6 Easy Ways To Boost A Major Bone Matrix Component That Prevents Fractures (The Medical Establishment Completely Ignores This!) - Save Our Bones

When you think of improving your bone density, it might conjure up images of thick, hard bone with the strength and hardness of concrete. But picture dropping a concrete rod from a tall building – it will shatter. Now imagine dropping a thin, flexible twig from the same height. Bouncing is more likely than shattering!

Osteoporosis drugs make your bones like concrete. On the other hand, a pH-balanced nutrition and targeted exercise has been shown to increase both bone density and tensile strength.

Today we’re going to get to the heart of bone’s ability to bend and flex, the main bone matrix component that determines bone strength, and six easy ways to increase the tensile strength of your bones to prevent fractures.

The Medical Establishment Ignores The Importance Of Tensile Strength

Flexibility is the hallmark of youthful bones. Yet the Medical Establishment simply ignores this, prescribing bone-hardening drugs, large doses of inorganic calcium, and sometimes Vitamin D.

Because they focus solely on density, the medical community misses the key to fracture prevention, which is bone’s ability to bend and flex rather than snap under impact or pressure.

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program Emphasizes Tensile Strength

Chapter 3 of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program discusses in great depth the infrastructure of bone. In fact, an experienced and highly knowledgeable analytical engineer by the name of Norman Houtz, who specialized in stress and strength analysis, contributed to portions of that chapter.

“Bones are made up of 65% mineralized collagen that gives bones their solid infrastructure and 35% collagen matrix shaped like a crisscrossed protein, similar to a beehive. The collagen matrix is made of nutrients and minerals that give flexibility to the bones so they can resist breaking.”

(The Osteoporosis Reversal Program, Chapter 3)

The “scaffolding” upon which your bones’ flexibility rests is collagen.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen makes up almost a third of our skin, bone, and connective tissue. There are actually 28 types of collagen that have been identified. Type I is the most prevalent and abundant, and it is responsible for the flexible strength of bone.

Collagen is a kind of extracellular protein, meaning it exists around the outside of cells rather than within them. It is composed of amino acids that form the characteristic triple helix of the collagen molecule. These molecules aggregate into fibrous structures that provide flexibility and elastic strength to tissue.

If you do not have enough of the amino acids that make up collagen, your body can’t produce enough of this important protein. The two primary amino acids in collagen are threonine and proline.

Threonine must be obtained from your diet; your body cannot manufacture it. Foods like lentils, chickpeas, asparagus, peanuts, eggs, beef, and chicken contain threonine.

Your body is able to manufacture the other key amino acid in collagen, proline. But in order to do so, it needs Vitamin C. In addition, you can boost your body’s proline levels by eating foods that contain it, such as beef and cabbage.

Collagen And The Bone Matrix

The scaffold-like bone matrix is made up of 60% inorganic components and 40% organic. Collagen makes up 90% of bones’ organic components, making bone tough, shock-absorbent, and flexible. It is the primary living tissue of bone, and it gives bone an astounding ability to adapt and change in response to its environment. Collagen accounts for bone quality (which Savers know, is preferable to bone quantity).

This point about quality over quantity is emphasized in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Also in Chapter 3, you’ll find the following quote from an article titled “The Role of Collagen in Bone Strength” by S. Viguet-Carrin and team, and published in Osteoporosis International:

“Bone is a complex tissue of which the principal function is to resist mechanical forces and fractures. Bone strength depends not only on the quantity of bone tissue but also on the quality, which is characterized by the geometry and the shape of bones, the microarchitecture of the trabecular bones, the turnover, the mineral, and the collagen.”1

DXA (previously DEXA) scans measure bone quantity only, failing to take into account the bone’s integrity and strength. Yet it’s the bone’s quality that determines whether or not it can resist fracture.

Collagen Stimulates Osteoblast Activity

Your bones are always remodeling (renewing themselves) – old bone is removed by osteoclast cells, while new bone is deposited by osteoblasts.

Research has shown that when collagen is present in the bone matrix, osteoblasts are stimulated instead of osteoclasts.2,3 In addition, collagen has been shown to promote the maturation of osteoblasts and boost their activity.4 This has the effect modulating and balancing bone turnover so there is not excessive loss.

In contrast, osteoporosis drugs stop this process altogether, artificially building bone while stopping the natural removal of old bone.

