Ostivone is the commercial name of the naturally occurring bioflavonoid ipriflavone. This compound, which is found in low concentrations in leguminous plants such as alfalfa, is manufactured synthetically to be identical to the natural product. The subject of over sixty scientific studies, including sixteen randomized, placebo-controlled human trials, ipriflavone has been proven to be safe and effective in maximizing bone mineral density and inhibiting bone loss. For this reason, Ostivone is considered by many doctors to have an important role to play in the management of osteoporosis—one of the most important diseases facing our aging population.
Pharmaceutical companies in Europe and Japan began experimenting with the use of ipriflavone for bone health in the early 1980s, and, by the end of that decade, the compound had become an approved therapeutic tool for the treatment of osteoporosis. In the United States, where Ostivone is available as a supplement, more and more doctors are using it both as an adjunct alongside other therapies and also as a stand-alone treatment for osteoporosis. For example, Susan Brown, Ph.D., author of Better Bones, Better Bodies, states that “ipriflavone holds more promise as a safe and effective bone-building agent than the drugs presently being used.”
Many post-menopausal women are looking for alternatives to the standard medical procedure of estrogen therapy (including HRT) due to poor toleration of side effects and fear of an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Ostivone provides a safe and effective alternative. Interestingly, one of the findings from research trials is that Ostivone seems to complement the effects of estrogen, making it even more effective. Because Ostivone is a non-hormonal estrogen alternative, it may also be beneficial for men suffering from osteoporosis or prostate cancer, allowing them to avoid the “feminizing” effects of estrogen.
Most doctors believe that calcium supplementation is essential for reducing bone loss. Ostivone has been shown in research trials to work synergistically with calcium to enhance the improvements that can be achieved by taking calcium alone.
Throughout life our bones undergo constant change, breaking down and being built up to accommodate growth and lifestyle changes. Managing this balance are two different types of cells, osteoclasts, which are responsible for bone resorption, and osteoblasts, which look after bone formation. It is thought that the proven beneficial effects of Ostivone are the result of its ability to inhibit the formation of osteoclasts and promote the activity of osteoblasts. This dual effect thus minimizes bone loss and maximizes bone growth.
Ostivone is recommended in general for those who wish to maintain optimum bone density, and also for those who are at a high risk of the serious effects of osteoporosis. Long-term clinical trials and animal studies have shown that the supplement is not only effective, but it is safe as well.