Ingredients Profile

Australian MCHA – The Right Balance

Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite (MCHA) is added to PM NextG Cal® and PM NextGCal® Kids because of its ease of absorption.  It contains many of the nutrients that bone tissue requires, in the right ratio. The MCHA in these products is sourced from Australian cattle to ensure safety and freedom from risk of disease.

Keywords: bone health calcium phosphorus microcrystalline hydroxyapatite supplement pregnancy Australian MCHA sports nutrition vitamin K1 K2

MCHA is a natural, organic compound containing important proteins, minerals and other factors essential for strong bone formation and metabolism. Calcium (24%) and phosphorus (12%) in their natural 2:1 ratio gives MCHA unique bone regenerating abilities (1). The MCHA in PM NextG Cal & PM NextG Cal Kids is derived from the highly purified bone meal of Australian cattle.  Australia has some of the most strict quarantine laws in the world and no incidence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy to date – so you can be sure that PM NextG Cal products are safe for your family.

MCHA contains high concentrations of both calcium and phosphorus in their natural ratio – as calcium phosphate.  In bone production and maintenance, calcium and phosphorus are arguably the most important minerals. Human bones contain the highest concentrations of calcium in any other system in the body – about 98% – making it essential for strong and healthy bones(2).  Calcium creates strength and hardness in bones and teeth once it has combined with phosphorus to create human hydroxyapatite crystals.  Calcium is found in many foods, however culturally, some diets are low in dairy and soft-boned fish, so actual blood levels may fall short of the recommended calcium intake of 1000 – 1300mg/day for adults.

Phosphorus combines with calcium to create human hydroxyapatite.  It is important that we maintain the right amounts of calcium and phosphorus to ensure that excessive amounts of either do not lead to bone loss from resorption.  Phosphorus is also available through food but amounts vary according to country and local diet.  Severe calcium deficiency can be life threatening, but the endocrine system is very good at balancing levels of calcium, delivering the right amount to bone when needed, and removing excess via the kidneys.

The best way to nourish the body is to use ingredients that are easily absorbed. The most readily absorbed ingredients are those that are chemically similar to what we already produce. Crystalline hydroxyapatite makes up around 25% of human bone volume (3). Because MCHA is derived from bone, the body doesn’t have to work very hard to change it into the required nutrients. The scientific term for this is “bioavailability”.

Special, scientifically validated features of MCHA:
• Prevents bone loss and prevents reduction in bone density (4-8)
• Reverses bone resorption and increases bone density/thickness(4, 6-8)
• Increases bone building processes (osteoblast activity) (1)

MCHA has been shown to improve bone density and reduce bone loss more effectively than other calcium supplement ingredients. (1, 4, 6-10). MCHA is specially processed to biological temperature to maintain complete molecular integrity.

During the 1990’s, health concerns arose surrounding bone meal as a mode of contracting Mad Cow Disease (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE). In Australia and New Zealand there have been no cases of BSE reported and the disease has a zero incidence rate. The Australian Government has very strict quarantine laws to prevent this type of disease from entering the borders (11). Premium quality MCHA sources from Australian and New Zealand cattle – produce one of the safest forms of calcium supplement on the market.