How To Boost Your Body’s Collagen Production And Maintenance

It’s clear that collagen is a vital component in youthful bones and a strong, fracture-resistant skeleton. So how can you make sure you’re giving your body what it needs to make and maintain the collagen your bones need?

Below are the key nutrients necessary for collagen production. While it’s ideal to obtain all necessary nutrients from foods, it’s just about impossible to do so. That is why I take a multivitamin and extra Vitamin C in addition to an organic calcium supplement.

All of these collagen-building nutrients are Foundation Supplements in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program:

  1. Vitamin C, also an antioxidant, is required for collagen production. As noted above, one of the building blocks of collagen, threonine, works with Vitamin C to form collagen. Foods like citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, watermelon, and raspberries are good alkalizing sources. Blueberries and cranberries are acidifying, but also good sources of Vitamin C.
  2. Copper is a trace mineral that is involved in various enzymatic processes, and in fact, copper is found in every tissue of the body. Alkalizing foods like almonds, sesame seeds, mushrooms, and tomatoes are excellent food sources of copper, as are acidifying foods like dark chocolate, cashews, and peanuts.
  3. Silicon is also a trace mineral that affects collagen by regulating bone matrix proteins. Cucumbers are an excellent source of silicon, as are cherries, tomatoes, apples, spinach, and Romaine lettuce.
  4. B Vitamins (B6, B12, and folic acid) work together to lower homocysteine levels in the blood, thereby protecting collagen from damage (homocysteine hinders collagen formation). Most foods containing B12 are acidifying (such as beef liver, sardines, and grass-fed beef), but plain yogurt is a good alkalizing source.

The Medical Establishment Doesn’t Make The Connection Between Nutrition And Bone Health

I have always found it strange that nutrition is not more recognized in the medical community for its role in bone health (and overall health). With few exceptions, doctors focus on treating symptoms with drugs. When they do recommend supplements, it’s usually in isolation (such as inorganic calcium), without taking into account the synergy of all nutrients working together to nourish bones.

Unfortunately, the medical community is so focused on prescription drugs that the crucial role of nutrition is simply forgotten, except for the flawed recommendation to drink cow’s milk.

You may have talked to your doctor about a nutritional approach, and perhaps you received a response that nutrients like those mentioned above are simply irrelevant.

Fortunately, Savers Know Better!

Savers are familiar with the crucial role the right nutrition plays in recapturing youthful bones. You know that collagen is a vital component of the bone matrix, and how to keep the collagen in your body in top shape. You are well ahead of the curve!

The bottom line is, your bones need crucial nutrients and not toxic and dangerous prescription drugs. The Osteoporosis Reversal Program is structured around this concept, with an emphasis on alkalizing foods to balance your body’s pH.

In the Program’s Blueprint, you’ll find extensive lists of nutrient-rich foods and dozens of scientific studies that confirm how and why those foods are essential for nourishing and building quality bone. You’ll also find a complete list of Foundation Supplements.

So remember, when it comes to resisting fractures and rejuvenating your bones, it’s about knowing what to do instead of taking dangerous drugs.

Till next time,


1 Viguet-Carrin, s., Garnero, P., and Delmas, P.D. “The Role of Collagen in Bone Strength.” Osteoporosis International. 2006. 17: 319-336. DOI 10.1007/s00198-005-2035-9. PDF. https://www.cof.org.cn/pdf/2006/5/The%20role%20of%20collagen%20in%20bone%20strength.pdf

2 Mizuno, M. and Kuboki, Y. “Osteoblast-related gene expression of bone marrow cells during the osteoblastic differentiation induced by type I collagen.” Journal of Biochemistry. 2001. 129: 133-138.

3 Andrianarivo, A.G., Robinson, J.A., Mann, K.G. and Tracy R.P. “Growth on type I collagen promotes expression of the osteoblastic phenotype in human osteosarcoma MG-63 cells.” Journal of cellular physiology. 1992. 153: 256-265.

4 Guillerminet, F., Beaupied, H., Fabien-Soulé, V., Tomé, D., Benhamou, C-L., Blachier, F., Roux, C. and Blais, A. “Collagen peptides improves bone metabolism and biomechanical parameters in ovariectomized mice: an in vitro and in vivo study.” Bone. 2010.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Bakhtiyar Ahmad Akhoon

    I am suffering from heavy hairfall,can anybody please give me suggestions for preventing hairfall

  2. Christine

    I make bone broth and it has all the nutrients listed in this article. No need supplements.

    • May I ask how you make it

      I have osteoporosis, eat @ exercise to help it. I am not on any medication. I am 64.

