The adult human body contains approximately 1,200g of calcium, about 99% of which is present in theskeleton. Bone is constantly turning over, acontinuous process of formation and resorption. Inchildren and adolescents, the rate of formation ofbone mineral predominates over the rate ofresorption. Once one reaches peak bone mass,sometime between the age of 20 and 30, boneformation slows down and bone resorption begins toprevail over bone formation, beginning the cycle ofprogressive, age-associated bone demineralization.Therefore, in normal aging, there is a gradual loss ofbone.
The condition of reduced bone mineral density canincrease risk of fractures and affects a largeproportion of the elderly in developed countries.Caucasian and Asian women typically have low peakbone densities, and therefore, are at the greatest riskof fractures in later life. It is generally accepted thatobtaining enough dietary calcium throughout life cansignificantly decrease the risk of fractures due toreduced bone density. Among other factors, such asregular exercise, gender and race, calciumsupplementation during childhood and adolescenceappears to be a prerequisite for maintaining adequatebone density later in life. But even the elderly canbenefit significantly from supplementation withdietary calcium.
In women, bone loss is generally acceleratedfollowing menopause. The decline in estrogen levelsassociated with menopause appears to put women atincreased risk for declining bone density andassociated fractures. Ipriflavone, derived fromnaturally occurring isoflavones, promotes bonedensity by inhibiting bone resorption. Numerousstudies of postmenopausal women and individualswhose bones are showing signs of demineralizationhave investigated the benefits of ipriflavone on bonehealth. Laboratory and clinical studies havedocumented ipriflavone's positive effect on bonedensity.
Experts agree that ipriflavone appears to directlyinhibit osteoclast activity, thereby decreasing boneresorption. Osteoclasts and osteoblasts are twoprimary types of bone cells. Osteoblasts, the moreexterior cells, are responsible for bonemineralization. Osteoclasts, found beneath theosteoblasts, are responsible for bone resorption.When calcium levels in the blood drop, theosteoblasts change shape, allowing the osteoclasts tobecome exposed and release calcium from the bonesto the rest of the body.
Scientists suspect ipriflavone may also stimulateosteoblast activity. Since osteoblasts are responsiblefor laying down new bone, an increase in osteoblastactivity would result in increased bonemineralization. This suggests ipriflavone may notonly inhibit the breakdown of existing bone, but alsoencourage the formation of new bone.
Ipriflavone, together with adequate calcium andvitamin D, a key regulatory hormone for calcium andbone metabolism, offers non-estrogenic protectionagainst excessive bone resorption. Unlike other wellknownisoflavones, such as genistein found in soyfoods, ipriflavone does not have estrogenic activity.Ipriflavone can be safely used in conjunction withnatural phytoestrogens or with hormone replacementtherapy. Furthermore, ipriflavone provides a positiveeffect on bone health in women for whom hormonetherapies are contraindicated.
Adults take 1 capsule 2 times daily or as directed byphysician.