Improving Bone Health With Prebiotics

Improving Bone Health

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), 10% of women aged 50 and over suffer from osteoporosis of the hip. The Surgeon General of the United States reported back in 2004, the last year for which such information is available, that 1.5 million individuals suffer a bone disease-related fracture each year. That number is likely to have gone up as the large population group known as the Baby Boomers ages. The International Osteoporosis Foundation projects that by 2020, 61 million Americans will be affected by osteoporosis.

Bone FracturesOsteoporosis and bone density problems affect more than the skeleton. They also affect quality of life. Fractures are painful, often requiring lengthy hospital stays. Hospital stays are expensive and debilitating. Many patients find it difficult to return to their formerly active lives after lengthy hospital stays, and osteoporosis related fractures contribute to mobility issues later in life.

Why is osteoporosis such an epidemic? And how can chiropractors help their patients who may be at risk for osteoporosis, bone disease and low bone density?

How Low Bone Density Differs From Osteoporosis

Some people use the terms low bone density and osteoporosis interchangeably, but the two refer to different conditions. Low bone density is a bone density that is lower than normal, but not yet diagnosed as full osteoporosis.  If nothing is done to offset the declining bone loss, osteoporosis may develop later in life. Low bone density is diagnosed by a physician after examining the results of a bone density scan. These scans examine the amount of minerals present in the bones of the hip, lower back or pelvis.

While everyone begins losing some bone mass after age 30, bone mass loss accelerates in women after menopause. Other factors that affect bone density include poor nutrition as a child and teenager, with a lack of calcium in the diet during the years when a child’s skeleton is growing. Other factors include genetics and race, with African American women less prone to bone loss than Caucasian women. While some factors can be changed through proper diet, exercise and supplementation, other factors such as race and genetics cannot be changed. Patients can, however, take many steps to improve their overall health and quality of life even if diagnosed with low bone density or osteoporosis.

Vitamins and Minerals for Bone Health

Thanks to the dairy industry, most Americans know that there’s a link between calcium and bone health. This link, however, is impacted by many factors, including overall pH, other minerals and the ability of the body to absorb minerals through digestion. In addition to nutritional support, weight-bearing exercises are also important for overall bone health.

Among the various minerals that affect bone density and health, calcium receives the most attention. Because calcium is an integral component of bones, and the body cannot manufacture calcium, adequate dietary intake of calcium is essential to building strong bones and teeth. Without adequate calcium, the body lacks the building blocks to create and maintain bones.

According to the National Academy of Science, the following are the recommended dietary intakes of calcium:

AgesAmount mg/day
Birth–6 months210
6 months–1 year270
70 or older1200
Pregnant & Lactating1000

Other vitamins and minerals play an important role in bone health. Vitamin D, which the body manufactures when the skin is exposed to sunlight, helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D can also found in food sources.

Magnesium also plays a critical, yet often hidden, role in the body’s ability to build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. It is required for the structural development of bones, the synthesis of DNA and RNA, and over 300 enzyme systems that regulate many activities in the human body, including glucose control, muscle and nerve function, and more.

According to studies conducted among adolescents, oligofructose and inulin appear to improve calcium absorption. This exciting discovery means that prebiotics can help improve the absorption of calcium and other minerals that are vital for developing strong bones during the years of peak bone mass formation.

When taking any type of supplement or attempting to boost bone health through eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, however, all of the nutrients in the world won’t help if they cannot be absorbed properly. That’s where prebiotics enters the equation in the quest to improve bone health and absorption of bone supplements.

What Are Prebiotics?

You may be familiar with the term probiotics, but don’t confuse “pro” with “pre”. Prebiotics are non-digestible polysaccharides and oligosaccharides that promote the growth of “good” bacteria: lactic acid bacteria found in the colon. When prebiotics are present, the stage is set to nurture all the good and beneficial gut flora that helps the body fight diseases, absorb food and perform many other functions that impact health.

Prebiotics are found in many foods, but especially in dietary fiber. However, modern dietary changes — such as the prevalence of processed and convenience foods — have drastically reduced the amount of dietary fiber the average American consumes in a given day. The National Institute of Health reports that the mean fiber consumptions in 2008 was 15.9 grams per day. The recommended amount is 25 to 38 grams per day. Prebiotics rely on a specialized source of fiber called inulin. Americans eat only 2-3 grams of inulin on average per day, with most of it coming from wheat and bananas. Inulin and oligofructose are both important prebiotics.

Prebiotics and Mineral Absorption

Prebiotics play an important role in mineral absorption, and accordingly, in bone health. According to several animal studies cited in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, prebiotics, especially nondigestible oligosaccharides, increased the availability of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. These minerals are essential for human health and vital for bone health.

Dose-response studies cited in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry indicate that galactooligosaccharides, a type of oligosaccharide, increased absorption of calcium and magnesium in rats: “Regression modeling showed that GOS benefited calcium and magnesium utilization and BMD through decreased cecal pH, increased cecal wall and content weight, and increased proportion of bifidobacteria.” Femur bone density also improved in the study.

People aren’t rats, but this study does provide hope for those suffering from low bone density. If a simple dietary change such as supplementation with prebiotics and minerals can improve femur bone density in rats, perhaps similar changes can benefit humans.

