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The Icariin Flavonoid – Break Through Discovery In Osteoporosis Prevention And Nutritional Management
James Meschino DC, MS, ROHP
The incidence of osteoporosis in North America is estimated to affect one in four women and one in four men over the age of 50, with complications from osteoporotic fractures accounting for more deaths each year than the combined mortality from breast and ovarian cancer in the Canadian female population (Canadian Osteoporosis Society). Many individuals are seeking natural answers to the prevention and management of osteoporosis (and osteopenia) and many research investigations have been undertaken in recent years.
In addition to exercise, the best results have been occurred from the use of supplements providing various forms of calcium (e.g. carbonate, citrate, citrate-malate) and vitamin D, as well as supplementation with a semi-synthetic compound called ipriflavone. In Canada, ipriflavone has recently been awarded drug status and can no longer be put into a dietary supplement. However, most recently studies have shown that the Icariin flavonoind found in the Horny Goat Weed plant can increase bone density at the hip and lumbar spine in postmenopausal women. This is a remarkable discovery due to the fact that no significant side effects have been reported with its use.
Icariin Flavonoid Strengthens Bones
In addition to experimental studies a 2007 clinical trail (Zhang G) showed that Icariin increased bone density in postmenopausal women. Researchers recruited 85 healthy late postmenopausal women, and randomly assigned them to receive either a daily dose of Horny Goat Week (yielding 60 mg of Icarriin flavonoid) or placebo. All the women received a daily calcium supplement (300 mg).
After two years bone mineral density at the hip (femoral neck) and lower spine (lumbar) increased by 1.6 and 1.3 per cent, respectively, in the Icariin supplemented group, and decreased by 1.8 and 2.4 per cent, respectively, in the placebo group.
Your New Bone Support Strategy
Recent data suggest that an optimal osteoporosis prevention and management plan requires the following daily lifestyle strategies:
- Calcium Intake – 1200 -1500 mg per day (from food and supplementation)
- Vitamin D Intake – 1000-1400 IU per day (from food and supplementation)
- Magnesium Intake – 300-500 mg per day (from food and supplementation)
- Icariin Flavonoid Intake – 60 mg per day (from supplementation with Horny Goat Weed, also known as Epimedium)
- Daily weight bearing or resisted exercise training for 20-30 minutes
As such I recommend that a adults of all ages take a High Potency Multiple Vitamin per day that contains 500mg of elemental calcium, 400IU Vitamin D and 200mg Magnesium, along with an additional Bone Support Supplement that provides an additional 600mg of calcium, 800IU Vitamin D, 300mg of Magnesium and 60 mg of Icariin Flavonoid.
Individuals who are pregnant, breast feeding, have sarcoidosis, hyperparathyroidism, kidney or liver conditions or a transplanted organ require more personalized instruction from their attending physician regarding the dosages shown above.