Bone health is vital for optimal health and preventing osteoporosis. It’s tragic that bisphosphonate drugs including Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva continue to be touted as the answer to osteoporosis. A study showed that long-term users of these drugs had a twofold increased risk of esophageal cancer. Did you know that osteoporosis drugs actually harm you, produce weaker bones and cause more fractures?
RELATED POST Osteoporosis Risk Factors
SOLUTIONS TO INCREASE AND MAINTAIN BONE STRENGTH
- Avoid pasteurized dairy. Yep, you read that correctly. Calcium is the main nutrient that comes to most minds for improving bone health. Many people believe milk is the best source of calcium and that it’s necessary for strong bones. Did you know that fracture rates are significantly higher for those that drink 3 or more cups of milk daily? (Harvard Nurses Study). Over an 18 year period, 190,000 men & women were evaluated, and studies concluded, “Neither milk nor a high-calcium diet reduces osteoporosis.”
- Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, chard, collards and other leafy greens contain much higher calcium values than milk. Just one cup of kale has 350mg of calcium! Fruits and vegetables are alkalizing. Sugar, fast food, soda, dairy products as well as most junk and processed foods are highly acidic. If you find it difficult to eat vegetables daily, consider vegetable juicing or powdered greens such as those found in my web store.
- Consume foods high in boron (apples, pears, legumes and nuts).
- Avoid processed foods. A diet full of processed foods produces biochemical and metabolic conditions in your body that decrease bone density.
- Avoid HFCS. A study by the USDA, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that fructose alters the body's balance of magnesium, leading to increased bone loss.
- Avoid gluten, shown to decrease bone density.
- Eliminate processed vegetables oils such as corn, canola, safflower and soy. Instead, include healthy saturated fats such as coconut oil, pastured butter, and plenty of EPA, DHA and GLA.
- Hydrate. Drink a sufficient amount of water daily and add some unprocessed sea salt for additional minerals.
- Ditch the soda, including diet. Consumption of carbonated soft drinks are associated with an increase in bone fractures and osteoporosis by depleting your bones of calcium.
- Maintain a normal pH. You pH is a sign of how your body is managing your mineral reserves.
- Sunlight. Spend time outdoors in the sun daily for at least 15 or 20 minutes without sunscreen. Your skin makes vitamin D from sun exposure, and one of the primary reasons why people, including kids, don't get enough is because they're not spending enough time outdoors or are wearing sunscreen (which blocks vitamin D production). Calcium is best absorbed with synergists, vitamin D and magnesium. (Am, J, Clin. Nutr. Oct 94;573-578)
- Avoid fluoride found in toothpaste, some brands of tea and processed foods, unfiltered water, Rx drugs. Instead use non-flouride toothpaste.
- Avoid bisphosphonates such as Fosomax, Boniva and Didronel. Side effects from these drugs include skin rashes, muscle aches, inflammation, musculosketal and bone pain, electrolyte disturbance, osteomalacia, increased PTH, and seizures.
- If you Smoke, Quit!
- Manage stress. Stress increases cortisol which increases osteoclast activity.
- NTx is a simple, inexpensive urine test that measures bone breakdown and can monitor bone loss on a daily basis. On the other hand, bone density tests reveal if you’ve lost or gained bone which only show changes over a prolonged period of time (9-12 months). A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) revealed that bone mineral density scans are often performed too often on people, and in many cases may not even be necessary.
- Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, sprinting, running stairs and bleachers, rebounding, hiking, jump rope, tennis, dancing, or my favorite, resistance strength training with weights that are heavy enough to provide a stimulus to the bone, muscle and connective tissue performed consistently.....Consistency is the key!
- Natural progesterone can increase bone strength by serving as a growth promoter to the osteoblasts (cells that build bone).
- Avoid Tums. Tums are mostly calcium carbonate, the least well-absorbed form of calcium, and contain toxic aluminum!
- Avoid steroids, especially if you have asthma or any other autoimmune disease. Steroids increase your risk for osteoporosis.
- AS extract A study involving postmenopausal women with osteopenia and osteoporosis found supplementation with an oriental herb, the extract of Acanthopanax senticosus was found to be beneficial for bone turnover.
- Fish oil. EFA Sirt Supreme a blend of EPA, DHA and GLA is not only helpful for osteoporosis, but also your skin, brain, heart, mood and hormones. EFA Sirt Supreme has been screened for peroxides, PCBs, mercury and other metals. DO NOT TAKE FISH OILS IF YOU ARE ON ANY BLOOD THINNER. OR WITHIN 2 WEEKS OF ANY PLANNED SURGERY. OR IF YOUR DOCTOR ADVISES YOU NOT TO TAKE.
- Antioxidants In a study involving 34 postmenopausal women, supplementation with a combination of antioxidant vitamins (600 mg/d vitamin E, 1000 mg/d vitamin C) for a period of 6 months was found to protect against bone loss as effectively as resistance training (3 times/week).
- Minerals such as manganese, boron, copper, zinc, strontium, silica (Osteo B II)
- A deficiency in manganese may accelerate bone loss as well as result in defective bone formation.
- Strontium may be a more effect and less expensive alternative to Bisphosphonates such as fosamax, actonel, etc. It helps reverse osteoposoris and helps prevent recurrence of fractures in those who have suffered a fracture due to osteoporosis.
- Vitamin D serves in the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Optimize your vitamin D levels.
- According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the best supplements may not be what you think. Consider vitamin D, magnesium and potassium. In fact, the article didn't even mention calcium. Instead, the researchers focused entirely on the importance of magnesium. Ninety percent of individuals in the U.S. are deficient in magnesium. As much as 50% of magnesium is found in the bones.
- Vitamin K2 at a dose of 185 mcg/day serves as the biological "glue" that helps plug the calcium into your bone matrix.
- Vitamin K prevents and treats osteoporosis by reducing the risk of fractures. Seventy-five percent of vitamin K in the body is made in the gastrointestinal tract, and 25% comes from the diet. Vitamin K requirements increase with age. Neither calcium or vitamin D can produce healthy bone mineralization without adequate vitamin K. Vitamin K comes in two natural forms: K1 found in green leafy vegetables, and K2 is found in meat and eggs. Fermented foods such as natto, typically have the highest concentration of vitamin K found in the human diet. Note: Do not take vitamin K if you’re taking Coumadin. Only in this setting will is cause a problem because it interferes with Coumadin’s drug actions.
Make an appointment. Schedule a 15-minute phone call to discuss your goals and needs in the New Year. Paula consults with clients locally in the Phoenix area and around the world via telephone or Skype.
- Green Med Info January 4, 2012
- BMJ April 19, 2011; 342:d2040
- BMJ 2010; 341
- J Bone Miner Metab. 2009;27(5):584-90
- J. Adolescent Health 94;15;210-215
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