Osteoporosis & Woman’s Health

Osteoporosis and the broken bones it can cause are not part of normal aging.
IMG_8401Photo by now.org

Our bones are constantly being remodeled, with bone tissue being broken down and rebuilt on a regular basis. It is much like the natural removal of dead skin to make way for new skin. Peak bone mass usually happens between the ages of 18 and 25. The more bone you have at the time of peak bone mass, the less likely you are to break a bone or get osteoporosis later in life [1].

Bone density (the degree of mineralization of the bone matrix) usually increases until about the age of 30, but after that, trouble can begin. For women, that bone loss speeds up significantly during the first 10 years after menopause when estrogen levels drop sharply. In fact, in the five to seven years after menopause, which is the rapid bone loss period when osteoporosis often develops, women can lose up to 20 percent or more of their bone density. But the loss of bone minerals continues throughout the rest of a person’s life. Osteoporosis sets in when more bone is lost than can be rebuilt. Eventually, bones become brittle and easily fractured.

Did you know…

Healthy teeth and healthy bones go together naturally. If you have osteoporosis, you may have a higher risk of losing your teeth. When your jawbone becomes less dense, teeth can loosen. In fact, women with osteoporosis tend to have fewer teeth than women with normal bone density.

Osteoporosis can be influenced by the following risk factors:

  • Genetics – Women are more at risk.
  • Inactivity – A sedentary lifestyle promotes bone loss as well as muscle loss.
  • Smoking [2] – The longer you smoke and the more cigarettes you consume, the greater your risk of fracture in old age.
  • Menopause [3] and increased belly fat – The study in Journal Bone [4] revealed that women with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 – which is considered overweight, with more belly fat had increased bone marrow fat and lowered bone density.
  • High-acid diet – (high in animal protein and grains, low in vegetables and fruit) causes an increase in urinary excretion of calcium, leading to bone loss.
  • High consumption of animal protein – Some studies have shown that a diet high in animal protein actually promotes bone loss by leaching calcium from the bones
  • Lack of Vitamin D, K2, Calcium – For the calcium to bind and ultimately become bone, it requires the services of vitamins K-2 and D-3. One study followed over 72,000 women for 10 years. It was found that women who had the lowest intake of vitamin K-2 had a 30% higher risk of hip fractures. Women who had the highest intake of vitamin K-2 had a 65% lower incidence of hip fractures [5].
  • Excessive alcohol intake – due to the diuretic effect of alcohol, which induces calcium losses through the urine. Alcohol can also decrease the absorption of calcium from the intestines and cause deficiencies in vitamin D and magnesium – both of which are important to bone health.
  • Colas and coffee [6] – due to caffeine intake and phosphoric acid in cola that leaches calcium out of the bone.

There is a lot you can do to protect your bones throughout your life.

Suggested lifestyle changes for Osteoporosis prevention:

  1. Sardines. I always say eat bones for your bones. That’s why I love sardines. Three ounces of canned sardines give you almost as much calcium as a cup of milk. These tiny fish also have a big supply of vitamin D.
  2. Fennel. New research published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine [7] shows eating the seeds of the fennel plant had a beneficial effect on loss of bone mineral density, as well as bone mineral content. Researchers indicated that fennel seeds show potential in preventing bone loss in postmenopausal osteoporosis.
  3. Plenty of Vegetables. Fresh, raw vagetables, [8] especially leafy greens supplies your body with nutrients that are essential for bone health, like vitamin K1 and potassium. Your body needs potassium to maintain proper pH levels in your body fluids, and optimize your sodium to potassium ratio which also affects your bone mass. Get enough calcium. Choose organic, high quality dairy products such as yogurt. Eat more dark green vegetables like collard greens, bok choy and broccoli, If you find it difficult to eat the recommended amount of vegetables you need daily, give vegetable juicing a try.                                                                                                             Watch youtube video Juicing vs Blending FullSizeRender-7                So in order to get the benefits of calcium-rich foods, you need to consume magnesium-rich foods as well, like flaxseeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, swiss chard, almonds, avocados, black beans.
  1. Fermented Vegetables. Vitamin K2, also called menaquinone, is made by the bacteria that line your gastrointestinal tract. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth. It also plays a role in removing calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues. Fermented vegetables, which are one of my new passions, primarily for supplying beneficial bacteria back into our gut, can be a great source of vitamin K.
  2. Make sure you get enough vitamin D. I recommend supplementing with 2,000 IU daily for adults.
  3. Increase weight-bearing activities, such as walking, weight training and calisthenics. Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  4. Bone Broth. As chicken or beef marrow bones simmer in the pot for hours they release collagen, the material that helps keep your bones flexible. Click here for my Bone Broth recipe.
  5. Fruit and berries. Vitamin C helps new osteoblasts form to build new bone and also helps build the collagen network. Kiwi a great source of vitamin C, so are berries, citrus fruits, bell peppers.
  6. Bone Nutrients. do–TERRA Women Bone Nutrient Lifetime Complex is a blend of vitamins and minerals that are essential for bone health in women beginning in adolescence and continuing through menopause. Balance normal hormone levels with do–TERRA Women Phytoestrogen Lifetime Complex. Maintaining hormonal balance can help reduce uncomfortable issues associated with PMS and the transition through menopause, and will provide additional support for healthy bones, heart, breast tissue, and other body structures and function as a woman ages.

Try this “Silicone Building” tea or infusion:

Pour 1/2 liter of boiling water over 2 heaping teaspoons of dried horsetail, 2 teaspoons oat straw and 2 teaspoons stinging nettle. Strain after 10 minutes for tea or leave overnight to make infusion.

There is a big controversy about Benefits and risks of osteoporosis drugs and that bone strengthening drugs actually cause bone fractures. There are lots of resources on internet so I will let you be the judge.

You’re never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones. Whatever your age, the habits you adopt now can affect your bone health for the rest of your life. Now is the time to take action.

Would love to hear your thoughts – what did you try, what did work for you. Email me HERE

To your healthy bones, ~ Vilma

References:

  1. www.nof.org
  2. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/Osteoporosis/conditions_Behaviors/bone_smoking.asp
  3. NHS UK
  4. Bone. Dec 2010
  5. Booth, Tucker. Dietary Vitamin K intake associated with hip fracture but not bone density. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.2000 May. 1201-6
  6. Cleveland Clinic
  7. International Journal of Molecular Medicine June 2012
  8. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 2006
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