See reference & research
  1. Castelo-Branco C, Ciria-Recasens M, Cancelo-Hidalgo MJ, Palacios S, Haya-Palazuelos J, Carbonell-Abello J, et al. Efficacy of ossein-hydroxyapatite complex compared with calcium carbonate to prevent bone loss: a meta-analysis. Menopause. 2009;16(5):984-91.
  2. Tortora GJ. Principles of anatomy and physiology. 12th ed.. ed. Derrickson B, editor. Hoboken, N.J.: Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley; 2009.
  3. Radionuclide and Hybrid Bone Imaging. Fogelman I, Gnanasegaran G, Van der Wall H, SpringerLink, editors: Berlin, Heidelberg : Springer Berlin Heidelberg : Imprint: Springer; 2012.
  4. Castelo-Branco C, Martinez de Osaba MJ, Pons F, Casals E, Sanjuan A, Vicente JJ, et al. Ossein-hydroxyapatite compounds for preventing postmenopausal bone loss. Coadjuvant use with hormone replacement therapy. The Journal of reproductive medicine. 1999;44(3):241-6.
  5. Castelo-Branco C, Pons F, Vicente JJ, Sanjuan A, Vanrell JA. Preventing postmenopausal bone loss with ossein-hydroxyapatite compounds. Results of a two-year, prospective trial. The Journal of reproductive medicine. 1999;44(7):601-5.
  6. Ciria-Recasens M, Blanch-Rubio J, Coll-Batet M, Del Pilar Lisbona-Perez M, Diez-Perez A, Carbonell-Abello J, et al. Comparison of the effects of ossein-hydroxyapatite complex and calcium carbonate on bone metabolism in women with senile osteoporosis: a randomized, open-label, parallel-group, controlled, prospective study. Clinical drug investigation. 2011;31(12):817-24.
  7. Epstein O, Kato Y, Dick R, Sherlock S. Vitamin D, hydroxyapatite, and calcium gluconate in treatment of cortical bone thinning in postmenopausal women with primary biliary cirrhosis. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 1982;36(3):426-30.
  8. Fernandez-Pareja A, Hernandez-Blanco E, Perez-Maceda JM, Riera Rubio VJ, Palazuelos JH, Dalmau JM. Prevention of osteoporosis: four-year follow-up of a cohort of postmenopausal women treated with an ossein-hydroxyapatite compound. Clinical drug investigation. 2007;27(4):227-32. Epub 2007/03/16.
  9. Pelayo I, Haya J, De la Cruz JJ, Seco C, Bugella JI, Diaz JL, et al. Raloxifene plus ossein-hydroxyapatite compound versus raloxifene plus calcium carbonate to control bone loss in postmenopausal women: a randomized trial. Menopause. 2008;15(6):1132-8.

Vitamin D

The PM NextG Cal® range contains a more bioavailable form of vitamin D – vitamin D3 – because it regulates and assists other factors essential for strong bone formation and metabolism. Here you can find out why D3 is an essential ingredient in PM NextG Cal® and PM NextG Cal® Kids formulas for complete bone care.

Keywords: bone health vitamin d3 sources supplement pregnancy breastfeeding sports nutrition deficiency

There are two types of vitamin D, D2 and D3.  They are essentially very similar, but start off as two different types of cholesterol in our bloodstream – vitamin D2 as ergocalciferol (Pre-D2), and vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol (Pre-D3).  Once the Pre-D2 and Pre-D3 molecules arrive at the skin via the bloodstream, they undergo some changes.  The heat from sunlight causes them to react and transform into bioavailable vitamins D2 and D3.   Many studies have shown vitamin D3 to be more effective than vitamin D2 in raising bloodstream (blood serum) levels of vitamin D when used as a supplement (1-3).

If you spend a lot of time indoors, if you live in an area where skin cancer from sun exposure could be an issue, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, getting the right amount of vitamin D can be difficult.  Vitamin D3 is formed naturally in the skin, via exposure to ultra violet light from the sun.  Small amounts of Pre-D3 can also be absorbed in the digestive system from foods like eggs and fish.    The quickest way other than sunlight to get vitamin D is to take it in supplement form, in the same state that your body creates when you are exposed to sunlight – vitamin D3.

Vitamin D is important to our health in many ways, mostly as a regulator for other biochemicals.  In terms of bone health, its interaction with other bone-making nutrients is perhaps the most important.  It guards the gateway in the nutrient-absorbing cells between the intestinal lining and the bloodstream, directing the right amount of calcium to be absorbed.  During digestion, vitamin D3 is absorbed to become part of bone tissue, and regulates the amount of calcium our bodies keep or discard.  It helps other biochemicals to regulate the amounts of phosphorus entering the bone matrix, and it has been suggested that vitamin D may help regulate levels of parathyroid hormone coming from the Kidneys (4).    Vitamin D also has many other biological functions unrelated to bone health.

If we aren’t getting enough vitamin D from the sun or from food, it is not uncommon to develop a deficiency.  The most accurate way to find out if you have vitamin D deficiency is to consult your health practitioner for a blood test.


