Osteoporosis is an imbalance of the normal growth cycle of bones. Normally, specialized cells called “osteoblasts” add fresh minerals (primarily calcium, but others, too) to bone and “osteoclasts” remove older bone tissue by breaking down the minerals and reabsorbing them into the bloodstream.
However, if more bone is removed than is replaced, bones become brittle, weak, and prone to break. Osteoporosis is not unusual, but it is not inevitable, either. With proper diet, exercise, and nutrient regimens, it is never too soon to build healthy bones and reduce your risk of the condition.
DIET for the Proper Foundation
The body must maintain a balance between acidity and alkalinity of the blood. If the blood is too acid, the body releases alkaline minerals from the bone to compensate.
Foods that are more alkaline-forming (like green leafy vegetables, amongst others) protect against excessive acidity of the blood, which in turn protects the minerals in your skeleton.
Some of the biggest offenders for acidity and weakening bone density are:
Avoid these foods to keep your bones healthy, as all of these food choices tend to pull calcium from soft tissue and bones.
EXERCISE for Active Bone Building
Consider walking, light weight-lifting, and other low-intensity workouts to recharge your bone and muscle building batteries.
STRONTIUM for Strength
This mineral is one of many that help build strong bones, but it is not nearly as familiar as calcium, which is probably over-emphasized for bone health.
Clinical studies show that strontium can help build the density in the vertebrae, so getting a good supplemental dosage level of strontium every day is a must for reversing or preventing osteoporosis.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, over 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and 44 million have low bone density. The loss of mobility and increasing brittleness of bones is a dangerous condition as people age. Unfortunately, prescription drugs often only make the problem worse.
The “one pill per month” bisphosphonate drugs are based on a flawed idea of bone building. While they initially stop minerals from leaving bones, they also stop the process that signals the body to build new bone. The result is brittle bones and fractures of the femur – normally one of the strongest bones in the body.
The best route is to give your bones the nutrients and strength they need as early in life as possible through proper diet, exercise, and supplementation.
Start Building Healthy Bones Now
It’s easy to forget bones are living tissue that require nutrients and exercise, just like every other aspect of your health. Bone structure is being renewed all the time, like an around the clock remodeling project. A diet of natural foods – not processed – rich in proteins, healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, can do a lot to strengthen your bones.
Simple exercises like walking and lifting light sets of weights are a must as well. You can develop a routine that will strengthen your muscles and bones in just a few minutes per day.
Smart Supplementation for Strong Bones
When most people consider supplements for building strong bones they probably think of calcium. Calcium is important, but it is far from the only one you need to avoid osteoporosis. In fact, high levels of calcium are neither necessary nor productive. It’s better to have a moderate intake of calcium and magnesium plus other nutrients that increase their absorption and effectiveness. One of the most important – often ignored – minerals your bones need is strontium.
Strontium (not to be confused with strontium 90, the toxic radioactive form), can have a tremendous effect on bone density. In fact, it can fight, and possibly even prevent, osteoporosis.
Supplemental forms of strontium have been safely used as a medicinal substance for over 100 years. As late as 1955, strontium compounds were still listed in the dispensary of the United States of America and were used therapeutically here and in Europe.
Mayo Clinic researchers noted clinical and x-ray improvement in severe osteoporosis with strontium lactate. Other work has reported significant microscopic improvement in bone with the use of strontium carbonate. And I know of practitioners who have observed significant improvements in the bone density of their patients by recommending strontium citrate, one of the forms of the mineral most easily utilized by the body.
The results of a three year randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using two grams of strontium daily were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and they were impressive: women suffering from osteoporosis experienced a 41 percent reduction in risk of a vertebral fracture compared to the placebo group. Overall vertebrae density in the strontium group increased 6.8 percent but there was a 1.3 percent decrease in the placebo group.
Additionally, clinical work has found that strontium can help those with knee osteoarthritis as well. Both arthritis and weakening bones are two conditions that are a risk as we get older, so there are plenty of good reasons for adding strontium to your regimen.
Safe, Effective, and Necessary
We need a host of nutrients to build healthy bones. Calcium certainly is one of them, but it is far from the only one. Strontium, increasingly shown by research to be valuable for strengthening bones and reducing osteoarthritis symptoms, is important and necessary.
Strontium citrate is safe and non-toxic. The women in the studies using two grams of strontium per day experienced no significant side effects. I’d say that the only concern when using strontium is that it should be taken separated by at least two hours from any calcium-containing supplement.
Strontium and calcium fight for the same pathway in the body and strontium will always win. Nonetheless, be sure to take your other bone-boosting supplements that provide calcium, too. Combine this sensible supplementation with the other lifestyle recommendations I’ve mentioned, and you’ll help your bones become stronger every day.
For bone health, I recommend using Strontium (from Strontium Citrate).
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