Healthy Bones for a Lifetime Part 1 of 2

Bones are fascinating and complex and deserving of your deliberate care and maintenance. The adult human body contains 206 bones. Bones are alive and participate in maintaining the integrity of the entire body.

Here are some interesting bone biology facts: bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside of large bones, such as hips and thighs, which contains stem cells. Some stem cells are able to develop into red blood cells (to carry oxygen), white blood cells (to fight infections) and platelets (that help with blood clotting).  Other stem cells can produce cartilage, fat, bone and more.

Bones act as storage rooms for fatty acids and minerals to be made available when your body needs them. Minerals are continuously being recycled through your bones–deposited and then released through the bloodstream to get to other parts of your body as required. Every lifestyle and dietary decision you make has an impact for good or ill on the health, strength and density of your bones, teeth and spine.

Osteoporosis is Not a Disease!

In this article I’m focusing on the life threatening condition of osteoporosis. The true cause of osteoporosis is the body working to correct imbalances in the body’s chemistry. Therefore, achieving biochemical balance is essential to prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Hip and vertebral fractures are considered the most serious results of this biochemical imbalance. There is substantial evidence that significant improvements can be made in bone density and strength that don’t include the use of dangerous prescription medications. It is a fallacy that anyone can be poisoned into health.

When women are young their bones are supported with hormones to store extra calcium and other minerals in preparation to provide for developing fetuses and nursing infants. Over time the bones no longer require the extra material because the childbearing years are past. However, bone density tests compare the bones of older women to bones of women of childbearing years, which isn’t reasonable.

Where You Have Power:  Osteoporosis Risk Factors

  • Thyroid problems are very common. Calcium metabolism is principally regulated by the thyroid and adrenal glands.  If you believe your thyroid is not operating properly get tested and then monitored regularly if on thyroid medications. Hypo or hyper, a poorly functioning thyroid gland powerfully affects the entire system; either extreme can trigger and exacerbate osteoporosis. A *Hair Mineral Analysis (HMA) can tell you a lot about your thyroid status.
  • Hormonal imbalances – not just thyroid and adrenal hormones, but also estrogen, progesterone and parathyroid hormone (PTH), are essential for bone health and repair.
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Caucasian, Asian or Latino heritage
  • Older; female, post-menopausal; small, thin frame:  80% of osteoporosis sufferers are women.
  • Low stomach acid: insufficiently acidic or weak stomach acid leads to deficiencies of major minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron and selenium. Even if you supplement with these minerals having low stomach acid will inhibit their assimilation and bioavailability. This in turn leads to a wide range of deficiency symptoms such as anemia, muscle crampsprostate problems, osteoporosis and potentially many more. An *HMA can reveal how serious is this deficiency.
  • Low Vitamin D levels are a major contributor to osteoporosis since it is needed to help your body absorb calcium into the bones. Having your vitamin D level tested regularly is vitally important. Otherwise you won’t know how much to take in your daily supplement. Getting too much vitamin D can be as harmful to bones as too little, however. You can order a home test for vitamin D here: https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/testing-for-vitamin-d/  An HMA* can give you an idea of the calcium mobilization in your body.
  • Inactivity: Exercise strengthens muscles and strong muscles put stress on the bones which makes them stronger. Excessive sitting significantly increases risk for hip fracture and falls.
  • Smoking and vaping are major contributors to weak bones and every other dreadful condition. This includes regular exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Soft drink consumption (especially colas) is high in phosphoric acid and inflammation-causing sugar; high caffeine consumption due to its effects on adrenal gland function and acidity from coffee; excessive alcohol consumption increases inflammation.
  • High sodium diet: for each 1000 mg of sodium (salt) excreted by the kidneys approximately 50 mg. of calcium goes with it.
  • Medications, including steroids and antacids: Most minerals and several essential vitamins require adequate stomach acid in order to be assimilated.
  • Sodium fluoride (fluorine) consumption increases bone volume but without increasing bone strength, leading to poorer bone quality. There appears to be no reduction in fractures in people with a lot of fluoride in their bones. (Water, toothpaste, tea and white wine are among the most commonly consumed sources of fluoride.)
  • A high protein diet, including meat, poultry, dairy, seafood and eggs, is a known contributor to bone loss. Calcium from bones is excreted to buffer the excess acids found in animal foods. Studies show that people eating an alkaline-forming whole foods plant-based diet have stronger and healthier bones and very low rates of osteoporosis (also less heart attacks, strokes, dementia, including Alzheimer’s, and cancer).

What About Milk?

We have heard slogans like “milk does a body good” since childhood, but as many of us have learned the hard way that claim is not based on facts. We’ve been heavily marketed to by the dairy industry and most of us believed their sales pitch. Wipe off the milk “mustache”. Here is the fascinating data: https://www.nature.com/bonekeyreports/2016/160629/bonekey201630/fig_tab/bonekey201630_T1.html

The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent.”    Amy Lanou Ph.D., Nutrition Director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C.

*I recommend a Hair Mineral Analysis (HMA) which indicates how your body is storing minerals, toxic metals and producing energy. The closer your cell enzymes and tissues contain the proper minerals the more energy your body will have for proper function, including maintaining optimal bone health. To learn more: https://www.biri.org/hair/

In Part 2 of this series we’ll discuss how to bring your biochemistry into balance in order to naturally restore density and strength to your bones. If you are ready and willing to make some moderate changes to your diet, lifestyle and supplementation regimes you have every reason to be optimistic. We’ll provide a lot of information about where to obtain the nutrients required for staying strong. You may be surprised.

Until then you may consider reviewing the list of risk factors and making whatever changes you can to reduce progression of bone loss. Examples: order a vitamin D test; have your thyroid hormones checked; discuss with your doctor about weaning off of your antacid meds; order your HMA* test; and consider joining a Tai Chi or dance class.

Thank you for choosing Healthy Habits® as your trusted resource for quality products and valuable information. Your health and well-being is our #1 priority. For more information or a personalized approach consider joining the Healthy Habits Association®. https://www.healthyhabitsassociation.org

https://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics

http://fluoridealert.org/studies/bone04/

https://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/

https://www.algaecal.com/expert-insights/fluoride/

https://www.sheltondentistry.com/patient-information/ph-values-common-drinks/

https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/bones-joints/osteoporosis-could-low-stomach-acid-be-the-cause-of-your-bone-health-problems/

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