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How Much Calcium, Minerals, and Antioxidants You Really Need for Strong Bones

Does your bone health supplement add up?

Reviewed Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD

How much calcium do you really need to build bone? Dr. Susan Brown has pioneered the natural nutrition-based approach to bone health for over 30 years. She was the first to prove how using natural methods can build strong bones for life and is now excited to share groundbreaking new research on which nutrients – and their exact amounts – are superior for rebuilding bone and reducing risk for fracture.

This information is more important than ever as most supplements marketed for bone health only have 5-7 ingredients in less than therapeutic doses, putting women at risk for subpar nutrient intake.

Dr. Brown’s cutting-edge knowledge is the basis for our breakthrough Better Bones Builder formula. In the following Q&A, Dr. Brown shares what you need to know about choosing the best supplement for your bone health. 

Q: The thinking on how much calcium to take for stronger bones has changed. Why?

Dr. Brown: Research shows that in today’s typical diet, calcium from both dairy and non-dairy sources is ample. For example, a glass of non-dairy oat milk may contain 50% more calcium than dairy milk! Additionally, increased Vitamin D intake allows for greater calcium absorption. The average person is just not as calcium deficient as once thought. Plus, taking unnecessarily high doses of calcium might contribute to certain health risks for women. In line with this latest research on calcium intake for stronger bones, we reduced the amount of calcium in our Builder formula to 300 mg per day.

Q: What do we now know about the importance of the source your calcium comes from? 

Dr. Brown: Where your calcium comes from matters. In most supplements, the ordinary form of calcium they contain can’t be fully utilized in your body and the mineral won’t serve your bones. So when I say that Builder contains 300 mg of calcium per dose, I mean that we tracked down 300 mg of some of the purest, most bioavailable calcium anywhere on earth. We did this by switching our sourcing to Aquamin, a calcium extracted from seaweed harvested from the cold pristine waters of the North Atlantic. Aquamin offers superior mineral bioavailability, increasing calcium’s ability to work synergistically with magnesium and vitamins D and K, and other vital nutrients in Builder, to help protect and repair your bones.

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Better Bones Builder

Intensive, alkalizing nutrition for bones, metabolism & wellness

Q: Which nutrients for building bone are women lacking the most? 

Dr. Brown: The clear and away winner: Antioxidants. Inflammation markers are high in osteoporosis patients, leading more and more medical researchers to classify osteoporosis as an inflammatory disease. Antioxidants help to protect bone cells from the ravages of oxidative stress and inflammation. You can get antioxidants from fruits and vegetables in your diet, but supplementing is key when you need therapeutic amounts of antioxidants every day. Following the latest data, I specified a rich, proprietary blend of antioxidants in our Builder formula proven to help safeguard bone.

Builder’s blend of antioxidants now contains:

  • Increased lycopene: Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes and other red fruits, reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, which in turn helps protect bone cells from damage and supports bone strength.
  • Green tea leaf extract: Rich in polyphenols, green tea leaf extract reduces inflammation and oxidative damage, which can improve bone density and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Curcumin: The active component of turmeric, curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce bone resorption and support bone formation, promoting overall bone health.
  • Olive leaf: Olive leaf extract contains the antioxidant-rich compound oleuropein, which helps to protect bone cells from inflammation-related damage and enhance bone strength.
  • Quercetin: A flavonoid found in many fruits and vegetables, quercetin reduces inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines, thereby supporting bone density and reducing the risk of bone loss.

Q: What form of magnesium is best for people with bone health concerns? 

Dr. Brown: There has been an explosion of research on the effects of different nutritional compounds on bone strength and flexibility, including magnesium. For those who follow my work, you know that I have long emphasized that strength and flexibility are better measures of bone health than the conventional tests of bone density. 

Magnesium plays a crucial role in the areas of strength and flexibility by contributing to the structural development of bone, enhancing the absorption of other minerals, and influencing the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, which are essential for bone formation and resorption. Drawing on current research and what I see in my clinical practice, I’ve updated the amount and type of magnesium in Builder to optimize the mineral’s bone benefits. Magnesium in Builder is now the most bioavailable form of magnesium — magnesium glycinate (bisglycinate) — which has an optimal therapeutic intake of 300 mg per day. This replaces 600 mg of less absorbable magnesium. 

Q: Why have you decided to leave out amino acids from the Builder formula?  

Dr. Brown: We phased out amino acids because, as with calcium, the current research shows that most of us are getting enough amino acids from our diet. This is another example of a common misperception in supplementation — a higher dose doesn’t mean more benefits! Builder is now just right in delivering exactly what bones need.

Q: You updated Builder according to the latest research. What stayed the same?

Dr. Brown: It’s always validating to confirm that our natural approach is the right approach for building strong and healthy bone, and that research proves this – again and again! When we reformulated Builder, we meticulously reviewed the science and quickly determined that our landmark formula has stood the test of time. Now there are even more studies to back up our choices for the key nutrients that people with a high fracture risk or other serious bone health concerns need on a daily basis.

When you check our label, you will find key bone-supporting nutrients in optimal amounts and in their most alkalizing forms to help keep pH in balance (i.e. to help you alkalize) and build strong bones for life. Builder is truly a breakthrough formula and I could not be more proud of its effectiveness. I encourage you to learn more about all of these ingredients in our full article, Best Nutrients for Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

Thank you, Dr. Brown! 

Is Builder the right formula for your bone health concerns? Take our Bone Health Quiz now to determine your bone-building needs and start building back better bones today! 

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For information on the clinical basis for using Better Bones Builder, click on each individual nutrient below to review a list of pertinent studies and articles.

Last Updated: July 17, 2024
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