Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Osteoporosis part II

To continue from where I left off on my last blog entry ,there are several reasons we are seeing such an increase in the rates of osteoporosis in the United States, but the following appear to be the top ones.

            •            Overly processed and acid forming foods
            •            Decreased physical activity
            •            Decreased sun exposure.

Osteoporosis occurs more often in countries where the diet is high in refined carbohydrates (white flour & white sugar). These tend to cause an increase in the loss of vital minerals into the urine. Most people think that when someone is a vegetarian that they have one of the healthiest diets around when in all actuality many western vegetarians have a diet that is loaded with refined wheat, refined soy, refined sugars & many other non-food sources. So, just by virtue of being a vegetarian doesn’t make one’s diet healthy & full of bone building nutrients. 

Lack of physical activity is yet another reason we continue to see osteoporosis rates increasing. A good exercise regimen would include 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, in addition to some weight training exercises. Bone responds to the stress/demands placed on them. Building muscles= building bones.

Vitamin D is also crucial for calcium uptake. Despite synthetic vitamin D being added to milk & other non-foods, biochemically it is not a natural form of vitamin D & thus falls. Natural vitamin D is food in fatty fish & made in the skin. Unless you eat A LOT of fish & eggs, getting enough vitamin d from real food is difficult. Sunshine is a terrific way to boost your vitamin D levels to help ensure good bone health.

More calcium supplements are sold than any other, but most of them are not absorbed in the GI tract. This is because most calcium vitamins are sold as the insoluble form of calcium, calcium carbonate. Chalk is made primarily from calcium carbonate. Check your vitamins & see. If you think this is a good form of calcium, save some money & just buy chalk instead of those vitamins.

Another component that many vitamins are missing is the proper ratio of calcium to magnesium. This should be at a 5:1 ration: calcium to magnesium. Go ahead check that bottle again.

Getting calcium from food works the absolute best. Women who get most of their calcium from real foods have stronger bones when compared to those women whose calcium comes from mainly non-food sources (i.e. calcium carbonate & foods fortified with calcium). We don’t know for sure why calcium from real food is more beneficial, but it is more than likely due these foods containing many other compounds that work synergistically with the calcium that allows it to be the most beneficial & useful. Calcium does not work all on it’s own.

Now, when I mention real foods for the best possible calcium, I am in no way talking about milk (dairy).  Although the dairy association wants us all believing that “milk does a body good,” countries with the highest dairy intake (including the US) have the highest rate of hip fractures and osteoporosis. In fact, in the famous Nurses” Health Study, it was shown that the women who had the highest intake of calcium from milk also had a significant increase in fractures. I guess the milk industries new slogan should say “Got Fractures?” 

The best possible source for readily absorbable calcium is from leafy green & cruciferous vegetables. These include cabbage, kale, broccoli, collards, and spinach. Even beans, carrots & sardines are better sources of calcium than milk.

I love being able to empower you, my patients & friends, into making better health choices through chiropractic & nutrition. The adage we are what we eat is beyond a shadow of a doubt one of the most important things you can live by. I am currently available for nutritional consultations on Tuesday & Thursday mornings. If you would like to have a complete health assessment done, you can contact me at the office.

Be Health & Be Well.

No comments:

Post a Comment