For healthy bones do this
Take a moment before you brush off this osteoporosis warning if you don’t fall into a typical “high risk” category. If you believe what your doctor and mainstream media tell you, then you probably think osteoporosis is only a woman’s disease. Elderly, frail women are the only ones who suffer from brittle bones that increase the risk of falls and fractures. Right? Wrong.
NOT JUST A WOMAN’S DISEASE
The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) confirms that osteoporosis-related injuries total at over 2 million per year, and that’s just in the U.S. Most healthcare practitioners focus on improving bone density and minimizing risk of osteoporosis among postmenopausal women – which is a big mistake.
Men are slipping through the cracks.
Recent BIDMC research indicates a major healthcare fail when men are not included in the effort to reduce bone loss and prevent fractures. Dr. Tamara Rozental, lead study author and investigator at the BIDMC’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery, explains the danger of this oversight, “Given that the prevalence of fragility fractures among men is expected to increase threefold by the year 2050, adequately evaluating and treating men for osteoporosis is of paramount importance.”1
Rozental examined five years of distal radius fractures in patients from 2007 to 2012; a distal radius fracture, a break in the radius closer to the wrist, may be an early indicator of bone loss. This type of fracture can occur roughly 10 to 15 years before a hip fracture, says Rozental. Rozental discovered that, following this early warning fracture, 53 per cent of women received a dual x-ray used to measure bone mineral density, compared to a mere 18 percent of men. Only 21 per cent of men received supplemental treatment in the form of calcium and vitamin D six months after injury compared to 55 per cent of women.
This research brings an important point home. Osteoporosis isn’t picky: Bone density loss can affect young and old men and women around the world. Effective osteoporosis prevention is important for everyone who wants to get better with age.
CALCIUM ISN’T THE ANSWER
Bring up healthy bones among friends, and you’ll probably hear this response: “My doctor told me that I had risk factors for osteoporosis, so I started taking a calcium supplement.”
This common misconception is what is keeping bones so weak. Osteoporosis rumors that circulate in the medical community, especially surrounding calcium and bone density, have done much more harm than good. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and plays an important role in bone strength, but taking extra calcium cannot help prevent osteoporosis.
The book Reverse Osteoporosis in 30 Days calls this the “calcium myth,” saying, “Calcium intake, while important, may not be as important to bone health as calcium loss.”
If you’re eating the Western Un-Natural Food Diet, calcium loss is a guaranteed problem. Rapid calcium loss known to contribute to bone mineral loss can appear in the urine and may be related to drinking excess alcohol and caffeine; too much salt, animal protein, and grain in the diet; low potassium levels; smoking; and vitamin D deficiency.
In the Framingham Osteoporosis Study conducted on 2500 people, researchers observed that drinking cola contributed to a lower bone mineral density at three different locations in the hips of older women.2 High salt diets, like those rich in processed foods and dairy products, deplete calcium levels in the body and can increase risk for kidney stones and osteoporosis.3 One Japanese study even found that a high salt diet increases a woman’s risk of breaking a bone after menopause, no matter her bone density; older women who had the highest sodium in their diet had more than four times the risk of a nonvertebral fracture.4
3 REASONS YOUR BONES ARE WEAK
If you don’t take your bone health seriously today, you may wind up with a fracture or another severe health problem tomorrow. Osteoporosis starts with a low level of bone loss. It can quickly progress to weak bones that are more likely to fracture and break. Researchers also found that people with osteoporosis have a 1.76-fold higher risk of developing sudden deafness compared to those who don’t have the bone disease.5
These factors that compromise bone health will only get worse with each passing year:
1. Un-Natural Food Diet: Besides keeping bones healthy and strong, calcium works to buffer the acidity in your blood. A healthy body is alkaline, not acidic, and your bones are your body’s biggest supplier of alkali. The body stays alkaline by pulling calcium phosphate from the bones. When your diet is highly acidic, because of too much acid- forming animal protein and modern grain, calcium is leached from the bones, and bone loss is inevitable. Alkalizing fruits and vegetables can improve bone strength by helping the body retain calcium.
2. Missing Nutrients: One of the most important roles of vitamin D3 in the body is its impact on bone health.5 Vitamin D3 is best received through moderate sun exposure and as a supplement in partnership with vitamin K2. When vitamin D3 and K2 are taken together, they greatly enhance calcium absorption with the potential to manage and even reverse bone loss. Your bone health also depends on daily vitamin C, needed to mineralize bone and stimulate the new growth of bone-forming cells.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle: This one is easy – researchers have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that weight-bearing exercise can build bone. Conversely, a lack of weight-bearing exercise can decrease bone density. Regular exercise is essential in childhood and adolescence to build this bone mass, and it is just as important as you age.7 To build healthy bones, walk 3 to 5 miles per day and include 30 minutes of full-body weight-bearing exercises on most days of the week. Weight-bearing exercises are invaluable to reduce osteoporosis risk and even reverse bone loss as they cause muscles to pull against bones. Regular stimulation through exercise can build bone strength.
Building healthy bones is part of a lifelong approach to wellness. Don’t wait until it is too late – once a bone breaks, your health is already at risk.
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1. Curr Treat Options Neurol. Nov 2008; 10(6): 1. Carl M. Harper, MD; Shannon K. Fitzpatrick, MD; David Zurakowski, PhD; Tamara D. Rozental, MD. Distal Radial Fractures in Older Men: A Missed Opportunity? The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, November 2014 DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.M.01497.
2. Tufts University. “Consuming Cola May Up Osteoporosis Risk For Older Women, Study Suggests.” ScienceDaily.
3. University of Alberta: Diets high in salt could deplete calcium in the body, UAlberta research.
4. “Excessive Salt Consumption Appears to be Bad for Your Bones.” Endocrine.org.
5. Mei-Chen Yeh, Shih-Feng Weng, Yuan-Chi Shen, Chien-Wen Chou, Chwen-Yi Yang, Jhi-Joung Wang, Kai-Jen Tien. Increased Risk of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Patients With Osteoporosis: A Population-based, Propensity Score-matched, Longitudinal Follow-up Study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2015; jc.2014-4316 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2014-4316.
6. “44 percent of postmenopausal women with distal radius fracture have low levels of vitamin D.” American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
7. Physical activity when young provides lifelong benefits to cortical bone size and strength in men, Stuart J. Warden, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1321605111.