by Dr. Fred G. Arnold —
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. In the United States, more than 40 million people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass. One-half of all women and one-fourth of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis can result in a loss of height, severe back pain and a change in one’s posture. It can impair a person’s ability to walk and can cause prolonged or permanent disability. The precursor to osteoporosis is a condition called osteopenia, in which bone density is also lower than normal but not as severe as in osteoporosis.
The traditional treatment approach for osteoporosis is with a class of drugs called bisphosphates (alendronate, ibandronate or uisedronate). Although these medications have been reported to decrease the incidence of osteoporotic fractures, their use has been associated with a number of serious side effects, including esophageal ulceration, atrial fibrillation and osteonecrosis of the jaw.
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D., refers to osteoporosis as a focal scurvy of the bones and presents compelling evidence regarding the role of vitamin C for the treatment of bone loss. Most people have heard of scurvy and how vitamin C prevents this very serious disease. What most people may not be aware of is that vitamin C helps the body to build bone collagen, which comprises 90 percent of the framework required for bone strength.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that vitamin C significantly reduces the risk of fractures. Vitamin C’s protective and regenerative effects reduce inflammation in the bones and prevent the loss of calcium from the bones. It stimulates the bone-forming cells, called osteoblasts, to produce bone and inhibits the bone-destroying cells, called osteoclasts, to prevent bone breakdown. This results in significantly greater bone mineral density and lowers the risk of osteoporotic fractures in elderly individuals. It is interesting that elderly patients who have sustained an osteoporotic fracture have significantly lower blood levels of vitamin C than those who are fracture free.
Other osteoporosis reversal agents include magnesium, vitamins K and D, essential fatty acids and hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone and thyroid. These agents are involved in bone loss; however, the rebuilding of new bone requires adequate vitamin C. Vitamin C decreases bone resorption, increases bone synthesis, adds bone density, accelerates fracture healing and is essential for normal bone integrity. Another added benefit of vitamin C is its ability to decrease mortality from a variety of diseases.
Vitamin C dosing
Vitamin C is virtually nontoxic at any dose, with no definable toxic level. However, taking vitamin C orally in doses greater than a few grams may result in temporary diarrhea until the body adjusts to higher doses. It may also be given as intravenous nutrition at higher levels and without the effects to the digestive tract.
Vitamin C plays an integral role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and the maintenance of overall health. Dr. Levy’s research has demonstrated that, in the treatment of scurvy, a collagen-deficient disease, the collagen-building effects of vitamin C are essential to strong bones and reduce the incidence of osteoporotic fractures. Vitamin C should be taken daily to prevent osteoporosis and improve one’s overall quality of life.
1. MedlinePlus, A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/osteoporosis.html.
2. Gaby, Alan R., M.D., Nutritional Medicine, Osteoporosis, Fitz Perlberg Publishing, Concord, NH, pp. 636-657.
3. Levy, Thomas E., M.D., J.D., Death by Calcium, The Toxic Supplement, Seminar Conference, Pocatello, Idaho, August 10-11, 2013.
Fred G. Arnold, D.C., N.M.D., has more than 20 years of clinical experience and specializes in pain rehabilitation services. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Health Care Providers, Fellow of American Academy of Ozonotherapy, and is one of the few physicians in the nation with both a naturopathic medical degree and chiropractic degree. 602-292-2978 or prolotherapyphoenix.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 5, October/November 2013.