As we age, many of us will develop osteoporosis. Compression fractures of the vertebra are a common painful complication of osteoporosis. Recently, a procedure called “vertebral augmentation” has been developed to treat compression fractures.
Vertebral augmentation procedures are minimally invasive surgeries. Typically, the patient goes home the same day as the procedure, or in some cases after an overnight hospital stay. The procedure involves injecting bone cement into the inside of the fractured vertebra in order to create an “internal cast” inside the bone, stabilizing the fracture and reducing the patient’s pain.
Recently, researchers in Taiwan studied 79,000 patients who experienced at least one vertebral augmentation to determine the risk factors associated with having a repeat procedure. Eleven percent of these patients had to repeat the procedure over the six years they were followed.
Liang CL, Wang HK, Syu FK, Wang KW, Lu K, Liliang PC. Repeated vertebral augmentation for new vertebral compression fractures of postvertebral augmentation patients: a nationwide cohort study. Clin Interv Aging. 2015 Mar 27;10:635-42.
They found patients on vitamin D and calcium (unspecified dose) were almost 3 times less likely to need a repeat procedure.
When I read this study, I wondered what the need for these procedures would have been if these elderly patients were required to take a good bone formula to combat their osteoporosis. The one I recommend is Bone Restore with Vitamin K2 from Life Extension Foundation. While you need to take 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D with Bone Restore, this product has the other minerals that bone requires to help osteoporosis, such as magnesium, zinc, silicon, boron and vitamin K2. Bone needs more than vitamin D to be healthy.
Silicon is especially important for treating osteoporosis and a recent review reinforced this.
Even a RCT showed favorable effects of silicon on bone.
Spector TD, Calomme MR, Anderson SH, Clement G, Bevan L, Demeester N, Swaminathan R, Jugdaohsingh R, Berghe DA, Powell JJ. Choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid supplementation as an adjunct to calcium/vitamin D3 stimulates markers of bone formation in osteopenic females: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2008 Jun 11;9:85.
Did you know there is even a randomized controlled trial showing silicon supplementation helps skin appearance and brittleness of fingernails in women with sun-damaged skin?
Barel A, Calomme M, Timchenko A, De Paepe K, Demeester N, Rogiers V, Clarys P, Vanden Berghe D. Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on skin, nails and hair in women with photodamaged skin. Arch Dermatol Res. 2005 Oct;297(4):147-53. Epub 2005 Oct 26. Erratum in: Arch Dermatol Res. 2006 Apr;297(10):481.
In Finland, research has also found that the higher the amount of silicon in the drinking water, the lower the likelihood of developing heart disease.
For a review of silicon, see:
Jurkić LM, Cepanec I, Pavelić SK, Pavelić K. Biological and therapeutic effects of ortho-silicic acid and some ortho-silicic acid-releasing compounds: New perspectives for therapy. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Jan 8;10(1):2. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-10-2.
However, silicon is an orphaned mineral, meaning there is no scientist who has dedicated his life’s work to silicon, that is, there is no silicon expert.
So, if you have osteoporosis, remember there is much more to it than just vitamin D and calcium, as the open access article below summarizes.