Natural nitrates from beets, red spinach and dark leafy vegetables are inexpensive, easy, natural ways to strengthen your bones, and they’re backed by decades of research. You have to keep three things in mind though to get the clinically proven benefits:
In putting together a fully referenced recipe guide to eating for total heath, from your skin to your bones, (available soon, subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to find out when it goes live), the Resync team has pored over the research on what it takes for optimal connective tissue health.
One thing that stands out in the research, but doesn’t seem to get much press, is the link between healthy nitric oxide levels and bone health. It makes sense: nitric oxide relaxes your blood vessels to oxygenate your muscles and other tissues, so why wouldn’t it do the same for your bones, where your red blood cells come from?
Let’s talk about bones and healthy nitric oxide levels from natural, plant-based nitrates.
Nitric oxide (“N-O” for short”) is a simple molecule with profound effects. Doctors know how it makes blood vessels relax. Athletes know how it can decrease how much oxygen you need to exercise. It’s well-researched effects on your gut, your brain, and even the mitochondria that power your cells are relatively unknown in popular media.
Nitric oxide levels go down with:
And other conditions involving chronic inflammation.
Use antibacterial mouthwash? You probably have low N-O levels. Use antacids like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)? You probably have low N-O levels. Older, inflamed, have a chronic condition? Exposed to pesticides, pollution, antibiotics or disinfectants?
You get the picture.
Even if you’re young, fit, and healthy, your nitric oxide might be lacking. When each of these conditions hurt your nitric oxide levels, it also hurts your immune system, your cardiovascular system, and can have downstream effects throughout your body. Not a good cycle to be stuck in!
Fortunately, even if you have one of those conditions there is strong evidence to show that supplemental forms of natural nitric oxide can boost your levels back to normal. Therefore, even if you are healthy and fit, nitric oxide can be generated from natural sources of nitrates like from red spinach extract or beetroot - both have great research to support their use.
If you want to read more on the best natural sources of natural nitric oxide, click here: Make The Best Of Your Veggies: Synergy Of Whole-food Nitrate Combinations. Spoiler alert: the go-to nitric oxide booster of the ‘90s, L-arginine, hardly even works when compared to a concentrated nitrate source like red spinach extract or arugula.
If you want to know more about the many uses of nitrate supplements, take a quick pause and go check out these evidence-based articles:
Nitric oxide might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the best supplement for bone mineral density or the best supplements for osteoporosis, but I think that’s just because the media hasn’t caught up with the science. Decades of science show us when and how to supplement with nitric oxide for better bone health.
It started when research doctors noticed that hormone replacement therapy improved bone mineral density in post-menopausal women. They figured out that without nitric oxide, estrogen didn’t have it’s beneficial effect. Funny enough, if you take out the estrogen and just boost nitric oxide, you can still see the bone strengthening benefits (Wimalawansa 2020).
Since then, clinical trials have shown that, like all good things, there’s a happy medium. You don’t want too much nitric oxide or too little. Interest in using nitric oxide to increase bone mineral density for osteoporosis was a little less enthusiastic after a landmark trial showed that getting a small dose of nitric oxide doesn’t do much for bones.
No surprise though, right?
Don’t use enough of anything and you won’t see the results - that’s one reason why you have to take collagen supplements every day to see the benefits. Another problem with this study is that bone losses are highest right after menopause starts, suggesting that for the early post-menopausal window even higher doses need to be used, followed by a gradual tapering of the dose as the hormonal imbalances settle down.
Other high quality clinical trials, on the other hand, have shown that nitric oxide can improve bone mineral density. Prescription nitrate use is associated with decreased risk of fractures, but excessive doses are associated with overactive inflammation.
So what is the optimal dose?
The prescription drugs nitroglycerin and Isosorbide mononitrate have been studied to improve bone mineral density and markers of bone growth in the doses of 20 - 45 mg per day.
Interestingly, studies show that oral doses that result in more blood nitrate fluctuation may improve bone strength better than continuous doses like those in prescription nitrate patches. Getting nitrates from short acting forms may increase local growth factors and might help prevent nitrate resistance.
