Natural Help for Osteoporosis
written and compiled
by Tony Isaacs
age, your bones begin to erode, which is normal and a
natural result of aging. However, some people lose so
much bone that their skeletons become weakened and
subject to deformation and severe loss of bone density
in multiple places. That's osteoporosis, and it
frequently causes fractures of the hip, spine and
forearm. At its worst, bones can become so frail that
they crack and break under the body's own weight!
The meaning of the term 'Osteoporosis' originates from 'Osteo'
meaning bone, and 'porosis' implying thinning or
becoming more porous. Hence, osteoporosis literally
means 'thinning of bone'. Medically, Osteoporosis is a
disease of the bone in which the bone mineral density (BMD)
is reduced which means one has a low bone mass and
deteriorating bone tissue. In simple words, the bones
become thin, brittle and may be easily broken. Bone mass
(bone density) is the amount of bone present in the
skeletal structure. The higher the density the stronger
are the bones. Bone density is strongly influenced by
genetic factors, which in turn are sometimes modified by
environmental factors and medications.
If Osteoporosis is not prevented in the early stages or
if left untreated, it can progress painlessly until the
bone tends to break. These broken bones, also known as
fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.
The fracture caused by osteoporosis can be either in the
form of cracking (as in a hip fracture), or collapsing
(as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the
spine). Though the spine, hips, and wrists are common
areas of osteoporosis-related bone fractures, almost any
skeletal bone area is susceptible to
The consequences of osteoporosis may impair a person for
life. A hip fracture may impair a person's ability to
walk and may cause permanent disability or even death
despite hospitalization and major surgery. The Spinal or
vertebral fractures also have serious consequences,
including loss of height, severe back pain, and
deformity. Osteoporosis can cause a person to stoop
forward and appear to have a hump on his or her spine.
While osteoporosis occurs in men and pre-menopausal
women, the problem is predominant among postmenopausal
Anyone can get osteoporosis, but women are more likely
to get it than men. They have lighter bones than men,
and they lose bone rapidly after menopause, because
their bodies are producing less estrogen. But men aren't
immune, especially if they drink heavily, smoke or have
taken steroid drugs.
But your bones don't have to crack under the strain of
this disease. You can slow, stop or even reverse bone
Osteoporosis and natural remedies: Fish oil containing
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and GLA (gamma linolenic
acid) is not only an effective safeguard against
osteoporosis, it also improves the skin and brain
function and avoids cardiovascular problems. Light
exercise is also recommended, such as dancing, walking,
or bouncing on trampolines. Calcium and magnesium
supplements, in the ratio of 2 or 3: 1 respectively,
would also help increase bone density.
Factors Contributing to the Loss of Bone Density and
Excess phosphorus intake through drinking too many
soda's. particularly Colas. To balance this phosphorus,
the body must draw calcium from the bones.
Magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is actually more
important than calcium for bone growth and bone density.
As many as 90 percent or more of us are deficient in
Among women the deficiency of Estrogen (a group of
hormones) post menopause has been correlated to a rapid
reduction in BMD.
The increased risk of falling associated with aging,
leads to fractures of the wrist, spine and hip.
Other hormone deficiency states can lead to
osteoporosis, such as testosterone deficiency.
Glucocorticoid or thyroxine excess states also lead to
Not eating foods rich in Calcium, Vitamin D and
Phosphorous can also cause bone loss. Calcium and/or
vitamin D deficiency from malnutrition also increases
the risk of osteoporosis.
Some medicines can inhibit the body's ability to absorb
calcium. This may cause the bones to weaken. These
medications include cortisone/corticosteroids,
anticoagulants, thyroid supplements, and some
Other illnesses or diseases, such over-active thyroid,
diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may also cause bone
loss. A disease such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia can
cause changes in a person's estrogen level and lead to
Other significant factors leading to the onset of
osteoporosis include: smoking cigarettes, high intake of
alcohol, tea or coffee, low levels of physical activity
(weight bearing exercise), and family history.
Sedentary lifestyle. Exercise strengthens bones -
inactivity encourages the body not to rebuild unused
Consuming too much fat in our diets - vegetarians are
shown to have greater bone mass than meat eaters.
Excess alcohol consumption interferes with calcium
Drinking too much coffee. A study of 84,484 patients
showed a correlation between bone fractures and heavy
Smoking. The evidence is overwhelming - heavy smoking
boosts bone loss.
