Bone is living tissue that cyclically breaks down and is replaced. Osteoporosis happens when the rate of new bone creation flags behind the removal of old bone. This causes bones to become weak and brittle. In severe cases, falls or mild stresses, including bending over or coughing, can cause a fracture. These fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.
Healthy diet and weight-bearing exercises can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones, but what other options are available? Hormone decline is now being recongnized as a leading cause of bone lose. Key anabolic hormones are responsible for signaling certain cells inside the bone to work better as well as to more efficiently mobilize minerals into the bone matrix. There is more and more clinical evidence showing that bioidentical hormone therapy along with strontium supplementation are effective ways to fight the risk of facture and actually build bone density, thus effectively reversing osteoporosis.
BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE THERAPY
Bioidentical hormones have a chemical structure identical to human hormones, such as progesterone, estradiol, DHEA and testosterone. They are plant derived and then modified to achieve a molecular shape and that matches what our bodies produce. Plus,bioidentical hormones have a much safer profile than their synthetic counterparts. Studies which have looked at the risks of breast cancer with synthetic HRT in comparison to combinations of bioidentical hormones have shown the significantly reduced risks of cancer in women taking bioidentical hormones. The Fournier Study, the worldâs largest study to date looking at this phenomenon was conducted in Europe and revealed that women taking combinations of bioidentical hormones had the same risk of cancer as women who opted out of hormone therapy. Put simply, BHRT posed no additional risk over no therapy.
Joseph Sciabbarrasi, M.D. stresses, “In my clinical practiceâover 15 years of experience in the use of Bioidentical hormone replacement therapyâI regularly see that we not only halt, but we reverse osteoporosis.” Additional studies back that up.
He goes on to argue, “Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for women is a valid and viable option for protecting against osteoporotic fractures. There will always be a need for further studies to add to our knowledge, but the track record to date is excellent. They must be used by a knowledgeable practitioner, accompanied by periodic testing and all preventive medicine care.”
Strontium is a silvery metal and roughly 99 percent of the strontium in the human body is concentrated in the bones. Studies show a special form of strontium called strontium ranelate (SR) can increase bone formation and prevent bone loss when used in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Plus, research indicates taking strontium for osteoarthritis might boost the formation of collagen and cartilage in joints.
In the first study to demonstrate antiosteoporotic efficacy of SR in a controlled clinical trial, 353 women who had suffered at least one vertebral fracture due to osteoporosis took varying levels of strontium ranelate or a placebo. Of the 272 women who completed the study, those who took 680 milligrams of strontium daily had an increase in lumbar bone mineral density of approximately 3 percent per year, significantly greater than the placebo. By the second year of the study, there was a significant decrease in additional fractures in the strontium group as compared with the placebo group. In addition, the study found SR extremely tolerable for the women taking it; the highest number of treatment-related adverse events per patient was reported in the placebo group.
In a three-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study using 680 milligrams of strontium daily, women suffering from osteoporosis experienced a 41 percent reduction in risk of a vertebral fracture, compared with placebo. Plus, overall vertebrae density in the strontium group increased by 11.4 percent. There was only a 1.3 percent decrease in the placebo group. Strontium ranelate is not currently available as a drug in the United States, though it is available in over 70 countries. The good news is that strontium citrate (an over the counter form) is available. Citrate forms of minerals are generally well absorbed and both rat and human studies have confirmed that strontium citrate works in similar ways to itâs expensive patent drug cousin, strontium ranelate. These studes are small, however, so more research needs to be conducted. Ideally a head to head comparison of strontium citrate to strontium ranelate would be performed.
The use of strontium and the use of bioidentical hormone therapy have been clinically demonstrated to increase bone density and reduce risk of fracture.