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Home >Bone Health 101

Dave Foreman

Bone Health 101


by Dave Foreman
Volume 7, Issue 4
- Repair And Recovery
- Homeopathy May Be The Relief You Are Looking For
- Antioxidants For Serious Health Concerns
- Acne (And Other Acne Related Skin Issues)
- Arrhythmias
- Using Tonics To Improve Your Health
- Ask The Herbal Pharmacist
Archives
- Herbal Pharmacist Health Update
- Smart Weight Loss Options
- Allergy Relief Alternatives
- Focus: Women's Health
- Menopause Symptom Relief
- Focus: Men's Healths
- Ask The Herbal Pharmacist
- Antioxidants for Blood Sugar Control
- Bone Health 101
- The Basics for Healthy Eyes
- Uterine Fibroids (revisited)
- Wait Before You Cut!

- Holiday Travel Tips
- Time for a Tune Up
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Energy: Who needs more?
- PCOS-Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Heavy Legs
- Stay Hydrated this Summer
- Lower Back Problems-Sciatica
- Antioxidants for Cardiovascular Health
- Prostate Health: not just an old manís concern
- Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Fats? Good for you?
- Prostatitis
- Superfoods
- Timing your Training Supplements
- Juice Up Your Life with Superjuices
- Infant Corner-Homeopathy
- Foundational Health
- Top Toxins
- Fall Cleansing
- Heart Health
- Protein Recovery and Repair
- High Blood Pressure
- Tart Cherries
- Infant Corner: DHA
- Healthy Digestion: Is it possible?
- Holiday Gift Ideas
- Herbal Tea
- Tired, moody, canít sleep? It might be STRESS.
- Infant Corner: Healthy Digestion
- Healthy Aging
- Breast Cancer
- Get a Jump on the Winter Cold and Flu Season
- Children's Essentials: No-Guilt Popsicles
- Infant Corner: Breastfeeding - Energize Yourself
- Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
- Hot Health Tip: Swimmer's Ear
- Infant Corner: Teething
- Understanding Homeopathy
- Green Foods Supplements
- Amino Acids
- Dry Eyes
- Infant Corner: Diaper Rash
- Blood Sugar Control
- The Herbal Pharmacist Consultation:Blood Sugar Concerns & More
- Sciatic Issues?
- Separating Myths From The Facts About Probiotics
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Infant Corner: Cradle Cap
- Swine Flu and Flu Season Worries:
- The Herbal Pharmacist Consultation:Weight Loss
- Quick Tips For Hypertension
- New Year's Resolutions
- A Natural Approach to Ear Infections
- Unraveling The Vitamin D Story
- Infant Corner: Prenatal Care
- Protein-Hype Or Hope
- Drug-Nutrient Interactions
- PMS-Something New
- Guide To Designing Your Supplement Regimen
- Why Can't I Sleep?
- Infant Corner: Developmental Support
- Hints for a Clearer Complexion
- Dental Tips
- Infant Corner
- Breast Cancer
- Healthy Aging
- Infant health corner
- Immune Support
- Secrets of Healthy Fats Revealed
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 4
- Chia seeds part II
- Healthy fats revisited
- Prostate health
- Infant health corner
- Fish oil & coq10
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 3
- Quick Tips for Women
- Bone Health
- Skin Health
- Quick Tips for Men
- Quick Fix For Allergy Sufferers
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 2
- Beauty Sleep
- Eye Health
- Weight Loss
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You
- Holiday Digestion
- Winter Dry Skin Tips
- Alzheimer's Disease
- TMJ Syndrome
- Breast Cancer Facts
- Bone Health
- Healthy Aging
- Children's Supplements
- Chia Seed the new superfood
- Understanding Chromium
- Water perhaps the most critical nutrient
- Stress! Tips to relax
- Allergy Tips
- There's A New CoQ10 In Town
- Tired? Quick tips for getting your energy level up
- Fats: Good For You?
- Flu Season
- Go Away Aches & Pains
- Oh!!My Aching Back
- Ear Infections
- How Sporty Are You
- No Bones About It
- Nattokinase
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- IBS
- Fiber
- Skin Cancer
- Sleep Problems
- Specific Herbs For Men
- Cleansing
- Nails
- PMS
- Probiotics
- Specific Herbs for Women
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Your Breath Stinks
- Blood Pressure
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS)
- Colorectal Cancer
- Uterine Fibroid
- The Eyes Have It
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
-Putting Out the Fire
- Solving America's Energy Crisis
- Natural Gum Care
- Jazz Up Your Life with Juice
- Natural Relief for SAD
- Immunity Know-How
- Stop Smoking!!
- Let's Talk About Irregularity
- Free Radicals
- Asthma
- Memory Problems
- L-Carnitine
- Men's Health
- Women's Health
- The Four Pillars of Great Health
- Blood Sugar Control
- Probiotics
- Supplement Interactions
- Are You Consumer Smart?
- Digestive Blues
- Taking Control of Stress
- Heart Health
- Pycnogenol®
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Greens
- Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
- Happy (and Healthy) Trails to You!

Dave Foreman, RPh, ND is a pharmacist, Naturopathic Doctor, author, television commentator, radio host and practitioner of natural living and holistic approaches to better health. His weekly radio program is broadcast throughout North America. Dave is currently a contributing columnist for Pharmacy Today magazine and several other natural health publications.

