A report published in the May, 2008 issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research revealed that supplementing female military recruits with vitamin D and calcium prevented stress fractures, one of the most common overuse injuries that occurs in this population. Stress fractures occur when bones are repetitively loaded over short periods of time without adequate time for repair, and are more common in women than men.
Researchers at Creighton University Osteoporosis Research Center in Omaha, Nebraska, in collaboration with the Naval Institute for Dental and Biomedical Research, Great Lakes, Illinois, randomized 5,201 female Navy recruit volunteers to receive 2000 milligrams calcium and 800 international units vitamin D per day or a placebo, to be consumed with breakfast and dinner over the course of eight weeks of basic training. Three hundred-nine participants were diagnosed with a stress fracture during the treatment period.
Women who received calcium and vitamin D were found to have a 20 percent lower incidence of stress fracture than the placebo group. When the analysis was limited to only those subjects who completed the study, the incidence of stress fracture among the supplemented group was 21 percent lower than the controls. From this data, the researchers predicted that approximately 187 women of the 14,416 who entered basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Station would have been prevented from undergoing a stress fracture by receiving calcium and vitamin D supplements.
To the authors’ knowledge, this randomized, controlled trial is the first to demonstrate the efficacy of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on stress fracture prevention. Because the women averaged a low intake of calcium upon enrollment, the researchers remark that their finding was not surprising. The benefits of calcium and on skeletal strength are well established. When calcium intake is insufficient, parathyroid hormone levels increase, which liberates calcium from the skeleton to maintain normal serum calcium levels. Decreased levels of vitamin D can also mildly increase parathyroid hormone levels.
The authors write that the projected decrease in stress fracture that would occur if all basic training recruits received calcium and vitamin D supplements would significantly reduce debilitation and financial costs. “Supplementation with calcium and vitamin D provides a safe, easy, and inexpensive intervention that does not interfere with training goals,” they conclude.
Many studies have shown that calcium can reduce bone loss and suppress bone turnover. Calcium intake is a foundation of osteoporosis prevention (Kasper DL et al 2005). Calcium requires the presence of vitamin D for maximum absorption. Although calcium is readily available in dairy products and other dietary sources, many Americans are calcium deficient. There are a few possible explanations for calcium deficiencies:
Decreased vitamin D availability, possibly due to kidney or liver problems or insufficient exposure to sunshine (ultraviolet radiation)
Decreased gastrointestinal tract absorption due to stomach or intestinal problems
Increased loss of calcium from the kidneys
Increased loss of calcium from the colon and bowels
Low dietary calcium intake
There are many forms of calcium on the market, including the common calcium carbonate, calcium gluconate, and calcium citrate. Of these, calcium citrate is the most easily absorbed and a good way to receive supplemental calcium. It may also turn out that not only is supplementation vital to preventing and treating osteoporosis but that the timing of the supplementation is important. For example, in a study of healthy volunteers, two doses of 500 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D taken six hours apart produced a more prolonged decrease in serum parathyroid hormone levels (low levels of which indicate adequate calcium levels) than a single dose with the same total amounts of calcium and vitamin D.
Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) is finally getting its day in the sun. Top experts in the field will be revealing their approaches and the treatments they use in their busy practices. You'll understand why their patients love them. These are the same experts who write the books, appear on TV and report to Congress.
An opportunity to learn from these physicians is usually open to just doctors at medical conventions. Now you can hear the BHRT World Summit in the comfort of your home! This audio seminar will be presented the evenings of May 14 to 29. We invite you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear more then 10 practitioner/experts speak about everything from menopause to prostates, migraines to depression, cancer prevention to thyroid health and many more hormone related conditions.
Data supporting the neuronal-protective benefits of blueberry keeps getting stronger. Life Extension introduced blueberry extract due to findings suggesting the fruit naturally confers health-protective benefits. Rich in antioxidants that combat oxidative stress and inflammation, blueberries may help to preserve youthful cognitive function.
Blueberries contain anthocyanins and phenolics that act as antioxidants. Based on data from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (Boston, MA), blueberries are among the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity. Using a test called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), researchers have shown that a serving of fresh blueberries provides more antioxidant activity than many other fresh fruits and vegetables.
Pomegranate fruits contain polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins—all are beneficial antioxidants. Interestingly, pomegranate juice contains high levels of antioxidants—higher than most other fruit juices, red wine, or green tea.
Hunger is the factor that often precludes most people from even considering a low-calorie diet. The remarkable news is that pinolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in Korean pine, has been shown to suppress appetite dramatically without causing any stimulatory effect.
Pinolenic acid stimulates the release of two of the body’s most powerful hunger-suppressing hormones: CCK (chole-cystokinin) and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1). This not only helps the body digest fats better, but also sends a feeling of satiety or “fullness” to the brain, decreasing the desire to eat and helping to control excessive calorie intake. People taking this oil had an increase in the satiety hormones CCK and GLP-1 in the bloodstreams and a reduced desire to eat by 36%.
Life Extension’s Natural Appetite Control formula was developed for adults seeking to lower their calorie intake and maintain a successful, long-term weight management program. Each softgel of Natural Appetite Control provides 1000 mg of a standardized extract of Korean pine nuts containing the highest concentration of pinolenic acid found in any pine nut species.
This supplement should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Results may vary.