Bone Breakers and Bone Builders

By Nancy Mehlert, MSbone health

Bone Breakers – Here are foods that suck the life and strength from your bones.

  • Sugar – When cellular glucose (sugar) levels rise too high from consuming sugar, the body cannot completely process it, resulting in the formation of acids which over-acidify the body. The body reacts by pulling calcium and magnesium from the bones and tissues to buffer acidic blood. In this way, we deplete our stores of calcium and magnesium. Calcium is the most prevalent mineral in the body and magnesium is required for hundreds of chemical reactions in the body.
  • Phosphoric Acid – Used to add tangy flavor and prevent mold in otherwise sugary substances, phosphoric acid is found in large quantity in soft drinks and is also added to bottled and canned iced teas, bottled and canned coffee beverages, breakfast cereal bars, non-diary creamers and enhanced chicken and meat products. Increased phosphorus in the body decreases calcium levels. Research has pointed heavily to destruction of bone health from overconsumption of soft drinks. Also, as the name suggests, it is acidic to the human body, so again, see the section above about sugar and the problem with acidity.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Really? You ask. While there are some benefits of apple cider vinegar, sometimes more is not better! According to Dr. Mercola1, long-term and excessive use of this highly acidic substance could potentially cause low potassium levels and lower bone density.  Because it is acidic, it can also impact your tooth enamel as well as tissues in the mouth and throat.
  • Imbalanced Diet – Optimal body functioning occurs in an alkaline state and this is created by many of the Bone Building Foods listed below. If you tend to consume a great deal of meat, dairy, processed grains of all kinds, sugary and processed foods and beverages which contain processed salt and sugar, it’s not likely you could consume enough alkalizing vegetables and fruits, herbs and clean water to offset the damage and inflammation created by the consequent acidity of such a diet. It’s interesting that the Standard American Diet has traditionally recommended 5+ servings of grains per day (which in our country are almost all highly processed into breads, cereals, crackers, snack food), 3+ servings of dairy per day, an emphasis on meat that is grain fed and antibiotic/hormone laden and little to no restriction on sugar. Hence, lifestyle diseases.  Balance is the key.

Bone Building Foods – Here are the foods that should make up the preponderance of our diets, supplemented with some animal foods such as grass-fed meats, pasture raised eggs and wild caught seafood.  They promote alkalinity (they are alkaline forming even if they taste acidic) and/or provide the complex variety of essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients needed to build healthy bones.

  • Clean pure water, free of fluoride, chlorination and other contaminants. Clean water is very alkalizing and essential to life.
  • Vegetables – while all vegetables are alkalizing, the greens are especially helpful including lettuces, kale, spinach, field greens, collard, mustard and beet greens, cabbage, spirulina, chlorella and most herbs. Squash and root vegetables are also helpful.
  • Fruits – In moderation, particularly alkalizing fruits include lemon, grapefruit, and avocado. Most fruits, if eaten at peak ripeness, are alkalizing, but if eaten too early can be quite acidic.
  • Nuts and Seeds – Nuts provide many of the micronutrients needed to build strong bones, including many minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, selenium (Brazil nuts), copper (almonds), boron (walnuts) and zinc (pumpkin seeds and cashews).
  • Bone Broth –when made in the old traditional method through a slow simmering of bones and joints, bone broth is full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other bone building nutrients.
  • Fermented Foods – Vitamin K2 is a fat- soluble vitamin whose primary role is to move calcium into proper areas such as bone and teeth, and to prevent it from accumulating where it should not be, such as in the kidneys or arteries. This vitamin is produced by your gut bacteria and very difficult to get in your diet or through supplementation. An ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, sustain a good level of favorable bacteria in the gut, which in turn produces K2, is to consume fermented foods with those bacteria in them. Almost any veggie can be fermented, though cabbage is the most well-known, in the form of sauerkraut.

So there you have it.  When it comes to what you eat, real whole food that includes a balanced diet largely inclusive of vegetables, nuts and seeds and moderate amounts of meats and fruits will contribute to good health, all the way down to your bones.

 

 

References:

  1. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/06/02/apple-cider-vinegar
By | 2017-07-05T12:07:43+00:00 July 4th, 2017|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones and So Will This

By Mila McManus MD and Nancy Mehlert MSosteoporosis

We tend to not think about our bone health until we break one. , but maybe we should. The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research reported a study which revealed that 10.2 million adults have osteoporosis and another 43.4 million have low bone mass (osteopenia).  That’s more than one-half of the total U.S. adult population! The study projects that by 2020, the number of adults over age 50 with osteoporosis or low bone mass will grow from approximately 54 million to 64.4 million and by 2030, the number will increase to 71.2 million (a 29% increase from 2010).  Moreover, it’s anticipated that the number of fractures will grow proportionately. ¹

Osteoporosis is defined by the National Osteoporosis Foundation as a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both, and as a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps. The word osteoporosis means “porous bone.” Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone. Osteoporotic bones have lost density and mass and contain abnormal tissue structure. As bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to break. ²

The good news is that most people can prevent, or reverse, bone loss through lifestyle choices.  Here’s a list of important considerations to building and protecting your bones so that you don’t become a statistic:

  • Healthy bones require many nutrients, including protein, fats, vitamins and minerals to stay strong and repair themselves. Simply trying to increase calcium is an inadequate and potentially harmful approach, as research is suggesting this can actually worsen your bone density and lead to heart attacks.²   Instead, it is important to obtain proper balances of vitamin D and K as well as boron, silica, manganese, copper, iodine, magnesium, chromium, zinc and selenium.  Proper supplementation can go a long way to protecting your bones.
  • Nutrition plays a very foundational and critical role in bone health. There are important foods to include to optimize bone health. Equally important, there are foods that pull calcium away from bones and need to be avoided.  Some of them may surprise you! See our Nutrition Nugget for details.
  • Exercise increases bone strength, especially weight bearing choices such as walking, hiking, jogging, stair climbing, lifting weights and playing tennis.
  • Those who smoke cigarettes or drink excessive alcohol are more prone to bone loss and broken bones as well as more likely to get other lifestyle diseases.
  • Low estrogen levels in women and low testosterone levels in men can cause osteoporosis. In fact, bio-identical hormones, especially the use of progesterone and testosterone, have proven very effective with increasing bone density. Synthetic hormones have not proven very successful and come with many side effects.
  • Medications can also steal bone health so it may pay off to discuss with your medical provider if you are using any medications that negatively impact your bones. Some examples include proton pump inhibitors used for heartburn, long term use of high dose steroids such as prednisone, chemotherapy and anticonvulsants.
  • Fluoridated Water and other sources of fluoride such as toothpastes, mouthwashes, foods and beverages processed with fluoridated water are problematic for our bones over time. Excess fluoride in the body results in excessive thickening of bone causing joint pain, bone pain and stiffness.  Interestingly, even though the bone becomes thicker, it becomes more brittle. Fluoride should not be ingested for many reasons, bone health being just one example. ⁴

So take control, examine your bone health strategy and take positive steps to improve it.  Talk to our medical providers for recommendations and a good plan for you.

 

 

References:

¹https://www.nof.org/news/54-million-americans-affected-by-osteoporosis-and-low-bone-mass/

²http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/30/calcium-supplement-on-heart-attack.aspx

³https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/

⁴http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/08/bone-fluorides-magnet-new-studies-halflife.aspx

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/556768 (hip fx more deadly than breast ca in women 65+)

By | 2017-07-04T09:08:48+00:00 July 4th, 2017|Articles, General|