Why collagen may be more important for bones than calcium?
Bones are made up of dynamic living tissue that requires a wide range of nutrientsnot just minerals such as calciumto maintain optimum health.
While minerals tend to get all of the attention when it comes to bones, decreased collagen content is also an important factor in osteoporosis and low bone density.
Collagen is to our bones what two-by-fours are to the frame of a house. Its the compound that provides the framework upon which mineralization occurs. As our collagen levels decline with age, this becomes a problem. Because if you dont have enough collagen, it doesnt matter how much calcium you take, the mineral wont be bound within the bone.
With that in mind, its clear that we need to include strategies for improving the collagen matrix along with traditional mineral supplementation in any bone health regimen. The Downside of Drugs
One problem with bisphosphonate drugs used to treat and prevent osteoporosis (e.g., Boniva, Fosamax, and Actonel) is that they dont improve bone quality. Sure, they can increase bone density. But because they dont address issues with the organic collagen matrix, they can actually make bones brittle.
High-quality bone is strong and resilient, much like bamboo. In contrast, bone thats pumped up on bisphosphonates is more like chalkdense, but very brittle. People who are on bisphosphonates need to focus on improving their collagen matrixes to help fix the problems that these drugs produce. Increasing the collagen content of the bone leads to greater strength and flexibility, thereby increasing resistance to fractures.