Bone Health is a growing concern. The statistics are staggering! In the over 50 age group, one in every 2 women and every 8th man will experience a fracture due to weakened bones. Why is this happening? Bone tissue is meant to be strong, resilient and long-lasting. Ask any archeologist. Bones tell the story of how we have lived our lives long after we have left our bodies… So why this rampant and prolific problem of poor bone health nowadays?
The most extreme example of osteoporosis I can think of is the historical story of scurvy. In the days of the pirate ships, when men became severely ill due to malnourishment and dehydration, the captain would have their bodies shaken – If their bones rattled it meant they were riddled with fractures and beyond saving. They were tossed overboard for fish bait. The happy part of this story is that when given limes to eat (thus the term “limey” for the British seamen) this problem was prevented. What can we learn from this story?
Bone health is a dynamic process just like all body processes. As bone cells die, new ones are grown. Just how much growth is determined by the principle of supply and demand? So generally, people who place more demand on their bones through regular activity will generate new bone production provided they have the raw materials to handle the construction chore.
That’s where nutrition comes in. Your body wants needs and thrives on “WHOLE FOODS”. Anything else creates metabolic stress, imbalance and a tendency for the body to pull out stored minerals from the bones. You’ll notice that the British used a whole food to solve their scurvy problem, not one single nutrient such as ascorbic acid, calcium or even true Vitamin C.
Many people think that taking calcium supplements is the answer. It is definitely not the whole answer and can even be harmful. Your bones need a whole array of minerals and other nutrients to stay healthy. To transport and utilize the calcium properly you need essential fatty acids, natural Vitamin D (from sunshine, eggs, fish and plants) along with the synergistic minerals such as phosphorus (not phosphoric acid which is found in carbonated pop), magnesium and others. True Vitamin C (NOT ascorbic acid or calcium ascorbate), iron, zinc, copper, Vitamin K, boron, manganese, chromium, and the Vitamin B-Complex all play important roles in bone and collagen formation. Fortunately all these ingredients can be found in whole foods provided especially for us by Nature.
Unfortunately with commercial foods as our diet, we need balanced supplementation. Click here for the best Bone Health support.
Calcium and other minerals need the body’s naturally occurring acid enzymes in order to be digested properly. Since hydrochloric acid (HCL) production diminishes with aging, more elderly are prone to incomplete mineral digestion and therefore prone to osteoporosis. Antacids rob your stomach of the very hydrochloric acid needed to break down calcium. A misconception of HCL is that it causes heart burn. In fact, your body’s own naturally occurring acid enzymes DO NOT damage stomach lining. Rather, in the absence of HCL, undigested food sits and ferments (rots) which causes the release of acids that burn and cause gas. Stomach medications such as Prilosec, Nexium, Zantac and similar meds contribute to osteoporosis by inhibiting proper digestion. A simple solution is to take a supplement called Betaine Hydrochloride which is the plant derived natural enzyme needed to properly digest calcium.
The current medical approach to osteoporosis is to try to maintain a certain level of bone density. And since it is difficult to improve bone growth without good nutrition, doctors turn to preventing bone loss. Thus many of the common medications (Fosomax, Evista, Actonel, etc.) for someone diagnosed with osteopenia (low bone density) or osteoporosis are taken to halt the die off of old bone cells. The danger of this is that it simply makes the bones brittle – like fossils, and without the die off there is no incentive for the body to grow new resilient and flexible bone. And do these drugs prevent fractures? Statistics say no.
My favorite experience with improving bone density was a school teacher, age 50 who came in because she had been diagnosed pre-diabetic and had high cholesterol. She forgot to mention that she was also osteopenic (low bone density). With testing we found wheat intolerance and that she needed a tiny amount of Betaine HCL(hydrochloric acid which helps digest minerals) and some whole food mineral supplements. Within weeks of dietary change (no sugar or wheat, and only whole foods) she went off her statin drugs, passed her blood sugar test and lost her excess fat. But the biggest surprise to me came 9 months later when she came dancing in the door waving her improved bone density test results! Not supposed to happen, but it did!
Make No Bones About It. Osteoporosis has been made into a complicated and fast growing problem but what if there is another possibility?