    • Kim

      How funny! I’m drinking some right now as I read this. : )

  3. Nouzha Deramchi

    I have ordered the calcium special deal you promoted and after 3 weeks,2 phone calls, I have not received it yet. They did however take the money within 10 minutes.
    I was told that I am the one who is supposed to track the order with the US post office while I live in Canada.They cannot do much but they will keep the 200 dollars
    I did not expect this kind of customer service.I ordered it becof your site marketing it.That would be the last time.

  4. Georgina

    Thank you Vivian for all the important information you give us.

  5. Gloria

    At age 45 I was told I had osteoporosis and from then on every doctor I saw tried to start me on a different drug . I never gave in and kept my healthy diet, and exercising. Now at 74 after numerous dangerous falls during the past 10 years I am happy to tell you that I never had a broken bone even though my dexa scan is bad ( and doctors still try to push unwanted drugs for the osteoporosis.)

  6. Prema

    Just for your information folic acid is connected to both breast cancer and prostate cancer…..companies have added it to everything for decades…..the natural form is folate and that is the only form that should be taken in….

    • Kathleen Riley

      My understanding about folic acid is that it must convert to folate so I take a product with folate in it, not folic acid. I must admit I do not understand the difference. Anyone able to explain this further?

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Hi Kathleen,
        While the terms are often used interchangeably, technically folic acid is the synthetic form of this B vitamin (B9) that is used in supplements. Folate is the form of B9 that occurs naturally in foods. 🙂

  7. Cindy

    Thank you Vivian, I enjoy receiving your articles and the Save Our Bones book they are so helpful and informative, keep the emails coming!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are very welcome, Cindy!

  8. peggy

    Hi Everyone, Listen to Vivian – she is spot on! I have had her program since 2009, and at 81 – even tho the dexa showed osteopenia – my bones are very flexible. I am 5 ft 4 in and weigh 104, but I have a highly
    alkaline diet (heavy duty green drinks 2X a day lots of other veges, beans and protein from animal & vege sources. I use her exercizes, walk, think positive Esp with CA, cut out sugar & cut out or way down on grains. I have chronic Leukemia but 4 oncologists said that because I take care of myself I will live a long time. My aim is 100+.

  9. shula


  10. Susan Knott

    Thanks for the informative and encouraging article on collagen! So important. I am a 58-year-old woman with 2.8 in spine, so Osteoporosis. When I tried to bring up your program with my doctor, who is usually extremely open to natural approaches, she did not want to listen and instead said, “Listen, you have to take these medications since you could break a hip, then you could die or be in a nursing home!” Wow. Thank God I had already found your website, your invaluable information, and the encouragement and ideas of your loyal community of women trying to help women grow bone, so I did not get discouraged!

    But did get on the stick and start doing hard-core research and found 3 machines which I think would be a great bone insurance policy to add to alkaline diet and weight-bearing excercise: 1. iMRS Pulsating Electromagnetic Field Stimulation to stimulate osteoblast & collagen (you lie on mat which provides the iMRS, calming and easy). 2. bioDensity machine which increases bone density (You push with arms and legs, since I have a torn ligament in elbow, I have to see how this goes) – many women building bone with this, and 3. PowerPlate vibration which increases bone density but which I am still investigating as the vibration may jiggle brain too much but many women are using this at my local PT and growing bone.

    Thank you Vivien, for leading the charge! Thank you, Nancy, for the strontium citrate (AOR brand) idea! Thank you, Jean, for the book rec “Your Bones” and know that we are all praying you up and down for total healing of bones and CA! You have sisters who stand firm right beside you!
    Susan K.

    • Jess

      I bought the home version of the Power Plate. Maybe I used it at too high a power, but after using it for 15 minutes a day for a few months I had a posterior vitreous detachment in both eyes and my eye doctor was worried for awhile about a retina detachment. I posted on another forum about what had happened to me and heard about a husband and wife who were using a whole body vibration machine at their health club and both of them did experience a retina detachment. I no longer use my Power Plate! Be careful!

  11. Teresa ochoa

    Thank you for this great article, which I read very carefully. And now, that I also read your book , makes me realize, that more knowledge, is what we need to eat and live in a healthier, way, to save our bones and our life.

