Low Bone Density In Skull Throws Off Balance and Hearing

A recent scientific study reported by the Wall Street Journal shows that low bone density in the skull is associated with poor balance and hearing loss.

This is alarming because people with low bone density are already prone to fractures, and now the addition of poor balance from low bone density in the skull makes them even more likely to fall and fracture a bone.

Balance is a choreographed arrangement that takes sensory information from a variety of organs. The key players are your eyes, ears, muscles, tendons, joints and bones.


The study notes that low bone density in the skull is also associated with hearing loss, and that may be caused by poor bone quality of the small bones inside the ear. This means that balance and hearing are probably both affected by low bone density.

A number of studies show that supplementing with Vitamin D can improve balance and decrease the number of falls, and this is credited to improved muscle function. It’s been known for a few years that Vitamin D improves muscle activity, but Vitamin D may also influence balance by improving bone health in the skull.

Most adults don't even come close to getting enough vitamin D from their diets.  For bone health, the Endocrine Society recommends 1,500 IU, while the average American woman over age 40 consumes less than 200. So, supplementing with vitamin D is an important part of improving your bone density. The Silical® System from Institute for Better Bone Health provides 1,000 IU of vitamin D - the amount associated with improved balance in research studies. Mega-doses of vitamin D aren’t needed so long as there are other balancing nutrients.

Boron stabilizes Vitamin D and doubles the length of time that Vitamin D is active in the body before it breaks down. Whereas most supplements use boron oxide, the Silical® System uses an organic form of boron that is better absorbed and used more effectively by the body.

The bones in your skull and spine are very different from the weight bearing bones of your legs. Magnesium may be most important to the bone that forms the skull and spinal column because these bones naturally contain a higher level of magnesium compared to weight-bearing bones. Magnesium is one of several nutrients that is key for bone quality. While most people tend to focus on the weight of their bones as measured in a DEXA scan, quality is equally important.

To support the magnesium needed for healthy skull and spine bone, the type of magnesium you choose in a supplement makes a big difference. Most supplements use magnesium oxide because it’s cheap, but only 4% gets absorbed. That means you are only getting 8 mg of the magnesium if you take a supplement with 200 mg. The RDA is 320mg – so magnesium oxide simply won't cut it.  By contrast, Magnesium Citrate provides 70% absorption. It’s a little more expensive and requires extra space in the capsule because magnesium citrate is a larger molecule, but it’s worthwhile because it gets magnesium into bone, and at a lower daily dose. We recently switched to using magnesium citrate, and switched from a pressed pill to veggie capsules to contain the magnesium,  because the benefits to all types of bone are so significant.

There are many other reasons to start taking your bone density seriously. Improved bone density is important for sports to decrease injury rates. Improved bone density helps avoid spine problems, arthritis and other common conditions that interfere with enjoyment of everyday life.

When you realize that bone loss affects the entire skeleton, including bones in the skull that affect balance and hearing, hopefully you will be moved to take action today.

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