Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite Concentrate (MCHC)

Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (MCHC) is an excellent source of bioavailable calcium that is important for developing strong bones and teeth, preventing osteoporosis, and assisting with proper function of various body systems such as the heart, nerves, and muscles. MCHC is derived from whole bone and is complete with the minerals and organic factors naturally found in raw bone. In addition to calcium and the organic factors (mostly collagen protein and mucopolysaccharides), MCHC contains phosphorus, magnesium, fluoride, zinc, silicon, manganese, and other trace minerals in the same physiological proportions found in healthy bone. MCHC has been shown to be well-tolerated, even by small children, with no undesirable side effects.

In addition, MCHC has been shown to contain biologically active growth factors. Such growth factors are known to directly stimulate bone cell activity thereby enhancing bone formation.
With the rapid aging of the population, experts agree that prevention is the most effective method of dealing with osteoporosis. Along with regular exercise as well as a healthy diet and lifestyle, MCHC provides comprehensive bone nourishment which aims at preventing the onset of osteoporosis and many other health problems.

  • Excellent source of bioavailable calcium.
  • Provides a full complement of minerals that are important for healthy bone formation and metabolism such as phosphorus, fluoride, magnesium, silicon, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese.
  • Contains intact organic factors that provide secondary support for healthy bone formation.
    In several studies, MCHC has been shown to be highly successful in minimizing bone loss as well as positively affecting bone healing. This includes reducing the incidence of fractures as well as facilitating the healing of fractures.
How To Take It
MCHC is available in tablet form. Be sure to drink 6 to 8 cups of water throughout the day to avoid constipation. Studies have shown that 500 mg of MCHC yield approximately 200 mg of elemental calcium and thus, MCHC should be taken according to the following guidelines:
  • Adults ages 19 to 50 need 2,500 mg per day of MCHC (1,000 mg of calcium). After age 50, adults need 3,000 mg per day of MCHC (1,200 mg of calcium).
  • Adolescents ages 9 to 18 need 3,250 mg per day of MCHC (1,300 mg of calcium).
  • Children ages 6 to 8 need 2,000 mg per day of MCHC (800 mg of calcium); children ages 1 to 5 need 1,250 mg per day of MCHC (500 mg of calcium).

Talk with your healthcare provider about your calcium needs if you have any thyroid or kidney problems, or if you have hormone or vitamin deficiencies.

Be especially careful when choosing an MCHC product. It is important to realize that supplements that claim to contain MCHC may vary widely in purity, form, and effectiveness.

The sources of bone extract as well as the processing procedures are of utmost importance in determining the quality of MCHC. Some sources of MCHC may contain high levels of lead and other contaminants, or be tainted with cartilage and tendons. Certain processing procedures, such as high-heat and excessive grinding, can result in a product that is nothing more than bone meal. These products lack the full complement of minerals, organicfactors, and the microcrystalline structures that are characteristic of true MCHC.

Possible Interactions
Some foods, drinks, and medications can cause you to excrete MCHC. These include some soft drinks, aluminum-containing antacids, salt, sugar, saturated fat, caffeine, alcohol, and very high protein and fiber intake.

In addition, excessive amounts of some foods and drinks and regular use of some medications make it hard for your body to get the MCHC it needs. These include alcohol, aspirin, barbiturates, fiber, neomycin, strong sedatives, oxalic acid (found in chocolate, rhubarb, spinach, chard, sweet potatoes, and dried beans), phytic acid (found in grains), and uronic acid (a type of fiber found in fruits and vegetables).

Supporting Research
Epstein O, Kato Y, Dick R, et al. Vitamin D, hydroxyapatite and calcium gluconate in treatment of cortical bone thinning in postmenopausal women with primary biliary cirrhosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1982;36(3):426-30.

Fleming KH, Heimbach JT. Consumption of calcium in the U.S.: food sources and intake levels. J Nutr 1994;124(8 suppl):1426S-30S.

Pines A, Raafat H, Lynn AH, et al. Clinical trial of MCHC in the prevention of osteoporosis due to corticosteroid therapy. Curr Med Res Opin 1984:8(10):734-42.

Riggs BL, Melton LJ 3rd. Involutional osteoporosis. N Eng J Med 1986;314(26):1676-86.
Notelovitz M. Osteoporosis: screening, prevention and management. Fertil Steril 1993;59(4):707-25.

Ruegsegger P, Keller A, Dambacher MA. Comparison of the treatment effects of ossein-hydroxyapatite compound and calcium carbonate in osteoporotic females. Osteo Int 1995;5(1):30-34.

Stepan JJ, Pospichal J, Presl J, et al. Prospective trial of ossein-hydroxyapatite compound in surgically induced postmenopausal women. Bone 1989;10(3):179-85.

Windsor ACM, Misra DP, Loudon JM, et al. The effect of whole-bone extract on 47Ca absorption in the elderly. Age & Ageing 1973;2(4):230-34.

Advanced Nutrition Publications ©2002

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Magnesium supplementation and osteoporosis

Although calcium has received most of the attention, there is growing evidence that magnesium is an important factor in maintaining optimal bone health. In fact, experts agree that adequate magnesium intake is necessary for the proper utilization of calcium, which is found in large quantities in bone.

According to researchers, "With this degree of supporting evidence, it is curious that magnesium supplementation has not been examined more frequently in studies of osteoporosis."

Osteoporosis is a reduction in bone mass that leads to an increased risk of bone fractures. In response to the lack of research on magnesium and osteoporosis, researchers reviewed a 2-year study performed on 31 osteoporotic postmenopausal women given magnesium. For the first 6 months, participants were treated with 250 to 750 mg per day of magnesium (depending upon individual tolerance). From month 6 to 24, treatment consisted of 250 mg per day of magnesium. An age-matched group consisting of 23 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis served as controls (untreated) for comparison. Bone mineral density tests were performed on all participants at the beginning of the study, after 1 year of treatment, and at the end of the 2-year study.

Researchers stated that, "At the end of the 2-year study, magnesium therapy [appeared] to have prevented fractures and resulted in a significant increase in bone density."
Researchers also claimed, "The finding that magnesium supplementation actually caused increased bone density rather than a stabilization of existing bone density is noteworthy. This has not been a finding of either calcium or estrogen intervention trials."

J. Sojka and colleagues concluded in Nutrition Reviews that "...magnesium intake should be measured when conducting studies investigating the importance of nutrients on the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis."

Nutr Rev 1995;53(3):71-80.
Advanced Nutrition Publications ©2002

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