Prebiotics: Why They Are Lacking in Todays Society

During the course of a given workday, how often do you suggest to your patients that they should eat more fruits and vegetables? Probably every patient you see leaves with that simple advice. It’s certainly a simple change for the better for most people, and no one will argue with the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and other sources of fiber, such as whole grains.

But how many patients actually take this advice to heart? Given the earlier cited statistics about fiber consumption in the United States, it’s unlikely that many people are eating the abundance of leafy green vegetables they need for optimal magnesium and calcium. It’s also unlikely they are eating other natural sources of vitamins and minerals to support bone health.

Busy lifestyles play a role in poor diets. But worldwide, the depletion of valuable minerals from soils has also contributed to the decreasing amounts of minerals in the diet. Intensive factory farming methods, monocultural farming practices (one crop grown year after year on the same acreage), and over-reliance on chemical fertilizers has depleted many vital soil minerals. Even if your patients eat a plant-based diet rich in leafy green vegetables and other mineral-rich foods to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the foods themselves may not have the same level of minerals as they did year ago.

Lastly, poor absorption of minerals may also be a factor. Patients suffering from gastrointestinal illnesses, celiac disease and similar diseases may not be able to attain the maximum benefits from their foods because their ability to absorb vitamins and minerals is compromised.

Recommendations for Improving Bone Health 

Bone Health Recommendations

The National Institute of Health recommends the following for improving bone health, especially among seniors:

  • Consume adequate calcium. Women over age 50 should consume 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Men 51 to 70 should consume 1,000 mg of calcium per day, and after age 70, they should consume 1,200 mg of calcium.
  • Consume adequate Vitamin D. Both men and women age 51 to 70 should consume 600 mg of vitamin D. After age 70, they should consume 800 mg of vitamin D.
  • Add exercise to your day. Be sure to get 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
  • Stop smoking and limit alcohol consumption.

Weight-bearing exercises can also help you improve bone health. Low-impact aerobics, strength training, tennis, dancing, hiking and walking are all good exercises for bone health. Additionally, strength training improves muscle strength, which also adds to overall flexibility, mobility, and joint and skeleton support.

Adjunctive Supplements for Chiropractors to Promote Bone Density

RDA of D3 & CalciumGiven these concerns, how can chiropractors help their patients and promote bone density? Prebiotin Bone Health may be the answer for your practice.

Prebiotin Bone Health is based upon Prebiotin, a supplement formulated by Frank W. Jackson, M.D., and his team at Jackson G.I. Medical. Dr. Jackson is a gastroenterologist with 40 years of experience. The product has been tested through third-party research. A complete list of research citations can be found here.

Prebiotin Bone Health provides beneficial prebiotics in a convenient powder that dissolves easily in your patients’ favorite beverages. It can also be added to cereal, sauces and other foods. This gluten-free supplement can be consumed by patients with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities. As it nourishes beneficial bacteria, it also supports digestive and immune health, and it provides 100% of the RDA for Vitamin D3 and 80% of the RDA of calcium in every serving.

Growing Your Chiropractic Practice

With so many individuals suffering from low bone density and concerned with bone health, offering bone growth supplements to your patients just makes good sense. Prebiotin Bone Health, created by a respected gastroenterologist and backed by multiple research studies, offers an excellent opportunity to add a well-researched supplement to the products sold from your office.

To grow your chiropractic practice while helping patients improve bone and joint health, consider:

  • Providing nutrition counseling: In addition to offering chiropractic treatment, add nutrition counseling to your practice to advise patients on the role that prebiotics play in their overall health and wellness.
  • Taking advantage of supplements for chiropractic practices: Supplements sold through your chiropractic practice add an additional income stream. Finding supplements you feel confident in is important. Supplements such as Prebiotic Bone Health offer you peace of mind — you can recommend a product backed by extensive research and documentation.
  • Offering counseling for bone density problems: Patients arriving with joint pain may also have bone density problems and other bone and joint health issues. Consider offering additional counseling, including recommendations for bone and joint exercises and supportive nutrition, to your array of offerings.

As a chiropractor, you want what’s best for your patients. Chiropractors take a holistic view of patient health and wellness. Patients arriving with bone density problems or seeking to improve bone health may need more than an adjustment — they may also need nutritional counseling, lifestyle counseling and supplements.

By providing a well-regarded and researched supplement such as Prebiotin Bone Health, you can feel confident that you are offering patients an effective way to boost their intake of prebiotics and support their overall health and wellness.

Helping Your Patients Improve Bone and Joint Health

Bone Health SupplementPrebiotin Bone Health offers your patients an easy way to add prebiotics to their diets while actively supporting a healthy lifestyle. Prebiotin is a name you can count on for quality nutritional support for your patients’ well-being, health and healing. Many chiropractors struggle to find products they can sell with confidence, but Prebiotin offers products with extensive third-party research that verifies the benefits and effects of our supplements. These products have been examined and have withstood the scrutiny of some of the best researchers in the field.

Contact us today to learn more about Prebiotin Bone Health and how you can offer this line of dietary supplements through your chiropractic practice.

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