Healthy Bones Text 2

How Bone is Formed

     To begin the process of bone formation, bone cells use proteins and other building blocks to produce a substance known as collagen. Collagen fibers develop quickly to form an organic mesh, or net, that calcium, phosphorus, and numerous other minerals attach to. Over a period of days and weeks (and through a crystallization process involving substitution and addition of various minerals) the mixture of different minerals attaching to this organic net changes, producing the finished product called hydroxyapatite crystals. These hydroxyapatite crystals are what makes bone so hard. It is easy to appreciate that bone (pictured in the illustration) is much more than just calcium.

      Other cells facilitate the nourishment of bone by participating in the exchange of nutrients between the bone and the blood. Still other bone cells help to shape, or remodel, the bone by digesting any extra unneeded pieces.

Why Strong Bones Depend on Proper Nourishment

     There are three ways that strong bones are dependent on proper nourishment: 1) To keep the bone cells healthy and active. 2) To supply the variety of important nutritional building blocks needed to form the organic matrix of bone. 3) To supply the complex of minerals that need to be placed on the organic net making up the finished, hardened component of bone known as hydroxyapatite crystals. With proper nourishment, a healthy lifestyle, and favorable genetics, healthy bones can last a lifetime!

Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite Concentrate: Exceptional Bone Nourishment!

     Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (MCHC) is derived from whole bone and is available as a nutritional supplement. It provides much greater nourishment than just calcium. MCHC contains protein and other ingredients that comprise the organic portion of bone, as well as calcium and other minerals in the normal physiological proportions found in raw bone.

     There is no doubt that calcium is essential for healthy bone formation; however, trace minerals and organic factors are also important. Because bone is a complex, highly mineralized tissue, a number of trace mineral deficiencies can impair bone formation and remodeling. Trace minerals also act as cofactors for several enzymes involved in the production of the organic portion of bone. Because MCHC is actual bone, it contains these vital components that are important for a healthy skeleton. It truly is comprehensive bone nourishment.

Good Mineral Absorption With MCHC

     As we age, our ability to absorb calcium and other minerals may decline. The calcium in MCHC is bioavailable and may be well absorbed.

Benefits of MCHC

A number of benefits related to MCHC are summarized below:

  1.   Along with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle, may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  2.   Bioavailable calcium source.
  3.   Contains collagen protein and the intact organic portion of bone.
  4.   Contains minerals other than calcium that are involved in bone formation and skeletal metabolism; phosphorus, fluoride, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and others.

     All MCHC products are not created equal. There are many synonyms for the word "hydroxyapatite" that are commonly, yet erroneously, equated with "microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate." They lack the full complement of minerals, organic factors, and the microcrystalline structure so important to the effectiveness of true MCHC. Modern laboratory analysis can now be conducted to confirm the presence of authentic MCHC in a nutritional supplement.

Types of Calcium Supplements: Their Advantages and Disadvantages


Microcrystaline Hydroxyapatite Concentrate
25% calcium
* Well absorbed calcium source.
* Comprehensive bone nourishment.
* Provides organic constituents and mineral components.
* None
Calcium Citrate
24% calcium
* Well absorbed.
* Reduces risk of kidneys stones.
* Absorbed by those with poor digestion.
* Not a complete bone food.
Calcium Aspartate
20% calcium
* Well absorbed. * Not a complete bone food.
Calcium Amino Acid Chelate
10-20% calcium
* Well absorbed. * Not a complete bone food.
* Often incorrectly made as a soy blend.
Calcium Ascorbate
10% calcium
* Well absorbed.
* Non-acidic vitamin C source.
* Not a complete bone food.
Calcium Lactate
15% calcium
* Well absorbed. * Not a complete bone food.
* May contain milk and/or yeast by-products.
* Made from fermentation of molasses, whey, starch, or sugar with calcium carbonate.
Calcium Carbonate
40% calcium
* Cheapest source of calcium. * Not a complete bone food.
* May not be well absorbed by those with poor digestion.
* Antacid effect, may interfere with digestion, cause gas.
Bone Meal
39% calcium
* Contains multiple minerals
 needed for bone.
* May contain high lead, arsenic, cadmium, etc.
* Organic constituents substantially destroyed by heat during processing.




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     *The information in this website is not intended to replace a rheumatology textbook nor be a complete update of the rheumatology scientific literature.  It should not be misconstrued as personal medical advice.  Rather, it portrays Dr. Al Robert Franco's interests in the field of rheumatology, namely, the interrelationship between infections and rheumatic diseases and how this applies to the treatment of arthritis.