How To Improve Bone Health
As the winter season draws to a close, people of all ages and sexes will begin to take advantage of the warmer weather by resuming their high-impact training or outdoor sports regimens. One of the factors that plays a critical role in these people continuing their active lifestyles is maintaining the health of their bones.
Research suggests that there are many ways how to improve bone health, such as taking supplements of calcium, Vitamin D and other nutrients and herbs. In addition to these solutions, new research on bone health nutrition, innovations in supplement manufacturing suggest that there are other ways to go about improving bone health.
For those looking to start manufacturing their own line of bone health supplements, now is the perfect time to get into this industry! According to Frost and Sullivan’s report, “U.S. Bone and Joint Health Ingredients Market”, this industry is expected to reach $246 million by 2015 and will be fueled by an ever-increasing aging population. 1
Why Do Bones Break Down?
Just like any living tissue, old cells in our bones die and are being constantly replaced by new ones. Osteoclasts break down bone cells (called resorption) whereas osteoblasts build new ones (called reformation). This is an ongoing process. It is said that bone restructuring is completed every seven years in the body. Peak bone mass is achieved between the ages of 18 and 25. After that, bone cells begin to break down faster than new ones are created. When osteoclastic activity overtakes osteoblastic activity it leads to bone loss or osteoporosis.
In the United States, osteoporosis affects 40 million people. About 80 percent of those who have osteoporosis are women. Poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight, physiological changes that take place during aging are all factors that contribute to the weakening of bones in the body. 2
Specific Nutrients and Herbs for Bone Health
The combination of calcium and Vitamin D is absolutely vital for the body. Without Vitamin D, the body is not able to absorb calcium. The National Health Institutes states that Vitamin D is not only vital to bone health, but it is being studied for its possible connections with diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune conditions. 3
The latest “ConsumerLab’s Survey of Vitamin and Supplement Users” in which 6,010 serious supplement users participated, shows that Vitamin D usage has increased by 52 percent in the last two years. In 2010, Vitamin D ranked third amongst the most popular supplements and calcium ranked fourth, used by 55.3 percent of the respondents. Key findings reveal that women and older adults are more inclined than men to use Vitamin D and calcium supplements. Vitamin D supplements were used by 65 percent of those between the ages of 75 to 84; 48 percent of those polled were between the ages of 35 to 44. 4
The benefits of taking Vitamin K for promoting bone health have been corroborated by credible research studies. Natural vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is believed to play a role in transporting calcium present in the blood and depositing it in the bones where it can be used to build up bone structure. By removing calcium from the bloodstream it also works to clear the arteries and help prevent calcification which leads to narrowing of the arteries and eventually to heart disease. 5
Magnesium – 50 percent of magnesium in the body is found in the bones. Several studies suggest that adequate magnesium levels in the body are needed to maintain healthy bones. A greater magnesium intake has been associated with a greater degree of bone density maintenance than lower intakes of magnesium. 6
Zinc – Low levels of zinc in the body have been associated with low bone mass (osteoporosis). 7
Studies show that methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), hyaluronic acid, collagen, prebiotics, soy isoflavones, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and other nutrients may have a positive influence on reducing bone loss and improving joint functions. 9
The Bone Health Consumer Market
A consumer survey, conducted by HealthFocus (an international market research and consulting company based in Florida) in 2009, showed that bone health was fourth on a list of health concerns that consumers were “extremely/very concerned” about. It was listed second on the list among those 65 years of age and older. 10
Baby boomers will continue to be the most reliable consumer segment for bone health supplements. According to the “2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis”, half of people over the age of 50 will suffer from weak bones by the year 2020 if changes to diet and lifestyle are not made right now. 11 Baby boomers, however, are not the only ones in need of bone health supplementation. Post-menopausal women often turn to exercise, diet and supplementation as ways to prevent or slow down bone loss from occurring.
During menopause, estrogen (hormones) levels in a woman decline. Estrogen protects bone health by supporting osteoblastic activity. Declining estrogen levels during this critical stage of a woman’s life leads to higher osteoblastic activity. Bones become brittle and can easily fracture. Supplements containing calcium and Vitamin D may help to prevent or slow down the degeneration of bones.
Epidemiological research suggests that Caucasian and Asian women are more susceptible to bone fractures as they age and are among the more vulnerable demographics for osteoporosis.
Priming bone health should begin early on in life. Sales growth in bone health supplements reflects a broader consumer base that includes young boys and girls. Through the efforts of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) boys and girls, particularly young girls, are learning how to improve bone health by getting the calcium they need during the crucial stage in life when bones are being developed. Bone health emphasized at this stage, for both boys and girls, may delay or prevent the onset of osteoporosis later on in life. Girls need to prime up on bone health by the age of 18; boys by the age of 20.
A future market potential is meeting the bone health needs of men after the age of 40.
Educating Your Target Market
Providing your customers with a unique custom formula of bone-specific nutrients along with herbs for bone health is one way of providing the nutrition they need to support optimal bone health.
Nutricap Labs can help you create your own bone health formula to meet the growing demand for bone health supplements. In addition, we can help you create an eye-catching label design to help your product stand out in the marketplace. We can also provide you with drop shipping and supplement order fulfillment services. Why not ask one of our professional product advisors how we can help you produce an effective, high-quality bone health supplement within our GMP-certified facility? Call (800) 494-6154 to speak to one of our Production Specialists or you may submit a request to receive a free quote back from us in 48 hours or less.
1. Aging Population, Heightened Consumer Awareness Propel U.S. Bone and Joint Health Ingredients, Says Frost & Sullivan, Sept 2009, http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/press-release.pag?docid=178641199
2. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center, http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/default.asp
3. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
4. ConsumerLab’s – Survey of Vitamin and Supplement Users: 2011 http://www.consumerlab.com/reports/CLSurveyBrochure2011.pdf
5. Importance of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K for osteoporosis prevention and Treatment, Proc Nutr Soc. 2008 May;67(2):163-76.
6. Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69(4):727-36.
7. Zinc, Medline Plus: National Institutes of Health, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/982.html
8. Co-dependence of calcium and phosphorus for growth and bone development under conditions of varying deficiency, Bone. 2003 May;32(5):532-40.
9. Natural products as alternative treatments for metabolic bone disorders and for maintenance of bone health, Phytother Res. 2007 Feb;21(2):99-112.
10. The 2009 HealthFocus Trend Report: A National Study of Public Attitudes and Actions Toward Shopping and Eating http://www.marketresearch.com/sort/price/HealthFocus-v1398/
11. The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis.