Aromatase Inhibitors Decrease Bone Density- Here are Tips to Boost Bone Health
For women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, your oncologist may prescribe an aromatase inhibitor as part of your cancer treatment.
These medications are most often prescribed to postmenopausal women after surgery to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. Aromatase inhibitors stop the production of estrogen by blocking the adrenal enzyme called aromatase. Aromatase turns the hormone androgen into estrogen in women. This lessens the available estrogen in the body to stimulate the growth of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cells.
As with most medications, there are some side effects associated. It is important to discuss and understand all the possible side effects with your doctor before starting. One of the side effects is that it can decrease bone density over time causing women to be more susceptible to osteoporosis. Brittle and porous bones increases the risk for fractures and breaks.
Although this may sound a little scary…..
There are ways to help boost your overall bone health.
- Make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D. For your body to absorb calcium, your body needs vitamin D. Sunshine helps our bodies produce vitamin D, but you want to be careful of sun exposure. Luckily, many things that we eat are good sources of Vitamin D such as: fatty fish like salmon, tuna or mackerel; eggs; milk; certain mushrooms.
- You can also take quality supplements to ensure that your body is getting the amount it needs. It helps if you supplement with Vitamin D3. There is a difference between different Vitamin D supplements. Take your Vitamin D3 supplements with food. This is a fat soluble vitamin.
- Do not smoke- smoking is associated with decreasing bone mineral density.
- Lessen your intake of caffeine and alcohol. These can affect your body’s calcium levels.
- Exercising- weight bearing exercise helps to strengthen your bones by forcing your body to work against gravity.
- Don’t forget Vitamin K- Vitamin K is also very important and can be found in foods such as spinach, broccoli, beans, eggs and strawberries.
- Vitamin K2 is a crucial nutrient in calcium metabolism and bone mineralization that many do not know about. Sources include high-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows, liver and egg yolk and fermented foods.
- Vitamin K2 is also produced by gut bacteria in the large intestine. Broad spectrum antibiotics can limit this process. Many times supplementation with this vitamin is necessary as most people are deficient in it. Vitamin K2 is important to help activates a protein hormone called osteocalcin, produced by osteoblasts, which is needed to bind calcium into the matrix of your bone. Osteocalcin also appears to help prevent calcium from depositing into your arteries.
It is always a great idea to know if you are deficient in key nutrients to achieve improved health. This can be achieved by a blood test performed by your doctor. It takes the guess work out of what supplements your body needs in order to function at the optimal level.
We offer comprehensive nutrient analysis measuring functional nutrient deficiencies at the cellular level. Call us to learn more at 480-771-7771.