Most of the time, our bodies work very well at keeping the right proportion of new bone growth and old bone resorption (breakdown) in balance. But not always.
Sometimes, due to age, weak bone structure, physical activity, and pH imbalances, we build up areas of what is essentially “dead calcium”, which results in painful bone spurs (also called “osteophytes”) or kidney stones. Conventional treatment is risky and unnecessary, especially when the right nutrients can help put your body back on track naturally.
In this Terry Talks Nutrition®, we’re going to look at the basics of bone growth and how the right ingredients can help rid you of the material that develops into bone spurs and causes pain and discomfort.
How Bones Grow:
Normally, specialized cells called “osteoblasts” add fresh minerals (primarily calcium, but others, too) to bone and “osteoclasts” remove older bone tissue by properly breaking down the minerals and reabsorbing them into the bloodstream. Both processes are intricately interlinked and crucial for health. But they must be supported with the right nutrients, and this is where we usually fall short.
In cases where bone spurs form as a correction to weakened bone structure, you want to rid yourself of the bone spurs while still building healthy bones with the right diet and supplementation.
That’s one of the odd things about calcium in the body. It doesn’t always build up where we’d like it to. So, while weak bones can lead to the development of bone spurs, you still need ingredients to dissolve this unwanted bone.
At other times, lifestyle, genetics, or a combination of both, conspire to create bone spurs. In this case, your individual pH may tend toward a more alkaline nature, setting the pieces in place for calcium to build up where you don’t want it.
The strange thing about developing bone spurs and the connection to pH is that most people’s diets are so acidic that the body has a tough time keeping things equal and close to a “7” on the pH scale. But it can – and clearly does – happen nonetheless.
That’s one of the reasons why pH can be such a deciding factor.
To function at its best, the body must maintain a proper and delicate acid/alkaline (pH) balance. An over-alkaline system makes calcium harder to absorb, and calcium is essential for strengthening bones. So, once load-bearing bones are under a lot of stress, they try out some “quick fixes” to shore up against it. One of these happens to be bone spurs.
As for kidney stones, I do think that people tend to have very individual pH balances that work best for their bodies. However, there are clearly risk factors for developing both bone spurs and kidney stones that are very much within our grasp to change.
To begin with, the standard American diet is very much to blame for the development of weak bones, bone spurs, and kidney stones. Contributing foods and ingredients include high-fructose corn syrup, soda, apple juice, fluoridated water, and other refined sugars. Combine that with the fact that most people don’t hydrate enough during the day, and you have a “perfect storm” of conditions.
Of course, people who are very active can get bone spurs as a result of repetitive activity (like pitching or carpentry), and the irritation, pain, and stiffness they feel might not just be muscle aches, but actual change in the structure of their joints. In these cases, bone spurs can appear in the shoulders where bones, muscles, and ligaments wear against each other, and in the heels, which take a lot of punishment from exercise, work, and everyday life.
And even fashion can play a role. Shoes that are too tight and restrict the movement of the tendons can damage the bones of the feet. The bones of the bottom of the feet, called the “plantar” are covered with a tough fibrous tissue called the “fascia”. This tissue stretches under the feet, and as you would guess (or have even experienced), can become damaged and inflamed, a condition called “plantar fasciitis.” This essentially muscle-based damage can be the first step in developing heel spurs, because in the course of trying to repair damage to the feet, extra “emergency” bone can develop, becoming a spur of unwanted – and potentially debilitating – calcium.
You may not realize you have a bone spur until it begins to restrict movement and becomes painful, however. After all, 1 in 10 people have heel spurs, yet it can take years to notice. But when they do become painful, you’ll want them gone, fast.
But while some bone spurs can be identified just by feel, you may not really determine the truth until you get your knee, or hip, or feet x-rayed. And at that point, your conventional options are limited to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or prescriptions, or possibly invasive and potentially complicated surgery.
Aside from being uncomfortable and restricting mobility, bone spurs can also break off and “float” in the joint, or become stuck in cushioning synovial fluid between the joints, which can be both debilitating and painful.