A healthy person can make about 20-40 mg of nitrite per day for baseline function, but if you want the health benefits you need to get 300-400 mg of nitrates in a day!
To make things worse, natural nitrate sources never have the same levels batch to batch, and the nitrate supplements they’re made into are inconsistent too (Gonzalez 2015; Gallardo & Coggan 2018).
So what can you do to make sure you get results? Two things:
Read more on the best natural sources of natural nitric oxide here: Make The Best Of Your Veggies: Synergy Of Whole-food Nitrate Combinations.
Considering that many, if not most, Americans are at risk of having low nitric oxide levels, getting nitric oxide from a supplement or whole foods is an evidence-based way to increase bone density. Getting enough of the top vegetables gives you the peace of mind to come out of this pandemic not just surviving, but thriving.
Other bone supplements you might want to consider include:
Conveniently, Resync Collagen has some of the highest quality sources of these with hydrolyzed type I, II and II collagen peptides plus vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and even the nutraceuticals boswellia serrata and elderberry extract!
We add these bone and joint-supporting supplements on top of a validated, standardized, proprietary nitric oxide blend including red spinach extract, beetroot, and Aronia berry, to support the functions of healthy nitric oxide levels in your body. Our formula was scientifically designed for connective tissue recovery, so it makes sense that it may be one of the best supplements for bone health! In fact the ingredients in our new superblend are a science backed way to up your performance, energy, vitality, and overall connective tissue health all in one!
Our new formulation is going to be released in late September 2020, so pre-order now for a competitive advantage on your bone health!
Follow us on social media to be the first to know when our new products are released, I don’t think you’re going to want to miss it!
If you liked this blog you might also enjoy some of our other articles:
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Wishing you the best in your health,
The Resync Team
Gallardo, Edgar J., and Andrew R. Coggan. “What’s in Your Beet Juice? Nitrate and Nitrite Content of Beet Juice Products Marketed to Athletes.” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, vol. 29, no. 4, 01 2019, pp. 345–349. PubMed, doi:10.1123/ijsnem.2018-0223.
González, Maryuri T. Nuñez De, et al. “A Survey of Nitrate and Nitrite Concentrations in Conventional and Organic-Labeled Raw Vegetables at Retail.” Journal of Food Science, vol. 80, no. 5, 2015, doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12858.
Hamilton, Celeste J., et al. “Organic Nitrates for Osteoporosis: An Update.” BoneKEy Reports, vol. 2, Feb. 2013. PubMed Central, doi:10.1038/bonekey.2012.259.
Jamal, Sophie A., and Celeste J. Hamilton. “Nitric Oxide Donors for the Treatment of Osteoporosis.” Current Osteoporosis Reports, vol. 10, no. 1, Mar. 2012, pp. 86–92. PubMed, doi:10.1007/s11914-011-0087-7.
Kleinbongard, Petra, et al. “Plasma Nitrite Reflects Constitutive Nitric Oxide Synthase Activity in Mammals.” Free Radical Biology and Medicine, vol. 35, no. 7, Oct. 2003, pp. 790–96. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/S0891-5849(03)00406-4.
Saura, Marta, et al. “Recent Insights into the Implication of Nitric Oxide in Osteoblast Differentiation and Proliferation during Bone Development.” The Scientific World JOURNAL, vol. 10, 2010, pp. 624–32. DOI.org (Crossref), doi:10.1100/tsw.2010.58.
Van’T Hof, Rob J., and Stuart H. Ralston. “Nitric Oxide and Bone.” Immunology, vol. 103, no. 3, July 2001, pp. 255–61. PubMed Central, doi:10.1046/j.1365-2567.2001.01261.x.
Wimalawansa, Sunil J. “Targeting Nitric Oxide for Bone Disease.” Encyclopedia of Bone Biology, Elsevier, 2020, pp. 666–96. DOI.org (Crossref), doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.62275-4.
Written by registered dietitian, Detrick Snyder, MPH, RDN. Updated 09/11/2020.
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