By Ashley Watson
Recently we were invited to participate in a Bone Health article written by Tim Person from Whole Foods Magazine. There were several other health experts and natural product companies represented, and we were featured on behalf of our parent company FoodScience® Corporation. While the article is very informative and well-written, we thought that we would share all of the questions and answers that we provided for the editorial staff. This week's blog post is the first of a two-part, comprehensive blog about bone health trends and supplements.
Bone Health Trends
WFM: Are there any noteworthy trends in the bone health/support supplement market? Anything to track involving science, specific supplements, product formulation, sales and marketing, controversy, etc.?
DV: While the combination of vitamin A, vitamin D3, and vitamin K2 is not commonly used in a bone integrity support product, new research indicates that combining these specific vitamins can provide unique benefits. In her new book, Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox, Kate Rheaume-Bleue, ND argues that the combination of vitamins A, D and K are intricately interrelated in complex ways. While her research isn’t necessarily controversial, it has not been on the forefront of research on calcium utilization or heart health until recently, nor has it been explored in this way.*
Dr. Rheaume-Bleue argues that the bone-building benefits of vitamin D depend on vitamin K2, and when vitamin D is assisted by vitamin A, this relationship supports the production of osteocalcin, which is activated by vitamin K2. She then contends that these fat-soluble vitamins are unique from other nutrients because they bind to proteins, especially K, which allows the proteins to bind to calcium so that it can be better utilized in the body.*
Additionally, it is not a widely known fact that animals naturally produce K2, but humans cannot make this nutrient in their bodies. This makes it more difficult for vegans and vegetarians to get enough K2 without supplementation.*
In light of these findings, a combination of A, D, and K is now being recommended to help support bone structure, density and integrity, as well as proper bone remodeling, and calcium utilization. Because the calcium that may build in the arteries is utilized by the body instead, this combination is also recommended for cardiovascular function. Combining A, D, and K may prove to be an essential tool in supporting bone health during menopause, after an organ transplant, and many other critical periods during an individual’s health history.*
In terms of supplementation, you wouldn’t necessarily need a specific A, D, and K product. A comprehensive multivitamin with sufficient amounts of all three would suffice.*
WFM: Have there been any recent developments or trends in supplement delivery formats with relevance to bone health supplements specifically? What formats seem to be preferred in this category?
DV: Liquid emulsions are a unique solution for patients who require larger amounts or more absorption of a particular nutrient. Emulsification increases the body’s ability to absorb and digest the nutrients; therefore, liposomal delivery systems are highly effective. In addition, the liposome has hydrophilic and hydrophobic sides to offer a fat and water portion. This allows for optimal utilization for either fat-soluble or water-soluble vitamins and minerals. Flavorings can also make liquid emulsion products more enjoyable to take and more desirable to consumers.*
Stay tuned next week for Part II of this feature, in which we discuss compliance with products, bone health trends, and consumer education.