Bone spurs can happen to anyone, though, and whatever your situation, the ingredients I recommend will help. And these ingredients don’t affect healthy bones. Bone spurs develop where there is an injury, poor blood supply, scar tissue, or some other damage. In a sense, it is truly “dead bone.” The formula I recommend only breaks down this dead tissue. It will not dissolve or harm healthy bone.
The Ingredients That Can Help:
Ammonium chloride sounds like a potentially scary thing, but it’s not. It’s absolutely essential in helping support the normal growth cycle of bones. It is mildly acidic and can help the body return to a healthy acid/alkaline balance. It is actually a component of our digestive juices and stomach acid, and is crucial for mineral absorption.
Calcium chloride: There are many forms of calcium around. As you might have guessed, the calcium I recommend in this case isn’t for building up bone as much as it is for helping keep the overall bone resorption process running smoothly. Calcium phosphate – another form of calcium, and the same kind found in our bones and teeth – is an additional ingredient I recommend for this formula. Remember, almost all of the calcium in our bodies is used to create healthy bones. So you don’t want to cut calcium from your diet and supplement regimen in order to fight bone spurs. In fact, you are much more likely to develop bone spurs without appropriate calcium intake.
Betaine Hydrochloric acid is another acidifying ingredient that mimics the stomach acid we create naturally to help break down minerals properly. In an over-alkaline environment, where calcium and other minerals aren’t prepared for the body to absorb well, you’ll see the formation of bone spurs, calcium deposits, and kidney stones. As calcium crystals collect at the site of an injury or weak bone, a bone spur is certain to follow.
Vitamin C is generally considered an immune booster, but vitamin C is crucial for collagen formation during the tissue rebuilding phase after injury or other heavy activity. Any deficiency of vitamin C doesn’t just slow down this process, but actually weakens ligaments and tendons. So it is essential to keep the cushioning and connective tissue of our joints healthy so that the body doesn’t overcompensate by creating bone spurs. Plus, vitamin C fights the oxidative stress that can hinder joint repair– an added reason to include in your regimen.
Vitamin B6 as P-5-P: The P-5-P (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) form of vitamin B6 is readily absorbed by the body and doesn’t need to be converted by the liver. It is a perfect nutrient to combine with magnesium (in this case, magnesium glycerophosphate, an acidic form) to help ensure proper calcium absorption and use by the body. After all, you’re still going to be getting calcium from your diet and supplement regimen while you’re getting rid of bone spurs (and that’s a good thing.) You just want to make sure that the calcium you get stays fluid and doesn’t form into the clumps that can cause kidney stones or improper build up at the joints. Since P-5-P works so well with magnesium, a key ingredient for proper bone building, it’s definitely one you want to have on board.
Magnesium glycerophosphate: Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in our lives, and one that is often missing from our diets. That’s because many of our soils are so mineral depleted that any magnesium that should be present in foods usually isn’t.
Magnesium helps our cells build energy, assists calcium in bone-building, and helps relieve pain by blocking a pain receptor called the NMDA receptor. The glycerophosphate form is the type I recommend for this use because it is the acidic form of the mineral, so it will not alkalinize body tissues, and potentially add to the problem of bone spurs.
Kidney Stones: Calcium deposits in the wrong place not only lead to bone spurs, but can also cause kidney stones. The nutrients I’ve discussed above can prevent calcium build-up in the kidneys, reducing the risk of kidney stones.
Get Back On Your Feet and Back into Balance
For years, I have been recommending acidifying nutrients to people struggling with painful bone spurs. The results have been fantastic. People who have had chronic pain problems and limited mobility are finally pain free again.
These ingredients help keep calcium more fluid to make sure it doesn’t form clumps that become bone spurs or kidney stones. In short, they help ensure that calcium is where it should be, dissolves it where it shouldn’t be, and prevents it from building up there again.
These are time-tested ingredients for these conditions. For serious situations – painful bone spurs in your heels, for instance, I would recommend taking two tablets of this formula at each meal, and another two before you go to bed. However, once your immediate health concerns are cleared up, I think going to a maintenance dosage of 1 or 2 per day is sufficient.