Here are a list of the 10 most common myths we’ve been told about osteoporosis, osteopenia and bone health.
Myth 1: Lack of calcium & estrogen – Japanese women get less than ½ the calcium recommendation yet US Hip fracture rate is 2X higher than Japanese women; native cultures have lower estrogen and LESS fractures; Before menopause there is lots of bone loss yet estrogen levels are higher
Myth 2: Osteoporosis is normal with age
Myth 3: Diagnosis of osteoporosis = fracture – over ½ the people with osteoporosis never experience a fracture
Myth 4: Osteopenia = Osteoporosis – It’s never too late to rebuild!
Myth 5: It’s a Woman’s’ problem
Myth 6: It happens only after menopause – It can start in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s, bone building peaks in our 20’s then starts to decline; being thin, positive for celiac disease, history of irregular cycles, poor nutrition and steroid drugs all contribute to bone loss.
Myth 7: Nothing you can do once you have it – Surgeon General recommends starting with a natural approach
- Assess causes and correct
- Nutrition, physical activity, and fall prevention
- Last resort – drugs
Myth 8: Common all over the world – USA has highest fracture rate
Myth 9: Not linked to other health issues – research shows a link between osteoporosis and other diseases; improve bones by improving metabolic function, fitness level, cardiovascular & blood pressure
Myth 10: No signs or symptoms
- Receding gums
- Decreased grip strength
- Weak & brittle finger nails
- Muscle aches
- Height loss
- pH = acidic
There are twenty important nutrients involved in bone health. I want to focus on the seven most important nutrients of the twenty. As you will see, eating a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods is critical for good bone health.
Most of us have been told to take calcium to build and keep strong bones. Calcium is a necessary bone-building nutrient but it does not do the job by itself.
Calcium is important for bone development, strength, and rigidity.
Calcium can be obtained through various foods and supplements.
The foods highest in calcium are:
Greens, nuts, bone marrow, seaweed, and dairy (if no known sensitivity exists)
Magnesium is necessary for calcium absorption, regulation of bone breakdown, production of bone-preserving hormones, and conversion of Vitamin D to its active form.
The foods highest in magnesium are:
Spinach, wild or brown rice, flax, beans, almonds & cashews, avocado, and squash
3. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is important for calcium absorption
The best sources of Vitamin D3 are:
Sunshine, fatty fish, beef liver, eggs, and butter
*Most people need more than they are getting from diet and will need to supplement.
4. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is required for the structure of bone tissue, the binding of calcium to the bone matrix, and for blood clotting.
Food sources of K
Leafy greens, vegetables, and green tea, Fermented foods, Natto (fermented soybeans; must be organic, NON-GMO)
Zinc recycles bone protein, promotes bone healing, and aids in collagen production for new bone. Zinc is also needed for smell & taste.
Zinc can be found in:
Wheat germ, oysters, beef & pork liver (clean sourced), turkey, lamb, chicken, and crabmeat.
Bone cartilage and bone collagen require manganese as does bone mineralization.
Food sources of manganese are:
Whole grain rye, buckwheat, leafy vegetables, greens, and blackstrap molasses.
Boron is required for proper metabolism of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D.
Good sources of boron are:
Chickpeas, Almonds, beans & legumes, prunes, and raisins.