See reference & research
  1. Houghton LA, Vieth R. The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2006;84(4):694-7.
  2. Armas LAG, Hollis BW, Heaney RP. Vitamin D2 is much less effective than vitamin D3 in humans. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. 2004;89(11):5387.
  3. Heaney RP, Recker RR, Grote J, Horst RL, Armas LAG. Vitamin D3 Is More Potent Than Vitamin D2 in Humans. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2010;96(3):E447-E52.
  4. Kumar R, Thompson JR. The Regulation of Parathyroid Hormone Secretion and Synthesis. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2011;22(2):216-24.
  5. Tasmanian Government. Vitamin D in Tasmania – Initial Testing Decision Tree. In: Services DoHaH, editor. Tasmania: Tasmanian Government; 2013.
  6. Lamb A, Hobel C, Pepkowitz S, Holmquist B, Young D, Wallston K, et al. 763: Vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptoms in the perinatal period: a prospective study. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 2015;212(1, Supplement):S371.

Vitamin K (K1 and K2)

Vitamins K1 and K2 are essential for bone health, but they have other roles in our bodies, including assisting with blood coagulation.  In this section, we explain the differences between vitamins K1 and K2 – from where they come from, to how they get to work in our bodies helping to build bone.  The ingredients PM NextG Cal® and PM NextG Cal® Kids are natural and non-toxic and act as a healthy source of nutrients for complete bone health.

Keywords:bone health supplement pregnancy breastfeeding infant fetal development maternal health sports nutrition vitamin K deficiency

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin found naturally in human tissue, but is also synthesised by plants, fermented foods and intestinal flora. It gained recognition at first for its properties of assisting with blood coagulation, but was later found to have an important role in bone health. It reacts with bone-building proteins made by osteoblasts, modifying them to allow binding to calcium. After this, the product is deposited into our bones, building them, reinforcing them, and maintaining their strength and thickness (density). Vitamin K is a busy little biochemical indeed. It also helps in regulating cell growth, reducing hardening of the arteries (arterial calcification).

Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in green leafy vegetables, which are one of the richest supplies for humans(1). K1 can easily be converted in our bodies to K2.

Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is found in animals, and produced by our bodies as a by-product of healthy intestinal flora. We source our K2 from natto, a Japanese fermented soy bean product. Natto has been shown to be one of the greatest vegetable derived sources for vitamin K2 (2). For more information about MenaQ-7, our purified source of K2, click here.

Of our liver’s total natural concentrations of available vitamin K, Vitamin K1 and K2 are around 10% and 90%, respectively (1). Because we metabolise plant and animal products differently, K1 and K2 travel to different tissues and organs in the body, based on the way we absorb them (3). In Fig. 1, you can see the pathway that each type of vitamin K takes once it enters our bodies and makes its way to our tissues.

Vitamin K2 has a slightly different structure to K1, making it more fat-soluble, so your body can absorb it. Hence the liver stores much more of it than K1. This is because of the types of foods it is found in, and the different ways it moves into the structures, tissues and organs that need it most  – the blood vessels and brain (4). Vitamin K2 can stay in the human bloodstream for up to 3 days, much longer than K1. In particular, MK-7, the source of K2 found in natto, has a considerably longer half-life than other sources of K2 (5). It also has protective effects on the heart and prevents calcium build-up in blood vessels, and slows down bone resorption. K2 is a great source of vitamin K for growing children, adults and elderly people alike.

Vitamin K1, on the other hand, is particularly important during breastfeeding because it has been shown to be absorbed by infants feeding from mothers who are using vitamin K1 supplements(6). K2 has not been shown to have the same properties.  Vitamin K1 is also stored at much higher levels in the baby’s liver than adults, but is essential for normal blood clotting in both. PM NextG Cal contains vitamin K1, for pregnancy and breastfeeding. PM NextG Cal Kids contains vitamin K2 for growing children and healthy mothers.

k1&k2 table3

Newborn & Breastfeeding

The primary symptom of excessive bleeding can occur in infants with vitamin K deficiency (infantile haemorrhage).  Many countries recommend a vitamin K injection as a routine health initiative shortly following birth (7).  Mothers can increase their infant’s vitamin K supply through breast milk to prevent deficiency if they are taking supplements that contain vitamin K1, like NextGCal.


