Wrinkles may be a sign of something other than getting older. Something even your doctor would never suspect…
They may be an early warning sign of bone disease.
Two recent studies have found that the deeper your wrinkles, the lower your bone density will be — and the greater your risk of osteoporosis.1,2
You see, the same protein family that’s essential for keeping your skin supple and young also makes up the building blocks of your bone structure.
I’m talking about collagen, the tough, fibrous protein found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons.
Skin and bone both use collagen as building blocks. Collagen molecules pack together to form matrix-like scaffolding that provides your skin and bones with strength and structure. Most of my patients are surprised to learn that collagen makes up most of the structure of your bones.
Studies show that the spongy mesh made by collagen fibers allows your bones to absorb a greater compression force than reinforced concrete, allowing them to resist fractures.2,3
And it’s the same molecule that keeps your skin young and wrinkle-free. But, a reduction in your body’s collagen production deepens skin wrinkles and also contributes to a deterioration of your bones.
In a recent animal study, researchers at Duke University Medical Center directly linked collagen deficiency to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.4
In a moment, I’ll share two ways you can increase collagen naturally. First I want to tell you what to avoid when it comes to your bones — and your skin…
Calcium Is Not The Answer
Your doctor will probably tell you that the best way to build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis is by taking a calcium supplement.
This simply isn’t true. In fact, studies show those with the highest calcium intakes have an increased risk of bone fracture.
Other research shows too much calcium is downright toxic. We now know that instead of harder bones, excess calcium can:
- Increase your risk of coronary artery calcification by 22%.5
- Spike your risk of a heart attack by a staggering 139%.6
- Make you seven times more likely to develop dementia.7
When you take in too much calcium it doesn’t just go into your bones. It gets into your bloodstream, your veins, and your arteries. It builds up over time and becomes hard. In other words, it calcifies everything in its path.
A study published in the British Medical Journal looked at 1,471 women over five years. Half took 1 gram of calcium a day, and half took a placebo.8 Those taking calcium supplements were more than twice as likely to have heart attacks compared with those who took a placebo.
A second review by BMJ analyzed 11 different calcium supplementation studies. They found that taking more than 500 mg a day increased heart attacks by
Too much calcium can also make you appear decades older. In fact, excess calcium is just as bad for your skin as smoking or severe sun damage.
In the same way that calcium builds up in your arteries, it also accumulates in your skin. It inhibits the normal moisture content of the skin. Cells dry up and wrinkles appear.
Replenish Lost Collagen Easily At Home
To boost collagen production for bone and skin health, I recommend supplementing with these:
- Replenish collagen with vitamin C. This humble vitamin provides a one-two punch… It increases bone density, especially in the spine10, and maintains your skin’s existing collagen while encouraging new collagen production. I recommend getting 3,000 mg per day. I suggest taking liposomal-encapsulated vitamin C to increase absorption by up to 98%.
- Sip bone broth. As bones break down when you cook them, the resulting broth becomes rich in collagen. This protein helps build bones and protect your skin. Every couple of weeks, I have fresh, organic bone broth delivered to my staff and patients at the Sears Institute.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Shuster S. “Osteoporosis, like skin aging, is caused by collagen loss which is reversible.” J R Soc Med. 2020 Apr; 113(4): 158–160.
2. Wolff E, et al. “Skin wrinkles and rigidity in early postmenopausal women vary by race/ethnicity: baseline characteristics of the skin ancillary study of the KEEPS trial.” Fertil Steril. 2011 Feb;95(2):658-62.e1-3.
3. Sroga G, Vashishth D. “Effects of Bone Matrix Proteins on Fracture and Fragility in Osteoporosis.” Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2012 Jun; 10(2): 141–150.
4. Duke University Medical Center. “Lack of Specific Collagen Type Leads to Osteoarthritis.” Updated January 2016.
5. Anderson JJ, et al. “Calcium Intake From Diet and Supplements … Among Older Adults.” J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 Oct 11;5(10).
6. Kuanrong Li et al. “Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk…European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC-Heidelberg). BMJ Heart. 2012. 98(12).
7. Jürgen Kern, et al. “Calcium supplementation and risk of dementia in women with cerebrovascular disease.” Neurology. 2016 Oct 18; 87(16): 1674-1680.
8. Bolland M, et al. “Vascular events in healthy older women receiving calcium supplementation: randomised controlled trial.” BMJ. 2008 Feb 2; 336(7638): 262–266.
9. Bolland M, et al. “Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis.” BMJ. 2010;341:c3691
10. “Nutritional influences on bone mineral density: a cross-sectional study in premenopausal women.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Jun;65(6):1831-9.