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Bone-Up / Bone Builder

(Jarrow Formulas / Ethical Nutrients)

By Gary F. Zeolla


Most multiple vitamin-mineral supplements contain little calcium and magnesium, so a separate product is needed for these two minerals. One such supplement I used for many years was Twinlab's Calcium Citrate Caps, which also contains magnesium. For many years, it helped keep a neurological condition I have under control. This condition is called "tics." These are minor muscle twitches that can barely be seen by others, but they can be very irritating, especially when they flare-up at night. The best I can explain, it feels like someone is pinching me. You should be able to image how difficult it would be to sleep with someone pinching you all night long.

However, a while back, my tics began flaring-up quite often. After the Twinlab product was working for so long, I'm not sure why it seemed to stop working. Maybe I had been using the Twinlab product for so long that my body had become too accustomed to it. But whatever the case, I figured it was time to try something new. I wanted to find a product that contained calcium and magnesium in different forms than the Twinlab product.

The first product I came across was Jarrow Formulas' Bone-Up. The calcium is in the form of Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite (MCHA). This is a fancy way of saying the calcium is derived from cattle bones. However, it is not the same as "bone meal." Bone meal is simply crushed bones and has received a bad rap due to it sometimes being contaminated with lead or other heavy metals. MCHA is more processed so as to eliminate the heavy metals. But such a product does make sense. Though it may not sound tasty, bones are actually a very "natural" way to attain calcium. That is how most carnivores attain their calcium, from bones that are inevitably eaten when feeding on an animal.

The Bone-Up product, as the name implies, is mainly designed to help build up the strength of bones. It is thus a good supplement for those concerned with osteoporosis. Along with calcium, it also contains many other nutrients that have a role in bone building. Two of these, vitamin K and boron, are not found in most multiples, so it is a good product for those with concerns in this regard.

The full contents are as follows:

Serving Size 6 Capsules
Nutrient – Amount Per Serving – % Daily Value
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) – 200mg – 333%
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) – 1000IU – 250%
Vitamin K1 (Phylloquinone) – 100mcg – 125%
MK7 (Vitamin K2, As Menaquinone-7) – 10mcg – 13%
Folic Acid – 400mcg – 100%
Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12) – 100mcg – 1,667%
Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite (MCHA) – 4762mg *
Calcium (From MCHA) – 1000mg – 100%
Phosphorus (From MCHA) – 510mg – 50%
Protein (From MCHA) – 1514mg – 3%
Magnesium (As Oxide) – 500mg – 150%
Zinc (As Monomethionate) – 10mg – 67%
Copper (As Gluconate) – 1mg – 50%
Manganese (As Citrate) – 1mg – 50%
Glucosamine HCL – 300mg *
Boron (From Citrate) – 3mg

However, I did not find that this product helped any better with my tics than the Calcium Citrate Caps. That could be because the magnesium is in the same form as in the Twinlab product, namely, magnesium oxide. This form is considered to be one of the less absorbable forms of magnesium.

One of my doctors recommended I try a magnesium glycinate supplement, as that is a more absorbable form of magnesium. However, it can also be difficult to find. After much searching, I came across Ethical Nutrients Bone Builder with Magnesium Glycinate. It contains calcium in the same form as the Bone-Up. However, Ethical Nutrients calls it Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite Concentrate and abbreviates it as MCHC.

I started taking three tablets a day. That provides 500 mg of calcium and 250 mg of magnesium, along with 200 IUs of vitamin D and 300 mg of phosphorus. With taking that amount, my tics were under much better control than they were with the Twinlab product.

It should also be noted that Ethical Nutrients has other versions of its Bone Builder, namely Bone Builder with Boron and Ultimate Bone Builder. The latter has the same type of nutrient profile as the Bone-Up. For those concerned with osteoporosis, any of these products would also be good to try, but probably especially the Ultimate Bone Builder. But for someone with a neurological condition like I have, then the Bone Builder with Magnesium Glycinate would probably be the better product.

Jarrow's Bone-up is available from iHerb and Amazon. The various Bone Builder products are also available from iHerb and Amazon. When checking out, use referral code HOP815 to receive $5.00 off your first order.

Update: I no longer take any calcium or magnesium supplement, as my diet is more than adequate in both minerals. As long as I pay meticulous attention to my diet (and keep my emotions in check), my tics remain under control. The diet that I follow is detailed in my books God-given Foods Eating Plan and Creationist Diet: Second Edition.

Bone-Up/ Bone Builder - Supplement Descriptions. Copyright 2009, 2017 By Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site April 1, 2009.
It was updated June 14, 2017.

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