In the United States, nearly 50 percent of all women between the ages of
forty-five and seventy suffer from some degree of osteoporosis. This
disorder, which translates literally as "porous bones," is so common that
we tend to think of its effects-frailty, broken bones, back pain, a stooped
posture, and the so-called dowager's hump-as the normal results of aging.
In reality, osteoporosis is a condition brought on by faulty dietary and
lifestyle habits. Studies of cultures that have more healthful lifestyles
than Americans do find that its occurrence is much more rare.
Childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood are the prime opportunities for
building healthy bones. Bones reach their greatest mass and density at
around age thirty; after that, they begin to weaken. Some bone loss is
entirely normal and not terribly worrisome, but when the process is
accelerated, the bones turn frail and brittle. Unfortunately, the disorder
rarely rings any warning bells until serious damage is already done. The
first sign may be a minor fall or an accident that results in a broken bone
or back pain caused by a collapsed vertebra.
Researchers have found that there is a connection between a dysfunctional
immune system and osteoporosis. A group of immune cells knows as cytokines
can initiate a type of inflammatory response that leads to bone breakdown.
Fortunately, a healthful diet and lifestyle, hormone balance, and specific
nutritional supplements, contribute to normal cytokine activity.
Hormone balance is critical for good bone density. A good example is a
pre-menopausal woman who has her ovaries removed. Studies show that this
can lead to a sudden drop in bone density, due to low estrogen and
progesterone levels. Many hormones are important for bone cell (osteoblast)
activity, including estrogen progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, growth
hormone, and calcitonin. On the other hand, excessive levels of cortisol,
thyroid, and parathyroid hormones can lead to bone loss.
Diet is important for strong bones. This should include foods that are rich
in bone-building minerals, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds,
flax, soy, and fish. On the other hand, soda pop, caffeine, salt, and
alcohol all contribute to bone breakdown when consumed in excess.
One of the best ways to prevent bone loss or halt its progress is to engage
in a weight-bearing exercise. This stimulates bone cell formation.
Many vitamins and minerals are required for healthy bones. Calcium is the
obvious one, but several others, such as magnesium, vitamin D, boron,
silicon, vitamin C, strontium, vitamin K, and others, play important roles
in bone metabolism.
A combination of a good diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements is
important for healthy bones. Exposure to sunlight is important as well.
More severe cases of osteoporosis may require natural hormone therapy and,
in some cases, drug therapy.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of
effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help
The Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch,
M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.M.D.
Super Prescription #1
Calcium / Magnesium
– LifeSource Products -
Take 600 mg twice daily in divided doses of
well-absorbed calcium complexes, such as citrate,
citrate-malate, chelate, or hydroxyappatite. Calcium is
the main mineral that composes bone.
Super Prescription #2
- LifeSource Product
Take 400 mg daily in divided doses. 200 per tablet.
Magnesium is required for proper calcium metabolism,
through parathyroid hormone production and vitamin D
activation. Some researchers feel that it is as
important as calcium. Note: Reduce the dosage if loose
Super Prescription #3
- LifeSource Products - See All of our
Vitamin D Products.
Take 1,000 IU daily if you have osteoporosis and 400 IU
daily if you are supplementing vitamin D for
prevention. This vitamin improves intestinal calcium
absorption and reduces the urinary excretion of
Super Prescription #4
- LifeSource Product
Take 2 to 10 mg daily and up to 500 mcg daily for
preventative purposes, vitamin K is needed to form the
protein osteocalcin, a substance that attracts calcium
into the bone matrix. Low levels of vitamin K are
associated with osteoporosis and fractures. Note: Do
not use if you are taking blood-thinning medications.
Super Prescription #5 Ipriflavone
Take 600 mg daily with food. Some, but not all, studies
have show this supplement to increase bone density when
combined with calcium, vitamin D, or hormone
replacement. Note: Have your lymphocyte (a type of
white blood cell) levels monitored by your doctor when
using this supplement, as one study found that it
lowered the levels in 29 out of 132 women.
Super Prescription #6
Multivitamin – High Potency
– LifeSource Products - See All of our
Take 3 capsules daily, along with 500 to 1,500 mg of
evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis). Studies show
that these essential fatty acids improve calcium
absorption and deposition into the bone.