A lack of natural vitamin D - obtained by exposure (not
over-exposure) to sunlight.
Not enough Vitamin K in the system. New research has
shown that this little known vitamin is the key to
calcium balance in the body.
A lack of trace minerals necessary for the transport and
absorption of calcium.
Prescription drugs can increase bone loss. These include
cortisone, blood thinners, antacids containing aluminum,
chemotherapy, lithium, and certain antibiotics.
Birth control pills which reduce the folic acid content
in the body.
Excess consumption of dairy products! This is due to the
high animal fat content in dairy products, and the lack
of CLA in modern dairy products.
Excess salt and sugar consumption in junk foods, which
leach calcium from the bones into the urine.
Fluorides which destroy the collagen, the glue which
adds strength to the bones.
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Exercise to Build Strong Bones:
Exercise aerobically for 20 minutes a day at least three
days a week. The best aerobic exercise for strong bones
is one you will continue doing, because if you don't do
it for life, the bone-building benefits fade. Exercise
for at least thirty minutes using weight-bearing
exercise such as walking or jogging, three times a week.
This regime has been proven to increase bone mineral
density, and reduce the risk of falls by strengthening
the major muscle groups in the legs and back. You may
prefer running, biking, swimming or aerobic dance
classes. Aim for quality, not quantity, when you
Walking in chest-deep water for about 30 minutes at
least three times a week is a suggested remedy,
especially if you've already had a fracture or two,
since the water will help support your body weight and
take stress off bones and joints. Work youreself up to
30 minutes at least three times a week.
Make your "exercise equipment" a chair and the floor. To
complement water walking, do some easy muscle
-strengthening exercises in a chair or on the floor.
Such exercises can include abdominal curls, shoulder
blade squeezes and back extensions.
To do back extensions, lie on the floor on your stomach,
with a pillow under your hips and your arms at your
sides. Using only your back muscles, not your arms,
raise your upper body a few inches off the floor. Hold
for as long as comfortable, then relax downward. Work up
to doing this six to ten times a day.
Dietary and Other Tips for Handling Osteoporosis
Vary your diet. Bones are not made from calcium alone.
They're an amalgam that includes various minerals such
as zinc, boron and copper. These trace elements can be
ingested through a varied and broad-based diet that
includes mostly unprocessed foods, such as whole grains,
beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish
and lean meat. Foods high in boron (a mineral that helps
the body hold calcium) are beneficial for those affected
by osteoporosis. Boron is found in apples, pears, grapes
and other fruit, as well as in legumes, nuts and honey.
Manganese is another beneficial mineral. Traces of
manganese are largely found in pineapples, nuts,
spinach, beans and whole wheat.
Bones need nourishment from calcium, magnesium, vitamin
D, and phosphorous. A poor diet lacking these essential
vitamins and minerals contributes to osteoporosis. Foods
rich in calcium are especially necessary to maintaining
healthy bones. Dairy products (milk, cheese, and
yogurt). salmon, sardines, almonds, dark green leafy
vegetables and broccoli are good sources of calcium. It
is recommended that one should include 1500mg of calcium
daily either via dietary means or via supplementation.
For measurement purposes, it is important to note that
an 8 oz glass of milk contains approximately 300 mg of
calcium. Calcium supplements are an effective
alternative option. These come in a variety of forms.
The body can absorb only about 500 mg of calcium at one
time and so intake should be spread throughout the day.
Magnesium is essential for good bone growth and density.
The recommended daily minimums are 320 mg for women and
400 for men, but optimum daily amounts are more like 500
to 700 mg. Dietary sources include dark green leafy
vegetables and nuts, but it is difficult to get enough
magnesium through diet alone so supplementation is
advised for most people. It is estimated that 8 out of
10 people do not get enough magnesium daily and that
over 90% of the US population is magnesium deficient.
Brussels sprouts are known to prevent diseases like
cancer, birth defects, osteoporosis and heart trouble.
Brussels sprouts provide essential vitamin K (this
vitamin activates a protein found in bones, call
osteocalcin, which holds calcium molecules in place)
helps protect against osteoporosis.