During childhood, the body produces 10 times more bone building proteins (osteocalcin) than in adulthood. To be available for the body to use in bones, osteocalcin needs a good supply of vitamin K to modify it to fit together with calcium, otherwise it is wasted. Many children may be low in vitamin K, which can prevent proper bone formation (8). Supplementing with vitamin K may improve bone mineral content (9, 10). As a preventive supplement in NextGCal Kids, vitamin K2 may help with calcium absorption to strengthen your child’s bone structure and integrity.

Adults and Later in Life

Several studies have linked vitamin K deficiencies and high levels of unmodified bone building cells (osteocalcin) with low bone density and an increased risk of fractures (11, 12). As a dietary supplement, vitamin K1 has been shown to prevent bone loss in older people (13) and increase bone mineral density in both men and women (11).

k1&k2 table 4

See reference & research
  1. Shearer MJ, Bach A, Kohlmeier M. Chemistry, nutritional sources, tissue distribution and metabolism of vitamin K with special reference to bone health.(1995 AIN Symposium Proceedings: Nutritional Advances in Human Bone Metabolism). The Journal of nutrition. 1996;126(4):1181S.
  2. Kaneki M, Hodges SJ, Hosoi T, Fujiwara S, Lyons A, Crean SJ, et al. Japanese fermented soybean food as the major determinant of the large geographic difference in circulating levels of vitamin K2: possible implications for hip-fracture risk. Nutrition. 2001;17(4):315-21. Epub 2001/05/23.
  3. Thijssen HH, Drittij-Reijnders MJ. Vitamin K status in human tissues: tissue-specific accumulation of phylloquinone and menaquinone-4. The British journal of nutrition. 1996;75(1):121-7. Epub 1996/01/01.
  4. Vermeer C. Vitamin K: the effect on health beyond coagulation – an overview. Food & nutrition research. 2012;56. Epub 2012/04/11.
  5. Schurgers LJ, Knapen MHJ, Vermeer C. Vitamin K 2 improves bone strength in postmenopausal women. 2007;1297:179-87.
  6. Greer FR, Marshall SP, Foley AL, Suttie JW. Improving the vitamin K status of breastfeeding infants with maternal vitamin K supplements. Pediatrics. 1997;99(1):88-92. Epub 1997/01/01.
  7. Burke M, Bernhardt H, Reith DM, Barker D, Broadbent RS, Wheeler BJ. Perinatal influences on the uptake of newborn vitamin K prophylaxis–a retrospective cohort study.(HEALTH CARE)(Report)(Author abstract). 2015;39(6):573.
  8. van Summeren M, Braam L, Noirt F, Kuis W, Vermeer C. Pronounced elevation of undercarboxylated osteocalcin in healthy children. Pediatric research. 2007;61(3):366-70. Epub 2007/02/23.
  9. O’Connor E, Molgaard C, Michaelsen KF, Jakobsen J, Lamberg-Allardt CJ, Cashman KD. Serum percentage undercarboxylated osteocalcin, a sensitive measure of vitamin K status, and its relationship to bone health indices in Danish girls. The British journal of nutrition. 2007;97(4):661-6. Epub 2007/03/14.
  10. van Summeren MJ, van Coeverden SC, Schurgers LJ, Braam LA, Noirt F, Uiterwaal CS, et al. Vitamin K status is associated with childhood bone mineral content. The British journal of nutrition. 2008;100(4):852-8. Epub 2008/02/19.
  11. Booth SL, Broe KE, Gagnon DR, Tucker KL, Hannan MT, McLean RR, et al. Vitamin K intake and bone mineral density in women and men. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2003;77(2):512-6.
  12. Feskanich D, Weber P, Willett WC, Rockett H, Booth SL, Colditz GA. Vitamin K intake and hip fractures in women: a prospective study. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 1999;69(1):74-9.
  13. Braam LA, Knapen MH, Geusens P, Brouns F, Hamulyak K, Gerichhausen MJ, et al. Vitamin K1 supplementation retards bone loss in postmenopausal women between 50 and 60 years of age. Calcif Tissue Int. 2003;73(1):21-6. Epub 2003/09/26.