Cissus Quadrangularis:  A Key for Healthy Bone Building and Better Metabolism

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Two undesirable aspects of the aging process are the loss of bone density and the malfunctioning of metabolism.  On the flip side, centenarians invariably have healthy bones and blood sugar metabolism.  Studies continue to demonstrate that cissus quadrangularis, a traditional ayurvedic herb in use for more than one thousand years, is a powerful tool to help offset both of these common health problems.

In this article I will review several new studies and summarize a few previous studies, with a focus on cissus quadrangularis .  For those of you who want to understand this general subject in more depth I refer you to a previous feature article, The New World of Bones:  Thyroid, Leptin, Blood Sugar, and Bone Strength.

One of the new studies shows that cissus quadrangularis possesses wide-ranging anti-inflammatory effects.  It is now well understood that a primary cause of both poor bone and metabolic health is excessive inflammation.  Many nutrients possess excellent anti-inflammatory properties which, unlike anti-inflammatory drugs, do not have side effects.  We can now add cissus quadrangularis to the list of powerful, safe, and effective natural anti-inflammatory nutrients.  The study showed multiple mechanisms of inflammation reduction, including the inhibition of COX (cycloxygenase), 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase), TNFa (tumer necrosis factor alpha), and iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase).  All of these divergent signals represent different inflammatory pathways that tend to be excessively active in situations of poor bone and metabolic health. 

Another new study showed that cissus quadrangularis activates growth hormone signaling within bone-building osteoblasts, an essential step required for energetic bone building.  One of the problems of aging is that cells simply don’t perform in a youthful manner, tending to slack off as they get older.  You can have plenty of calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin K and other bone building raw materials, but if you can’t get your bone building carpenters to perform then you are simply out of luck.  The fact that cissus quadrangularis is now proven to activate the powerfully rejuvenating growth hormone signaling within bone is a finding of extreme importance.

Of course, cissus quadrangularis has long been known as one of the finest bone healing nutrients.  I have explained the previous science in three earlier articles:
Cissus Quadrangularis – A Potent Bone Builder
Cissus Quadrangularis: Linking Bones & Metabolic Health
Cissus Quadrangularis: A Unique Bone-Building, Weight-Management Nutrient

As I explain in the above mentioned articles, the relationship to bone health and proper blood sugar metabolism is of the utmost importance to all Americans – especially for aging in a healthy way.  When osteoblasts are properly energized and productive, they make a compound required for bone formation called osteocalcin.  Osteocalcin not only helps your bones, but it also enters your general circulation where it goes to your white adipose tissue and stimulates the production of adiponectin.  Adiponectin is required for your liver to metabolize blood sugar properly as well as act as a circulatory anti-inflammatory.  Thus, healthy bones and healthy metabolism are directly linked; keeping this system working properly is of vital importance to healthy aging.

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