Once considered the province of only the elderly, osteoporosis in its early stages is now being detected among younger individuals. Bone density screenings are increasingly available in places like grocery stores and pharmacy chains, making it easier to identify, track its progress and take measures to slow it down.

It is believed that osteoporosis or osteopenia affects more than 20 million Americans, the majority of which are women. Women suffer from the disease at about four times the rate of men. It is estimated that osteoporosis is the cause of more than 1.5 million broken bones in the U.S. each year, with far more of those experienced by women. It is said that 1 in every 2 women will suffer an osteoporosis-related break compared to 1 in every 8 men.

Osteoporosis is a progressive disease. Whether or not you develop it depends on the thickness of your bones early in life, as well as health, diet and physical activity as you age. If it is detected, a proactive approach can stem the progress of the disease and if diagnosed early enough, perhaps even reverse it. My 4 Pillars of Health are an optimal way to approach the treatment of osteoporosis. Be on the alert to some of the common symptoms that come with decreased bone strength:

  • Loss of height
  • Poor posture (leaning/stooping)
  • Back Pain
  • Breaking bones with a minor injury (wrist, back)

Diagnosing osteoporosis is a simple process that requires a bone density test done by your health care provider. He or she will also take your medical history and do a physical examination. Once diagnosed, it is up to you to choose a treatment method and follow it.

The groundwork for osteoporosis is laid in the pre-teen and teen years. In fact, a great friend of mine says "you put bone in the bank in your youth and hang on to what you have in your later years." After age 30 bone density starts to go in the opposite direction. Modern medicine says this is a natural process but I say that is a bunch of baloney. While it is true that after age 50, lower levels of estrogen and testosterone can add to bone deterioration, I think you can have strong bones all your life if you follow a healthy diet, keep physically active and take the right supplements. A lot of us baby boomers are already behind the curve because we didn't lay a strong foundation for bone health. We were the first to consume processed foods and sugary carbonated beverages, and adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Our children are even worse off. Dietary habits are poorer than they've ever been and activity levels are at their all-time low -- two factors that contribute in large measure to the demise of our society.

Where do we begin?

We need to first take a look at what the risk factors might be for developing Osteoporosis:

  • Family History
  • Ancestry
    • African
    • European
    • Asian
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Little exercise
  • Diet (how many calcium-rich foods do you consume)
  • Carbonated beverage consumption
  • Medications
    • Steroids like prednisone
    • Antacids containing aluminum
    • Consult you pharmacist
  • Female Athlete
  • Eating disorder or excessive dieting

Clearly there is nothing you can do about some of these risk factors, but you should make every attempt to make the lifestyle changes that will minimize risk. Start by getting more active. Making physical demands on bones will strengthen them the way a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it.

The best types of activity to strengthen bones and increase mass are weight-bearing and resistance exercises. Weight-bearing exercises are those in which your bones and muscles work against gravity. This is any exercise in which your feet and legs are bearing your weight, like jogging, walking or climbing stairs.

Resistance exercises are those that use muscle strength to enhance muscle mass and strengthen bone like weight lifting or working out with kettle bells. But you don't have to buy weights. Healthy changes in your bones can come from moving anything with weight, like chairs, furniture, garden gear, children.

What about supplements?

We can't seem to get away from the sea of information available on vitamin D and Calcium and their links to osteoporosis prevention and treatment. We can all take supplements, and this is the easiest route. But getting your calcium from foods is better for you and your bones, as noted in this newsletter. Milk and dairy products are the most popular food people think of as a source for calcium, but there are many other foods that provide the necessary required quantities:

  • CHIA SEEDS!!! They rock! Add them to everything you eat.
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Tofu

Quantities of calcium recommended by the National Institute of Health Consensus Conference on Osteoporosis for all individuals, with or without osteoporosis, are:

  • 800 mg/day for children ages 1 to 10.
  • 1000 mg/day for men, pre-menopausal women, and postmenopausal women also taking estrogen.
  • 1200 mg/day for teenagers and young adults ages 11 to 24.
  • 1500 mg/day for post menopausal women not taking estrogen.
  • 1200mg to 1500 mg/day for pregnant and nursing mothers.
  • The total daily intake of calcium should not exceed 2000 mg.

I don't necessarily agree with these guidelines. Science has shown that cultures that consume the majority of calcium from a food source have better bone density scores than those who consume most of their calcium from supplements (even though the people who got their calcium from food consumed less calcium per day). This is why I try to eat plenty of chia seeds. They are very high in calcium and other beneficial substances like fiber, antioxidants, omega-3s, and protein, among others.

Combining Vitamin D with calcium supplements helps the absorption of calcium into the bloodstream and improve the chances of calcium getting from bloodstream to bone. Vitamin D is also found in fortified dairy products, egg yolks, salt-water fish and liver. Sunlight helps the body make its own vitamin D, but how much you get depends on where you live and how much time you spend in the sun. I would rather be safe than sorry. Go with a supplement to be sure.

Vitamin K is another rising star among key nutrients that play a role in good bone health. Vitamin K1 was the one to look for in bone health supplements but vitamin K2 is showing even more promise because it is more easily absorbed by the body. The best calcium and Vitamin D supplements won't do the job alone. They need all or most of the other key ingredients listed below:

  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Boron
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin C
  • Silicon

The types of calcium used might be different, but the bottom line is to get more absorbable calcium and other key nutrients into your body and let them do their thing. Combine this with proper diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes; you will see marked improvements in your overall bone health.

 
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