Archive for March, 2012
Fragility Fractures are fractures caused by osteoporosis.¬† Fragility Fractures cost an enormous amount of money.¬† They also cause¬†pain, suffering, disability, nursing home stays, and death.
The estimated total cost of Fragility Fractures in the European Union for 2010 was 39 billion Euros.¬† That is $52 billion US! ¬†Real money! ¬†That is a lot to pay for fractures that might have been prevented by screening and preventive treatment.
Human Estrogen is the natural means of preventing bone loss before menopause in women.¬† The huge drop in estrogen levels during menopause leads to increased bone loss during and after menopause.
Estrogen stimulates the formation of Osteoblasts (the cells that make new bone).¬† Estrogen lengthens the lifespan of Osteoblasts and Osteocytes (the cells that live in and maintain bone).¬† Estrogen supresses the formation and activation of Osteoclasts (the cells that eat bone away).
Genistein is the main active ingredient in the “Medical Food” Fosteum. ¬†A “medical food” is a “natural supplement” of nutrients not commonly found in regular food, which is designed to treat a specific disease. ¬†Post-Menopausal Osteoporosis is the disease specified for Fosteum. ¬† A “medical food” must be prescribed by a physician.
Genestein is a natural isoflavone phyto-estrogen found in low concentrations in soybeans. ¬†A phyto-estrogen is a substance found in a plant which is similar to human estrogen. ¬†A phyto-estrogen can trick some estrogen receptors in a human into responding as if it were human estrogen. ¬†Other estrogen receptors may not be fooled or may be blocked.
The secret ingredient which incrreases Bone Mineral Density in some “Natural Supplements” sold in the US is Strontium Citrate. ¬†Strontium has more than twice the atomic weight of Calcium. ¬†Bone places Strontium where Calcium belongs in the bone crystal latice. ¬†Bone with Strontium has a higher Bone Mineral Density than bone with only Calcium.
But is it stronger? ¬†Increasing Bone Mineral Density with Fluoride makes bone more brittle. ¬†We do not know all the effects of Strontium, although we do know some. ¬†A Strontium atom is bigger than a Calcium atom. ¬†Therefore, using Strontium istead of Calcium can distort the crystal latice that gives bone it’s rigid strength. ¬†That probably is not good.