There was a poster in a doctor's office, put out by a pharmaceutical company, that said, "Take [name of drug] to help prevent the bone loss disease, Osteoporosis". I was shocked! Like a lot of other "diseases", osteoporosis is not a disease; it is a symptom of an underlying condition. It literally means porous bones. It's not caused by something their pill is going to address, but the drug company would have you believe that it's a disease, and since the best way to deal with disease is to prevent it, take this pill. I say, find out why your bones are losing their mass, and correct the cause. And like I said above, it's unlikely that you're not getting enough calcium.
bone mass is lost, bones are weakened and become more susceptible to fracture.
Americans suffer more than 1.5 million fractures every year from osteoporosis.
It is a widespread problem, affecting both men and women, with potentially
devastating consequences. Approximately 25% will never walk again unassisted,
25% will end up in nursing homes, and 25% will die within three months
of conditions related to the fracture. Like most other chronic, degenerative
conditions, osteoporosis is extremely rare among cultures that eat traditional
Meat is a high protein product. Animal protein metabolizes in our bodies forming two strong acids, sulfuric and phosphoric. To keep our blood pH slightly alkaline, our bodies need to neutralize (buffer) these acids, and calcium is the best substance our bodies have to do this. And the most plentiful source of calcium is, you guessed it, our bones. Animal protein also contains large amounts of phosphorous, which reacts with calcium to form an insoluble compound, inhibiting calcium absorption. If you eat a diet high in animal protein, it doesn't matter how much calcium you consume, you will still lose bone mass.
Dairy products are another factor in bone loss. If milk were really good for our bones, Americans would have some of the strongest bones in the world. Instead, we have some of the weakest! For the same reasons as meat (high protein), the calcium in dairy products causes a negative calcium balance; more calcium is lost than is gained. Additionally, milk is low in magnesium, a needed co-factor for calcium uptake. In-other-words, if you want to improve your chances of getting osteoporosis, consume plenty of milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.
Another contributor to osteoporosis: Refined sugar. These sugars are absorbed quickly, and rapidly increase the glucose levels in our cells. These levels increase faster than the cell's oxygen level, which causes incomplete oxidation of the glucose, which form acids. And as stated above, acids acidify the body, requiring buffering with calcium which leads to bone loss. And processed sugars strip the body of magnesium, which is needed for bone remineralization.
Soda containing phosphoric acid also contributes to osteoporosis; the acid having to be neutralized with calcium.
While a major culprit, diet isn't the only cause of osteoporosis. Bone loss is also intensified by smoking, caffeine, alcohol, and lack of weight-bearing exercise and inadequate sunshine. But besides bone loss, lack of bone gain also invites osteoporosis. Adequate absorption of vitamins and minerals are necessary to form new bone. As you might expect, calcium is a big player in this process. But it is usable calcium that forms bone. Good sources of bioavailable calcium are green vegetables like romaine lettuce and spinach, and various fruits like strawberries for example (actually all fruits have some calcium).
Bone building also needs magnesium, which converts vitamin D to its bioactive form necessary for calcium absorption. Exposure to adequate amounts of strong enough sunlight will provide you with vitamin D (and D sulfate). Manganese is another player, needed both for bone mineralization and for synthesis of the organic matrix on which calcification takes place.
A host of other nutrients
are essential for strong bones. Folic acid, vitamins K, B6, C, and the
minerals silicon, boron and zinc play a major role. Eating a plant-based
diet consisting of a variety of fresh, unprocessed, uncooked, organic
fruits, vegetables, and occasional nuts and seeds is a way to get some
of these nutrients. Along with weight-bearing exercise, enough sunshine,
and the avoidance of lifestyle habits that interfere with calcium absorption,
you should be able to have healthy bones for your entire life.