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Earlier this year I had some trouble with my left thumb. Even the slightest movement would cause quite a lot of pain. I was puzzled by this but thought perhaps I'd hit it somewhere without realising. Outwardly there was no sign of injury - no bruising or swelling, so I left it hoping that the pain would ease off in a few days.
However just over a week later the pain hadn't subsided and I mentioned this to my mum in passing. She said that she had similar problems when she was not much older that I am now and our GP had told her that she needed to increase her intake of calcium, which she prescribed. After taking a course of these my mum was fine and she suggested that I try taking calcium tablets as well.
I was quite surprised by this 'diagnosis' as I consider myself to have a very healthy diet with a high intake of calcium. I tend to have cereal with milk for breakfast and usually cheese and yoghurt through the course of the day and a mug of warm milk before I go to bed. I realise that dairy products are not the sole source of Calcium and a significant amount can be obtained through leafy and root vegetables, which I also consume plenty of, so I thought I had all bases covered! Still I thought I would take my mum's advice as she's usually right about things like this and looked for some tablets next time I visited the chemists.
Browsing the vitamin shelves at my local Boots I came across Osteocare. These caught my eye as they were on special offer at the time and ordinarily retail at around £3.00 a box. Osteocare is manufactured by Vitabiotics, who also offer a wide range of other vitamins and supplements. The vitamins come in a box, which contain blisters with the tablets in them. The box is quite distinctive in my opinion, with a picture of a man and woman on the front with their bones showing.
Osteocare not only contains calcium, in the form of a mineral Calcium carbonate, but also other minerals/vitamins needed for bone health. These include: -Magnesium, vital for maintaining healthy bones as it plays a direct role in bone mineralisation. One daily dose of Osteocare contains more Magnesium than found in 4 pints of milk and more calcium that a whole pint of milk! -Vitamin D, necessary for the absorption and utilisation of Calcium. -Zinc, which promotes absorption of Calcium and Magnesium and helps with bone regeneration. -Copper, which maintains the collagen matrix and strengthens the connective tissue. -Boron, Manganese and Selenium - all bone supporting nutrients. Interestingly, according to the leaflet, Calcium is not only important for bone health, but also plays a crucial role in the health of the heart, muscle, nerves, control of blood pressure and also as we all know for strong teeth.
The daily dosage is 2 tablets to be taken with meals. Each box contains 30 tablets, so this is 15 days supply. The tablets themselves are white in colour and rectangular in shape. I was quite surprised to see how large they were - around 1.5cm long and 0.5 cm wide. Ordinarily I don't have much trouble in swallowing tablets but I did with these the first time. They were a little two big and I had trouble getting them down. When they did go they scraped the inside of my windpipe, which was a little painful and for around an hour afterwards I kept thinking I had something stuck in my throat! The next time I decided to make things a little easier and broke them in two before taking them with dinner. There is no obvious place along the tablets to break these so this did take a while and resulted in two uneven pieces, but these were still easier to swallow. The Osteocare formula is also available in liquid form, chewable tablet or tablets that dissolve so don't let the size of the tablets put you off!
I took these religiously for a month. After finishing the first box I noticed that I could move my thumb much more freely and whilst still painful there was a marked improvement. After a further month the motion had returned to normal and there was no pain associated with this. Despite this I realised that my intake of calcium from my diet was not adequate and so I continue to take these. I see this as good insurance for maintaining the health of my bones as I grow older. Peak bone mass is achieved by the time you reach your mid thirties and although I am not quite there yet I 'd like to maximise the amount of Calcium in my bones before levels start to deplete naturally.
Osteocare is suitable for people of all ages including growing children, throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, during and after the menopause and for elderly men and women. The tablets are suitable for vegetarians and contain no artificial colours or preservatives. They also do not contain gluten, salt or yeast. Interestingly they also do not contain lactose, so are potentially suitable for those with lactose intolerance.
Overall I have been highly impressed with these tablets. They sorted out my joint trouble and I continue to take these to safeguard the future health of my bones and teeth. Recommended!