Osteoporosis – A Growing Problem
It’s no secret that an aging population – and Boomers constitute the largest ever – will have issues with osteoporosis. In fact, at least 4.5 million women 50 and older already have osteoporosis of the hip. As the population gets older, those numbers are sure to increase. The loss of mobility and increasing brittleness of bones is a dangerous condition as people age. Unfortunately, prescription “fixes” only make the problem worse. The best route is to give your bones the nutrients they need as early in life as possible.
Prescriptions Can Be Dangerous
Those highly-advertised, “one pill per month” bisphosphonate prescription drugs don’t work. In fact, they’ve been shown to make the problem much worse. That’s because the way they work is based on a flawed idea of bone building.
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. The two processes are crucial for health and intricately interlinked.
Bisphosphonates stop the process of osteoclasts from breaking down minerals. That, in turn, stops the signal for any new minerals to come into the bone. So, while these drugs initially stop calcium and other minerals from leaving the bones, they also completely stop the signal that keeps the body from rebuilding bone. The result? Brittle bones that aren’t being recharged with the fresh minerals they need. That’s why people taking these drugs wind up with fractures in the femur – normally one of the strongest bones in the body.
Our bodies need the full, natural process: bones being built with new minerals while old minerals are reabsorbed into the bloodstream. In this Terry Talks Nutrition®, I’d like to explore a few of those most required ingredients for strong bones throughout life.
Healthy Bones are Living Tissue
Most of the time when we think of osteoporosis, we only think it applies to the elderly. It doesn’t. Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget that bones are living tissue. Bone structure is being renewed all the time, like a round-the-clock remodeling project, and it’s important that you provide your body with the raw materials needed to keep the remodeling going strong.
If you wait too long to take care of your bones, they’ll be like that rec room in the basement with crumbling paneling and soggy carpet. The point is, we need to do all we can to keep our bones healthy. Don’t put off prevention of osteoporosis until it’s too late.
Fortunately, regardless of your level of bone health (or lack of same), you can use specific nutrients to improve your bone strength.
Food Choices Can Harm Bones
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. What we eat makes a big difference.
Bone-weakening foods include:
• Processed meat
• Soft drinks
• Grains, like bread and pasta
Avoid these foods to keep your bones healthy, as all of these food choices tend to pull calcium from soft tissue and bones.
Start Building Healthy Bones Now
You can have healthy, strong bones throughout your life, but it depends on the choices you make right now.
First, focus on a diet of natural foods – not processed – rich in proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates (and of those, only a small fraction of your daily intake). Eliminate sugars, sodas, or other acidic foods. This can do a lot to strengthen your bones.
Secondly – the earlier the better – maintain healthy calcium and magnesium levels. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, I would recommend the ingredients on the chart, below.
It’s never too early to build healthy bones – but it’s never too late, either. Start with your diet and the appropriate formulas today, and you’ll have the nutrients to keep your bones strong for a vibrant, active life.
If you are looking to build strong, healthy bones, I recommend taking a combination of vitamins (K1, K2, & D3), minerals (calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, boron), and probiotics (Lactobacillus sporogenes).