  12. Jacquie

    The title – 6 ways to boost…I read carefully and see your obvious list of 4…what am I missing? I appreciate your approach, refer to your program book that I purchased, and share the website whenever I can. thanks

    • Susan Knott

      Jacquie, when I reread Vivien’s article, items 4, 5 & 6 are grouped together and represent 3 B Vitamins (B6, B12, and folic acid). Hope that helps!

  13. Jean

    Thanks for an excellent article. I’m pleased to note that many of the foods listed as collagen friendly are favorites! Additionally, I’ve been reading “Your Bones” by Lara Pizzorno, which is also quite helpful.
    Nine years of “cancer free” diagnoses after treatment for breast cancer, my oncologist determined 3+ months ago that the same CA now has invaded the length of my spine. I refused the recommendation of Xgeva injections to prevent fractures, and will this week have a second bone scan (not dexa) to determine if the CA has spread and if any treatment beyond Femara is now warranted. So I’m grateful for any bone-strengthening dietary advice, and have been very diligent in watching my diet.

    • Susan Knott

      Jean, please check out “budwig-videos.com” for the how-to and science behind a recipe which healed my therapist from a 3 months to live CA diagnosis to being alive and well today, 12 years later. It’s basically flaxseed oil, cottage cheese & freshly ground flax seed. It’s important to grind your own brown flax seeds and eat them within 15 minutes as the fresh lignans are the CA fighters. Behind you & beside you all the way.

    • Susan Knott

      Dearest Jean – you have been through so much and are so courageous – I will think of you whenever I have a tough day and be uplifted by your strength of character, your diligence in watching your diet, and your attitude of gratefulness! Then to top it off, you have the warm and generous heart to recommend the book “Your Bones” to help us sisters. Wow. Please know that we are all praying you up and down for total healing of bones and CA! You have sisters who stand firm right beside you! And most important, we love you.
      Susan K.

  14. Kay

    I received an ad for Tru-Bone Complete put out by Nutri-Health’s New Bone Research Group. It works on building the inner bone. Have you heard of it and what do you think about it?

    • Nancy

      I’m taking Tru-Bone complete to build collagen. Hoping it helps.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I’m afraid we don’t have the resources to analyze and comment on every supplement out there – there are just too many, and new ones come out almost daily. See if the supplement contains healthful ingredients, and feel free to download my free guide to calcium supplements to help guide you:


  15. Nancy

    At age 40 I had my first bone scan – I had the bones of a 70 year old my doctor told me – diagnosis: osteopenia !! He sent me to a bone specialist – she recommended fosomax a perscription drug for bone loss. I then went to see my nutritionist before starting on this drug. She recommended trying strontium citrate (AOR brand). Within 6 months I saw improvement of both hip and back bone. I am now 67 years old and have the bones of a 30 year old!! I walk and do bone strengthening band workouts, take calcium, vitamin d, K, vit c etc. I do all the things recommended for bone building health but I credit the strontium the most for where my bones are today!! Please tell people about this !!

  16. Diane

    When my Gyn informed me I had osteoporosis, her exact words “you have the bones of an 80 year old”, and that’s what I get for being skinny (far from skinny, 5ft-115 pounds), I asked if there was an alternative to the bisphosphonates script she slid across the table toward me. Her words were, “I can’t really speak to that.” So I am on my own with a nutritional approach, exercise and supplements. No change but do not what to take pharmaceuticals.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Good for you for sticking to your convictions, Diane! Many people would have been intimidated into taking the drugs after that kind of exchange with their doctor. Hang in there, and have faith in your beliefs! And remember, you are not alone in your nutritional approach – everyone in the Save Our Bones community is on board with you, and “Savers” are found all over the world!

  17. Wendy

    When I was told I had osteoporosis after a DEXA scan, I decided to take a nutritional approach and completely changed my diet with help of a nutritionist who used to be a GP and recognised how much medicine ignored nutrition. Reading about the importance of collagen and bone flexibility, I wonder how one can tell when improvement has been made? If DEXA scans only measure bone density, how will I know if my bones are now healthier after 15 months of new nutritional regime? (PS I wouldnt know I had osteoporosis if it were not for DEXA scan)

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s a good question, Wendy. Because DEXA scans don’t measure the true health and fracture-resistance of bone, it’s important to put the results into perspective. If the scan shows higher scores, that will give you encouragement to continue what you’re doing. And if they are worse, you’ll be able to sit back and analyze your diet and lifestyle, and make a few tweaks here and there. Through it all, you have the reassurance that you are doing the best you can for your bones, and it’s highly likely that your bones are in far better health than the majority, who eats a very acidic diet.

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