Make a life style change by quitting cigarette smoking,
limiting alcohol intake, and exercising regularly. It is
important to note that a few studies have suggested an
adverse effect of calcium excess on bone density and
reports indicate the milk industry has been misleading
customers. It has been reported that excess consumption
of dairy products may cause acification, which leeches
calcium from the system. Therefore, it is claimed that
vegetables and nuts are a better source of calcium and
milk products are better avoided.
Monitor your medications. Some drugs can hasten bone
loss. Those most likely to cause problems:
corticosteroids, which are prescribed for a variety of
conditions such as rheumatic disorders, allergic
conditions and respiratory disease; L-thyroxine, a
thyroid medication; and furosemide, a diuretic often
used against fluid retention associated with high blood
pressure and kidney problems.
Colas and some other carbonated soft drinks get their
sharp taste from phosphoric acid, which contains
phosphorus, a mineral that in excess amounts causes your
body to excrete calcium.
Salt lightly, and choose healthy sea salt for added
minerals. As with phosphorus, too much salt causes your
body to excrete calcium. Avoid products with more than
300 milligrams of salt per serving.
Almond Milk is a calcium rich and a good remedy to help
with osteoporosis is calcium-rich almond milk. One can
have the almond milk by soaking the almonds in warm
water, peeling and blending them with either cow's milk
or better still, goat's milk. Drink only raw organic
Herbs That Can Help Osteoporosis
Dandelion Tea helps build bone density.
Red Clover has has been shown to improve bone mineral
density (it also lowers LDL cholesterol).
Chaste Berry contains vitexicarpin and vitricin, which
help to keep hormone levels in balance. It is advisable
to take at least 250 mg a day of a standardized extract
of this herb for two to three months.
Dong Quai has been used in Chinese medicine for
thousands of years. It is advisable to take 250 mg of a
standardized extract of dong quai daily as a tonic herb.
A recent study indicates that the popular herb Black
Cohosh may help prevent osteoporosis. Most studies
recommend an intake of either 20 or 40 mg of black
cohosh extract twice a day.
Sesame seeds: A handful of sesame seeds had every
morning may also help osteoporosis.
Dietary Supplementation Tips for Osteoporosis:
Aim for maximum absorption. Spread your calcium
supplements out over the day rather than taking them all
Magnesium, calcium and phosphorus are all essential for
proper bone growth and density. Try to get 1,000
milligrams a day of calcium if you haven't reached
menopause and at least 1200 to 1500 milligrams a day for
Most women consume far less than those amounts. Reaching
1,000 milligrams through diet alone means drinking a
quart of skim milk a day or eating two cups of low-fat
yogurt or four cups of low-fat cottage cheese.
Be sure to
take half as much magnesium as you do calcium.
Neither will work properly without the other.
Figure out, realistically, how much calcium you can get
through your diet, then make up the rest with
supplements. Dark green, leafy vegetables such as
spinach are excellent sources of calcium.
vitamin D3 For
protection, aim for a bare minimum of at least 600 international units of vitamin D3 per day (three
times the Recommended Dietary Allowance), and for
therapeutic use aim for even more - up to 4000
Plant derivied trace minerals are the best source of
invaluable trace minerals. Minerals are the building
blocks of the enzymes necessary for the utilization of
all other vitamins, etc. (rock minerals are a waste of
money since only 5-15% can be broken down by the body
before being eliminated. Minerals already digested by
plants are potentially 100% absorbable.
Recent studies have found that serotonin is an important
factor for bone density. L-tryptophan is a good
supplement to boost serotonin
Glucosamine, Chondrotin, and Collagen are important for
bone and joint health (and all of these are available in
a product called
Ultra Joint Care, which also
contains aloe and bovine colostrum).
Silica (from horsetail and/or shavegrass) works with
calcium to maintain strong bones and is especially
effective in combination with GTF Chromium.
GTF Chromium (GTF Chromium is a complex known as Glucose
Tolerance Factor and is made by fermenting nutritional
yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) with chromium.)
Inositol/IP6 modulates the behavior of bone- forming and
bone-destroying cells to help prevent osteoporosis.
Besides being an excellent pathogen destroyer,
Silver also helps bone, tissue and nerve regeneration.
have reported excellent results for arthritis as well as
Caution: Do not take bone drugs for osteoporosis.
Evidence has shown that they produce abnormal bone
growth and actually make bones more brittle. They also
can have serious and even life threatening side effects!
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Calcium Alone is not Enough for
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