this! I did read recently that most benefit comes from the first 3mg, so taking much more than this may not make a lot of difference.

Don't forget the K2! For MK7 the usual recommended dose is 90-180mcg daily, though some say 100mcg (NB micrograms) for every 1000iu of Vit D you're taking. MK7 doesn't agree with everyone (can cause palpitations) in which case MK4 is better - I think that's 45mg (milligrams) daily, spread across several doses as it doesn't stay in your bloodstream for long.

I hope this is helpful. I suggest if you're starting new supplements, you introduce one at a time so if you get any side effects you can identify what's causing them.

Exbury1905 profile image
Exbury1905 in reply to Met00

Hi Met00, thank you for all the additional information and advice. I wish that I had found this forum a year or two ago! I have learned so much since joining. Thank you all.

Two years ago my doctor said that I should be taking 1500 mg of calcium daily along with Vitamin D, which I have been doing - all at the same time - until tomorrow when the new regime begins.

Nobody told me that 1) calcium causes constipation, 2) that I should not take more than 500 mg of calcium at a time as that's all the gut can absorb at once! or 3) that I should take magnesium along with the calcium as it is necessary for the proper absorption of calcium and that magnesium (being a natural laxative) counterbalances the constipating effects of calcium.

So essentially I've been adding to my problem of chronic constipation, which has been on and off for several years - before I started to take calcium.

Today I have added Magnesium bisglycinate, Vitamin D3 and Boron to my arsenal but will, as you suggest, introduce them one at a time :)

I've been taking K2 (MK-7) 100mcg for two days. Will see how that goes. Thanks again.

Boron 3mg per day ,magnesium360 mg per day research difference types of magnesium some have a better bioavailability than others , k2mk7 ,and cut back on your calcium also research drinking celery juice first thing in the morning good luck

Robert, thank you for your reply.

Are you taking magnesium? A ratio of 2:1 calcium to magnesium is necessary to prevent calcium being direced to our bones where it causes atherosclerosis.

Opt for chelated or bisglycinate which are the most bioavalable forms. Take it at bedtime on an empty stomach with water. Alternatively, you can soak for 30 minutes in a bath with 500g of Mg chloride hexahydrate crystals or epsom salts, or use a skin spray. I make my on spray from Mg crystals which is much cheaper.

Boron is also a necessary mineral for good bone health. Use a supplement or eat foods like chia which are also good for omega oils.

I supplement with D3, approximately 3,500iu in winter & 2,000 in summer.

I don't take K2 as a supplement, I drink dairy kefir daily which also provides calcium & probiotics as well as other essential macro & micronutrients. Kefir s the only probiotic known to withstand stomach acid & reach the gut. Cheaper & more beneficial than tablet probioticsm home fermented from grains with organic wholemilk is far superior to shop bought which contains only lactobacillus, & can't be very live or it would explode on the shop shelves.

Exbury1905 profile image
Exbury1905 in reply to BadHare

Thank you BadHare for your reply. I am not currently taking magnesium but plan to add it as soon as I can get some. There's a good vitamin store nearby and I'll ask their advice.

How much Boron should I take?

BadHare profile image
BadHare in reply to Exbury1905

There's 700mcg in my multimineral supplement, though no RDA on the label.

Perhaps look at these lists of food sources that you might prefer to include in your diet:

onegreenplanet.org/natural-...

algaecal.com/algaecal-ingre...

Lots to choose from, though give peanuts a wide berth as they're inflammatory, & peanut butter contains aflatoxins.

Exbury1905 profile image
Exbury1905 in reply to BadHare

Hi BadHare, Thank you for your advice. I bought some Boron glycinate 3mg. It says on the bottle to take with Vitamin D and calcium. I also bought some chia seeds :) used to use them but got out of the habit. I checked out those links and many of the foods mentioned are in my diet already.

Hi Exbury, I recently made the decision to supplement with magnesium and I am taking between 500/600 mg daily after finding that my osteoporosis had got worse. I am also taking Vitamin D3, K2 and a multi vitamin plus B complex. The only calcium I now take is through my diet as I believe I get enough of this. I find this has helped my constipation but I still don't go every day. When I was taking a combined calcium magnesium supplement on a 2:1 ratio this did give me chronic diarrhoea.

There is a lot of information to be found on the dangers of calcium supplementation without magnesium, and magnesium and osteoporosis.

Hi Collywobbles64, thank you for your reply.

I know that magnesium on its own can cause diarrhoea but am surprised that combined with calcium it had that effect on you! I've read that magnesium (being a natural laxative) counterbalances the constipating effects of calcium.

I've given myself a week off calcium as the constipation was SO bad...

In a few days I shall try the combination of Calcium/Magnesium 2:1, along with Vit D3 and slowly add Boron and Vit K2 (MK7) and see what happens...

Yikes, I had lost this post! Just posted at healthunlocked.com/boneheal... - related to this post...

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