Super Prescription #7 Strontium
Take 600 mgdaily. Studies show strontium improves bone
Click here to see all products, articles and
studies for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is largely asymptomatic, but watch out for the following
A stooped posture
Sleeves and hems that used to fit but that now are too long
Easily broken bones
Long-term use of certain medications (anticonvulsants, prednisone,
heparin, methotrexate, lithium, isoniazid, furosemide (Lasix),
antacids, chemotherapy, thyroid, and others)
Hormone deficiencies and imbalances
Lack of sun exposure
Medical conditions (diabetes, Cushing's disease, kidney and liver
disease, homocystinemia, hyperthyroidism, malabsorption, and others)
Acidic pH balance
Eat foods that are high in calcium and the other nutrients needed for its
assimilation. Sea vegetables, green leafy vegetables (except spinach),
soybeans, nuts, molasses, salmon, oysters, sardines (with the bones),
broccoli, and unsweetened cultured yogurt are all good sources.
Green vegetables such as collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, and others
are important for their vitamin K content. Vitamin K1 is the form of
vitamin K found in plants that is important for bone formation.
Fermented soy products, such as tofu and miso, are good for the bones.
Essential fatty acids found in walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, and fish are
important for healthy bones.
Foods to Avoid
One reason Westerners have such a high rate of osteoporosis is their
consumption of foods that are high in sugar. Eliminate sugar, refined
grains, and soda pop drinks from your diet.
Reduce your intake of red meat. A high intake may contribute to bone loss
in some individuals.
A high salt intake is linked to bone loss. Do not eat processed foods,
which are usually loaded with salt, and never add conventional table salt
to your meals.
Moderate your use of caffeine and alcohol, as they contribute to bone loss.
It may surprise you to learn that countries where people drink the most
milk are also those with the highest rates of osteoporosis. This may be due
to the fact that lactose intolerance and casein (protein found in cow's
milk) allergy are very common and lead to malabsorption. Also, calcium from
cow's milk is not well absorbed, at a rate of 25 percent. Milk products
lead to other health problems as well, so don't rely on them as a source of
calcium. Unsweetened, cultured yogurt is an exception.
High-potency multivitamin provides a base of nutrients required for
healthy bones. Take as directed on the container.
Boron is a mineral that activated vitamin D and supports estrogen
levels for effective calcium metabolism. Take 3 to 5 mg daily.
Vitamin C is used to manufacture collagen, an important component of
bones. Take 500 to 1,000 mg twice daily.
Silicon is a mineral that is involved in collagen and calcification.
Take 50 to 20 mg daily.
Zinc is required for enzymatic reactions that build bone. Take a daily
total of 30 mg, along with 2 to 3 mg of copper.
Manganese is involved with bone calcification. Take 15 to 30 mg daily.
Vitamins B12, B6, and folic acid prevent the buildup of homocysteine, a
by-product of protein metabolism that can cause osteoporosis.
Betaine hydrochloric acid improves stomach acid levels for digestion
and absorption. Take 1 to 3 capsules with each meal. Note: Do not use
if you have an active ulcer.
A greens formula that contains super green foods, such as chlorella,
spirulina, and others, has an alkalinizing effect and is rich in
minerals. Take as directed on the container.
Soy protein powder has been shown to protect against bone loss. Take 40
grams daily, containing 90 mg of isoflavones.
Strontium is a nutrient shown to be helpful in increasing bone density
when combined with calcium. Take 340 to 680 mg daily.
Undertake a regular weight-bearing exercise. Although swimming and
cycling are excellent for cardiovascular toning, they are not as
aggressive for building bone mass. Instead, try an aerobic workout with
gentle impact (walking is a good idea). Then supplement that exercise
with weightlifting. You don't have to join a gym and pump heavy
iron-even very small hand weights can make a real difference in bone
strength. If you've never lifted weights before, you should make an
appointment with a trainer to get yourself started.
Don't smoke or expose yourself to secondhand smoke. Smoking makes bones
brittle and weak and is also a cause of many other "age-related"
Natural hormone replacement should be considered if you have moderate
to severe osteoporosis, especially if testing shows your levels to be
deficient. Work with a doctor who is knowledgeable in natural hormones.
Important ones include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and
Bruce Brightman – founder
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