Osteoporosis and Bone Health

Osteoporosis and Bone Health

Osteoporosis means that there is loss of bone mass and that bones are thinner. It does not necessarily mean that they are more prone to breakage. At the same time, good bone mass does not guarantee bones will not break. The American College of Physicians says: “The majority of women with hip fracture have a density of the hip that is within the normal range.” However, most people see a loss of bone mass after age 40. Women see the greater percentage of decline usually around peri and post menopause. To quote Susan Weed’s Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way: Alternative Approaches for Women 30 – 90: “For a post-menopausal woman to ask, ‘Osteoporosis, how can I prevent it?’ is like asking ‘How can I prevent the sun from setting each evening?’ When we try to prevent the natural flows of life, we begin to think that these natural processes (such as bone thinning with age and menopause itself) as problems, which we are told we need to ‘cure’ by technological means.” The point is that there is some natural rhythm to this process and some degree of change is “normal.” However, to optimize bone health, especially with the increased possibility of falls as we age and remain active, it is important to look at how to keep bones as healthy as possible!

Weight-bearing exercise can reverse bone loss and increase density. Walking for an hour four times/week and lifting weights can improve bone mass.

Women between 40 and 50 should consider a DEXA or bone density screening test.

Eat Foods Rich in Calcium and Other Minerals To Build Healthy Bones

Green leafy vegetables: Some of the best sources of calcium, as well providing vitamin K and boron needed for healthy bones. Other good sources of minerals include broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, green tea, sea vegetables, yogurt or whey, and seaweed such as kelp.

Micronutrients: selenium, chromium, strontium, copper, boron, silicon, zinc, and cobalt. Good sources: seaweeds, nettles, dandelion, and organic grains and produce.

Good herbs to consider for mineral support: horsetail, nettle leaves, red clover blossoms, raspberry leaves, alfalfa, sage leaves, oat straw seed, and uva ursi leaves.

Avoid soft drinks: Phosphates in soda interfere with calcium solubility in the blood making calcium less available to make bones, teeth, and other structures. Limit pop to a special treat for you and your kids!

Garlic, onions, and eggs: good sources of sulfur and are also needed for healthy bones.

Vitamin D at 1000 to 3000 iu’s per day: assists in calcium utilization for bone.

B6, folic acid, and B12: needed in combination to maintain proper homocysteine levels which is associated with less risk for atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.

A Note About Calcium: Proper levels of stomach acid are necessary for calcium absorption. People with low stomach acid should take enzymes or at least use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to acidify their stomach and help with absorption. Anyone on acid blockers (see me fast to get off them!) will have compromised calcium absorption. People on thyroid medicine should not take their medicine with calcium supplements and those on thiazide diuretics may need to keep supplementation a little lower.

The dose of calcium is individual depending on the form of calcium you use to supplement, your digestive health, age, risk factors, and general health. Magnesium is also needed in generous amounts often 1:1 ratio with calcium.

Recommened Products for Bone Health:

Calcium Lactate (from beets most easily absorbed calcium to the blood) from Standard Process
(avoid calcium carbonate it is not easily used and may cause calcifications)
Cal Ma Plus from Standard Process
Biost, Biodent, or Ostraplex from Standard Process
Cal Mag Plus D from Priority One
Trace minerals, Organic Minerals, Min Tran (from sea kelp and alfalfa)
Sun D 3000 from Priority One
High quality fish oil, tuna oil, or flax seed oil

Come in for a thirty minute visit to customize your bone health treatment plan!

Related Articles / Sources

Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way: Alternative Approaches for Women 30 – 90 by Susan Weed

The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Medicine by Pizzorno, Murray, Joiner-Bey

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