|Bone health is one of the greatest concerns in our society. 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 will suffer osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men. With such statistics, advances in bone health are a main focus of current research. Some treatments for osteoporosis are inconvenient and associated with side effects. Other solutions may work by similar mechanisms, and some are incompatible with each other. Milk Basic Protein (MBP, found in Advanced Bone Protection) and Strontium are two novel and effective nutrients that work through different mechanisms for a synergistic effect.
Advanced Bone Protection
Advanced Bone Protection contains Milk Basic Protein (MBP), a nutrient extracted from the whey fraction of milk. The terms ‘milk’ and ‘protein’ refer to the source and type of nutrient respectively, while the term ‘basic’ refers to its alkaline nature.
MBP greatly improves the absorption and retention of calcium within the bones, and it does so in a unique way. Part of MBP’s structure consists of a protein strain known as cystatin C, which inhibits an enzyme called cystein protease. Cystein protease releases calcium from bone and digests collagen in the bone matrix. MBP’s cystatin C blocks this enzyme, as well as other factors that contribute to calcium release from bone.
MBP also enhances the proliferation and activity of bone-building cells called osteoblasts, while at the same time preventing the proliferation and activity of bone-breaking cells (osteoclasts). MBP is capable of suppressing the activity of even the most isolated osteoclast. MBP’s ability to manipulate osteoblasts into producing more collagen is more pronounced than that of other nutrients for bone health.
MBP also increases serum concentrations of osteocalcin, which is the major non-collagenous protein in bone.
Studies with MBP:
• In a study among healthy menopausal women, the MBP group reported a bone mineral density (BMD) increase of 1.21% while the placebo group recorded a 0.66% BMD decrease.
• In another study among healthy adult women, the MBP group gained approximately 70% more bone mineral density than the control group.
• MBP reduced the number of pits on the bone surface caused by bone resorption by approximately 85% in an in-vitro study.
• In yet another study among healthy adult females, the MBP group displayed a 3% increase in the BMD of the radius (a forearm bone near the wrist) compared to a 1.3% BMD decrease in the placebo group.
• MBP was given to a group of normal healthy adult men, after 16 days their serum osteocalcin concentration had increased significantly, urinary markers of bone resorption had decreased significantly, suggesting that MBP promoted bone formation and suppressed bone resorption while maintaining the balance of bone remodeling.
Strontium is a mineral that is thought by many to be essential for the normal development, structure, function and health of the skeletal system. Unlike the existing drugs for osteoporosis treatment, as well as calcium and vitamin D, strontium does not work only by reducing bone resorption, but it actually increases the formation of new bone tissue. Furthermore, animal studies have shown that it boosts bone strength without a negative impact on bone quality, even at extremely high doses.
Strontium works by causing bone building osteoblasts to multiply more quickly, and cellular studies have shown that it causes bone tissue cultures to synthesize more bone matrix and new bone collagen.
One of the main ways strontium exerts its bone building effects is by activating the calcium-sensing receptor (CaR). CaRs are found throughout the body, including in the bones, the kidneys, the gastrointestinal system and several glands of the endocrine system, which are constituents of the body that are central to the regulation of calcium levels. These receptors are activated when calcium attaches to them. CaRs are found on the cells of the parathyroid gland, where parathyroid hormone (PTH) is secreted in response to low calcium levels and causes calcium to be released from bones. Strontium binds to CaRs to prevent the release of PTH.
CaR receptors are responsible for releasing calcitonin from the thyroid, a hormone which blocks the activity of osteoclasts and prevents urinary loss of calcium. CaRs are also found on osteoblasts, and when strontium attaches, they stimulate the proliferation of these bone building cells, making them more active and causing them to deposit more calcium, effectively building bone.
The benefits of strontium’s effects have been impressively demonstrated by clinical trials, which have shown that strontium reduces fracture rates at all sites, including hip and vertebral areas which are the most common fracture areas associated with osteoporosis. Strontium can also reduce the rate of height loss and free patients of back pain.
The mechanisms of Advanced Bone Protection and Strontium are distinct, yet synergistic. Strontium increases bone formation, while MBP reduces the rate at which bone is destroyed. Their actions reduce bone breakdown without reducing the activity of bone building cells. The combination of these two nutrients is therefore a perfect match for effective bone support.