There are over 10 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with osteoporosis and just about 50% of all women between 45-70 years of age suffer from it to a certain degree. Osteoporosis means porous bones and is a condition where the bones become weakened and brittle and may easily fracture. A precursor to osteoporosis is osteopenia or low bone mass, which currently affects about 35 million persons in the U.S. Although it is fairly common in the U.S., there are many areas of the world where osteoporosis is much less prevalent due mainly to better diets and more active lifestyles. Contrary to popular belief, osteoporosis is not a disease that only affects older women. It afflicts millions of men and it is even becoming more common in younger persons. In fact, osteoporosis is now responsible for about 1.5 million fractures annually. Do not despair, there are some simple things you can do to prevent this potentially devastating disease. Below are some recommendations that can help you maintain or increase bone strength naturally, without the use of drugs.
- Eat more vegetables, especially leafy greens, onions and cabbage which are rich in bone friendly essential vitamins and minerals. Make sure your vegetables are fresh and preferably organic. Fruits lower in sugar, such as berries, are beneficial as well.
- Eat enough high quality protein, such as fish, turkey, free range chicken/eggs, and grass fed meat. It will supply the body with needed amino acids to build a strong bone matrix.
- Consume essential fats such as Omega 3 and Omega 6. Good sources are all nuts, seeds, and avocados. Try to eliminate consuming processed/heated oils such as corn, soy, canola or safflower. Also, consider taking an Omega 3 supplement such as krill oil.
- Avoid sodas and refined sugars as much as possible; they deplete your bones of calcium. Do not smoke; cigarrette smoking is one your bones' biggest enemies.
- Exposure to sunshine is needed by your body to produce Vitamin D and is critical in maintaining strong bones. Try to get at least 15 to 20 minutes per day. If however, this is not an option, I generally recommend to supplement with 2000 to 5000 IU of Vitamin D daily. Furthermore, ask your doctor to check your blood levels.
- Exercise to strengthen your bones. Try to focus on weight-bearing exercises (against gravity) such as walking, jogging, dancing, weight training, rebounding, tennis etc.
- Avoid chronic stress which can increase your cortisol levels. Over time, elevated cortisol levels will increase bone loss and weaken them. Try to relax with music or drink a calming tea such as linden or lavender.
- During sleep is when we produce a surge of growth hormones. It is one of the key players in bone building. Sleep well, it is vital to rebuild and maintain strong bones.
- Hormones can help, such as estrogens and progesterones, but make sure they are bioidentical, or chemically identical to the hormones made in the body. Always consult a physician knowledgable in bioidentical hormone replacement before using them.
- Consider taking a supplement to optimize bone strength. A good quality bone supplement should include vitamin D, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, boron, silica and strontium in adequate amounts. Always seek supplements from reputable companies and, of course, always consult your physician before starting any new supplement.
The content on this website is for informative purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any symptoms or illnesses. Should you have any health related questions, you should contact your health care provider.