Due to heavy ‘milk does the body good’ ad campaigns, anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock this past decade, is well aware that calcium is good for their bones. You may also be aware of the important role that magnesium and vitamin D both play in bone health. Recent research suggests that the following underpublicized 3 things can also help to support healthy bones and prevent bone and joint pain.
Curcumin for Joint Pain Relief and Increased Bone Density
Curcumin is an extract of the bright yellow, Indian spice turmeric, which is commonly used in curries. According to a recent study conducted on rats at McMaster University, Canada, curcumin may help to reduce bone mineral loss and thereby reduce the risk for osteoporosis. Curcumin was also found to increase bone strength and size, and appears to speed up the healing time of bone fractures. In addition, curcumin appears to demonstrate natural pain relief capabilities. According to the University of California San Diego, curcumin helps to lower histamine levels in the body and it also appears to increase the production of cortisone; both of which make it a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce joint pain and stiffness and to relieve chronic pain related to arthritis.
Silicon for Strong Bones
Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust, it is found naturally in a variety of foods, and it is a major trace element in your body. A silicon rich diet and silicon supplements, in the form of orthosilicic acid both help to encourage bone health in a variety of ways. First of all, researchers have found silicon helps to regulate bone mineralization. It also increases the synthesis of collagen and improves several other markers of bone formation and health. In addition, it reduces the number of the bone destroying cells known as ‘osteoclasts,’ and increases the number of the bone building cells ‘osteoblasts.’ When taken in combination with calcium and vitamin D3, orthosilicic acid also markedly increases bone mineral density. Finally, silicon encourages strong and flexible joints and similar to curcumin, it reduces inflammation and thereby works as an alternative pain relief method for joint pain.
Good dietary sources of silicon include: cereals, apples, oranges, cherries, raisins, almonds, peanuts, raw cabbage, onions, carrots, pumpkin, cucumber, fish, honey, oats, unrefined grains, nuts and seeds. According to the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, beer is also a very rich and bioavailable source of silicon and if consumed in moderation it can help to reduce your risk for osteoporosis.
Melatonin to Prevent Osteoporosis
Melatonin is a hormone that the pineal gland produces and it is most well-known for its role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin supplements are most often used to help diminish jet lag and to treat insomnia but recent research conducted on rats at the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, suggests that melatonin may also play an important role in bone health. The study found that melatonin encourages the formation of the bone building osteoblasts in the body and it also helps to mineralize bone matrix proteins. According to the Journal of Pineal Research, melatonin also works as a powerful antioxidant, and thereby helps to prevent free radicals from attacking and destroying your bones. More research needs to be done, but researchers speculate that the natural decline of melatonin that occurs as we age may play a role in regards to why so many people experience age-related bone loss. As such, the researchers believe that melatonin supplements may have the ability to not only encourage healthy bone density but to also help to prevent osteoporosis and osteopenia. It should be noted that melatonin yields powerful effects in your body, and you should talk to your healthcare practitioner before self-medicating with it.