Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bone mineral density (BMD) is significantly reduced. This reduction in bone density results in loss of structural integrity and support from the body’s skeletal system.
Bones have many functions besides support. They protect your vital organs, and allow you to move. Your bone marrow is where blood cells are produced and also the storage area for minerals, most especially calcium.
When the quantity of your bone mineral is reduced your bones become weak, porous and thin and more likely to fracture.
Bone fractures not only cause distress and structural changes, but significantly increase the chances of declining health, illness and even death.
Osteoporosis poses an increasing public health problem. It affects millions of people worldwide. The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research reported that osteoporosis is set to increase more than 32% by 2030.
Maintaining skeletal health and slowing bone loss to reduce fracture risk is at the forefront of modern day pharmacology. Common medical treatments for BMD are primarily drugs that inhibit bone reabsorption (bone loss).
Essential Oils to Inhibit Bone Loss
Scientists have shown a direct link between calcium deficiency in diet and bone loss. A study was conducted on the effects of thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) against osteoporosis in rats with low calcium intake. Essential oils of rosemary and thyme were analyzed for their effectiveness to protect against bone loss.
The study concluded that the monoterpenes borneol, thymol, and camphor are inhibitory for bone loss. “Our results clearly show that essential oils and monoterpenes of thyme and rosemary, which are widely used as food additives, are effective inhibitors of bone loss and have numerous benefits on bone formation and against inflammation.”
In another study, a survey of herbs and essential oils was conducted looking for activity on bone metabolism. It was found that the dried leaves of sage strongly inhibit bone loss. Several common herbs rich in essential oils (sage, rosemary, and thyme) and essential oils (oils of sage, rosemary, juniper, pine, dwarf pine, turpentine, and eucalyptus) and their monoterpene components (thujone, eucalyptol, camphor, borneol, thymol, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, bornylacetate as well as menthol) were also found to inhibit bone loss when added to the food of rats. The monoterpenes borneol, thymol, and camphor were also shown to directly inhibit bone loss.
CALCIUM - Is Calcium Supplementation Safe?
Calcium helps build strong bones, but commercial supplementation has been questioned.
We all know that calcium is a crucial building block of bone tissue. We also know that Vitamin D helps your body absorb and process calcium. These two nutrients are considered to be the foundation of strong, healthy bones.
The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 mg of calcium a day for most adults and 1,200 mg/day for women after menopause and men after 70.
Research published from John Hopkins says the best calcium supplement is none. “The truth is, the research is inconclusive. But there is a growing body of evidence that suggests no health benefit, or even worse, that calcium supplements may be harmful,” says Dr. Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S.,
Dr. Michos thinks that, “While taking calcium supplements may produce unwanted side effects, meeting your calcium needs through your diet is safe.”
Is it important to take calcium and magnesium together?
According to Consumer Labs, “No, it is not necessary to take calcium and magnesium together. In fact, if you need to take large amounts (250 mg or more) of either of these, you are better off taking them at separate times, as they can compete with each other for absorption.”
One of the Best Natural Dietary Sources of Calcium
Natural food sources for nutrients like calcium are always best for absorption and bioavailability. One of the best natural dietary sources of calcium is egg shells.
In animal and human tests, eggshell calcium shows increased bone density, less arthritic pain, and even stimulates cartilage growth.
You can easily make your own high quality and bioavailable calcium from egg shells.
Though all egg shells have bioavailable calcium the highest sources will be from quality produced eggs. I prefer to use eggs from pasture-raised organically fed hens. Pasture raised hens are free to roam outside all day in the fresh air and sunshine where they can forage for their preferred foods of choice, i.e. plants, seeds, earthworms and insects. Healthy hens, fed on their natural wild diet, produce the highest quality eggs with harder and much thicker shells.
DIY Eggshell Calcium
What you’ll need:
- 1 - dozen pasture-raised eggs - Rinse and save your eggshells in a container for this purpose.
- 1 - coffee grinder
- 1 - glass container with tight fitting lid
- After you’ve collected shells from a dozen eggs put them in a large 8-quart pot.
- Fill the pot with 8-10 cups of pure filtered water and bring to a boil.
- Add egg shells, one at a time, and immerse them into the water. I use stainless steel prongs to add the shells into the boiling water.
- Let the shells boils for an additional 10-20 minutes. The boiling ensures any contaminants are destroyed.
- Turn off heat and allow to cool before draining off water and placing the shells on a baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 200° Fahrenheit. Place baking sheet with eggshells in the oven for 10-20 minutes until egg shells are completely dry.
- Let eggshells cool then add them into the coffee grinder. You can smush them up and completely fill your coffee grinder. Cap your grinder and pulverize shells into a fine powder.
- Store the eggshell calcium in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, away from heat and moisture.
- 1/2 teaspoon of eggshell calcium provides about 900 milligrams of calcium.