Better Bones Foundation
With a mission to explore the full human potential for bone health development, maintenance, and regeneration, medical anthropologist, clinical nutritionist, and osteoporosis expert Dr. Susan Brown, PhD, Director of the nonprofit Better Bones Foundation, has been researching nutrition and lifestyle influences on bone health for many years now. Some of the research projects Dr. Brown has completed through the Foundation are listed below.
Dr. Susan Brown and the Better Bones Foundation consider the link between bone health and systemic acid-alkaline balance to be one of critical importance. In fact, it is our opinion that chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis(CLGMA) is one of the major hidden causes of osteoporosis.
With that, Dr. Brown has studied and written extensively on acid-alkaline balance and its effects on bone health. In her book, Better Bones, Better Body, she dedicates two full chapters to acid-alkaline balance and bone and to the development of an Alkaline for Life® diet. And in their scholarly article, “Acid-alkaline balance and its effects on bone health,” Dr. Brown and Dr. Russell Jaffe explore the full connection between bone and systemic pH and present the scientific data on this relationship.
In addition, Dr. Brown has authored a book entirely dedicated to clarifying the overall importance of proper acid-alkaline body chemistry balance. This book, The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide (Square One Publishers, 2006), provides the lay public with a detailed, yet understandable, discussion of chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis. Further, this book offers the first comprehensive listing of the relative acidifying or alkalizing impact of all major foods.
Clinical pilot studies
- Young Bones™
As detailed in her book, Better Bones, Better Body, Dr. Susan Brown believes traditional Chinese medicine offers us a profound understanding of bone loss processes and the mechanics of bone health maintenance. In this research pilot study she had the opportunity to evaluate a promising 1000-year-old traditional Chinese herbal bone health formula. This research project consisted of a three-month pilot study that measured the impact of this traditional herbal formula on symptoms of menopause and aging, and bone breakdown. Young Bones was found to be a powerful kidney-enhancing, anti-aging formula. For details please see her report, Pilot clinical study of dietary supplement, Young Bones™ — a traditional Chinese herbal formula for improvement of aging, including bone mineral loss, pain, mobility, and nocturnal polyuria in women.
This pilot study involved a three-month clinical trial assessing the bone-building potential of Cal-Vantage — a unique vitamin–mineral and herbal formula. The endpoints for this study were bone resorption at six and 12 weeks, blood pressure, and weight. The results of this pilot study showed Cal-Vantage to be a promising bone-building agent, the use of which was also associated with positive changes in weight and blood pressure. Dr. Brown found these results promising and extended this study for one year to evaluate the impact of Cal-Vantage™ on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. For details please read the study report, Pilot clinical study assessing the impact on bone resorption and bone mineral density of the dietary supplement Cal-Vantage™.
Dr. Brown has conducted two research projects with the Brazilian sea algae calcium and vitamin D bone product known as OsteOrganiCAL. The first was a series of case studies, and the second, a one-year pilot clinical study on bone density.
In 1997 the product known as OsteOrganiCAL was brought to our attention. In subsequent years Dr. Brown was presented with dozens of before-and-after bone density measurements which suggested this formulation was indeed capable of halting bone loss and even rebuilding a significant amount of bone. Intrigued by these results Dr. Brown agreed to review a series of these cases, checking to validate their accuracy. The results were reported in the OsteOrganiCAL case study analysis.
One-year pilot clinical study
Intrigued by the impressive bone density improvements found in the case studies, Dr. Brown became engaged in a clinical pilot trial. In the fall of 2003, Dr. Brown and her staff at the Better Bones Foundation completed a year-long pilot study of this formulation containing the sea algae calcium and vitamin D. The study included eleven postmenopausal women, six of whom experienced impressive gains in bone mineral density from use of the product. For the full study report, you are referred toOsteOrganiCAL pilot study final report.
- AdvaCAL® (AAACa)
Over the years there has been considerable attention given to the issue of calcium effectiveness and bioavailability. In this small (N=11), four-week pilot study, Dr. Brown compared a promising Japanese calcium formula with calcium citrate. The endpoints of this pilot study were alterations to bone resorption, intact parathyroid hormone, and first-morning urine pH amongst North American postmenopausal women. In each case, the subject received 900 mg of elemental calcium in a dosing regimen of 150 mg with each meal, and 450 mg at bedtime. This dosing regimen was likely an important factor in producing a consistent reduction in bone resorption within only four weeks. In this small study formal statistical analysis was not able to detect a significant difference between the effects of these two forms of calcium on any end point studied. From a case study perspective, however, there was a trend favoring AAACa over calcium citrate in reducing bone resorption markers. To read the full report of this study, see A pilot study comparing Advacal (AAACa) and calcium citrate supplementation in menopausal US women.
Ipriflavone report and usage guidelines
Between the years 1998–2001, Dr. Brown worked with Technical Sourcing International of Missoula, Montana, to research the efficacy and safety of the synthetic flavonoid known as ipriflavone (trade name Ostivone). During that time she developed a comprehensive database on all available English language studies on ipriflavone. Dr. Brown also completed her own analysis of ipriflavone. This analysis includes an introduction to flavonoids, a history and background of ipriflavone, a discussion of its efficacy, the safety concerns with its use, and a summary of the 2000 European multicentered clinical trial using ipriflavone. Those wishing further information on the results are referred to the report on ipriflavone and Italian guidelines for its usage.
NTx point-of-care device
In February 2001, the Better Bones Foundation served as one of four nationwide test sites for a clinical trial evaluating the Osteomark NTx point-of-care device. The object of this clinical trial was to see if the NTx measurement device could be self-administered at home. This study was conducted in compliance with FDA requirements. Principal investigators were Nancy Mallinak, PhD and Susan E. Brown, PhD. This study led to the approval of this device by the FDA and its subsequent distribution.
If you are interested in helping the Better Bones Foundation through funding, or have ideas on how we might fund any of our current osteoporosis research, please see our section on supporting the Better Bones Foundation.
At the Better Bones Foundation we promote an all-natural approach to bone health based on the latest research and through consultation, education and outreach.
If you would like to help us further the work of the Better Bones Foundation, click here to make a donation. We are also happy to answer questions about Dr. Brown’s pioneering work in the field of bone health. Please call The Center for Better Bones today toll-free at 1-888-206-7119 to learn more.