Debunking the Osteoporosis Myths
BY: DR. MELINA ROBERTS
The common beliefs regarding protecting yourself from developing osteoporosis is if we (1) drink milk and eat dairy products and (2) take more calcium and vitamin D and we will be protecting ourselves from osteoporosis. Then if all else fails then (3) estrogen and anti-osteoporosis drugs will solve the problem.
(1)The western world consumes the highest amounts of cows dairy worldwide yet we have the highest incidences of osteoporosis in the world. Is it possible that we are falling for good advertising and milk does not do a body good???
When the body is acidic, this leads to bone loss. Acidic foods include: dairy products, animal proteins, wheat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, contribute to acidity in the body. If the blood becomes too acidic, the body will pull minerals including calcium from the bones into the blood to buffer the acidic metabolites. Thereforeconsuming high amounts of dairy actually contributes to osteoporosis.
(2)Bones are made of protein, minerals and vitamins. Bone is a composite of many different minerals including calcium, magnesium, boron, manganese, zinc, silicon, sodium, potassium, chloride and fluoride and a dozen other trace minerals. Therefore just taking calcium is not enough.
Vitamin K is manufactured by the bacterial microflora in the digestive tract. An imbalance in the microflora leads to a deficiency in vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for bone building and repair. Vitamin K plays a vital role in directing calcium into the bones. Vitamin D is essential for proper absorption of calcium.Vitamin C is essential for the formation of bone and connective tissue.
The most bioavailable form of calcium is from your green leafy vegetables including spinach, kale, collard greens and broccoli. If you are taking a calcium supplement, it is best to take calcium in its most bioavailable form such as calcium hydroxyapatite; along with associated minerals for building bone including magnesium, zinc, silica, boron, manganese; plus vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin C.
(3)We need to understand that bones are living substances; they are one of the most active tissues in the body and are continuously breaking down and rebuilding itself.
The problem with estrogen therapy and anti-osteoporosis drugs is that negates the mechanisms of bone remodeling. Estrogen can slow down the progression of osteoporosis but cannot cause new bone growth. Estrogen and anti-osteoporosis drugs inhibits the important process of breaking down old and damaged bone, preventing substandard bone from being removed by the body, allowing old bone to accumulate and take up space. The cells that build new bone cannot do their job efficiently and therefore less new bone is formed. Over a prolonged period of time there is a build-up of old, brittle bone.
For bone health: avoid acidic foods; eat dark green leafy vegetables for the most absorbable, bioavailable form of calcium; take probiotics to balance the intestinal microflora; do weight-bearing exercises; and take highly absorbable calcium with trace minerals, vitamin D and K.