The long term studies are out on the effectiveness of the most commonly prescribed drugs for osteoporosis and the outcomes are not good (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26037748). The findings show that the women who took the drugs faired worse than those who didn’t. It appears that although the drugs make bones really hard, they also make them very fragile, thus bones shatter versus just crack. The good news is, osteoporosis is reversible with the right combination of nutrients and lifestyle environment. Here are my top 8.
- Although calcium is the most abundant mineral in bone, there are actually over 2 dozen things that go into creating strong bone. Therefore the source of calcium I recommend is called microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (say it ten times fast) which has those over 2 dozen things including key growth factors like intact type I collagen and glycosaminoglycans. The product I recommend for this is Cal Apatite Bone Builder Forte. To reverse osteoporosis I recommend 2 tablets three times per day taken with food.
- In Wisconsin, from October to May even with adequate sunshine, we just don’t get enough of those UVB rays from the sun that we need to produce our own vitamin D. To know if you need to supplement with vitamin D, a simple blood test will let you know. Ask your medical doctor for a 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 test. Anything below 50 ng/ml is sub-optimal. I recommend 1000 IU for every 10 ng/mg you need to increase your vitamin D to get to that optimal level. Since your body makes it on demand, I promote letting your body produce it on its own during the summer months by getting out in the 10am – 2pm sun for 10-20 minutes in shorts and short sleeves without sunscreen.
- The estrogens (testosterone for men), stimulate bone remolding cells, have an anti-oxidant effect and block inflammatory messengers in the body that induce bone density loss. This is why post-menopausal women (when estrogen levels decline) are most susceptible to osteoporosis. Hormone testing will determine if a lack of the estrogens is an issue for you. If so you may benefit from the use of herbs that can promote an estrogenic like effect (Black Cohosh), or bio-identical hormones (Estro Pro). Dosage and use depends on clinical symptoms and laboratory results.
- Selective kinase response modulators extracted from hops (no, you cannot get an adequate amount of these from drinking beer) have been compounded into the product Ostera, to do what the estrogens should be doing in regards to blocking the inflammatory messengers that negatively affect bone. This can be a great alternative to using estrogens for women with low estrogen levels.
- The new buzz surrounding osteoporosis is vitamin K. The research is sound and you’ll quite often find vitamin K added to many bone building supplements. But the good news is, you create vitamin K right in your own intestines! If you are free of digestive symptoms, chances are you’re creating enough on your own.
- Since osteoporosis is an inflammatory disease, following a low inflammatory diet is key. I promote the Mediterranean diet which includes an abundance of vegetables that grow above the ground, fruit, only one serving of grain per day and low inflammatory proteins and fats. Dairy is a great source of both protein and carbohydrate, but it also contains arachidonic acid – an inflammatory fatty acid, making it a more inflammatory source of protein than say fish. Dairy is also recognized as a good source of calcium, however with the process of pasteurization, it makes it very difficult for us to absorb that calcium from the dairy. So although we include dairy in our anti-inflammatory meal plan, it is limited to certain types and quantity. Don’t’ worry; you’ll get plenty of calcium from your fruits and vegetables and of course your Cal Apatite Bone Builder Forte.
- When people around me drink soda pop… it’s as if I can hear the calcium being sucked out of their bones. Don’t do that. Coffee, sugar, alcohol… not so good either.
- Strong wind = strong trees and weight bearing exercise = strong bones. LIFT WEIGHTS. For a simple, easy, cost effective at home weight lifting program, come see Jenn! It only takes a few dumbbells, your own body weight and an exercise ball.
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