Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Walking?
Which of the following in NOT a direct benefit of a regular walking regimen?
Reduce Stress
Improved immune function
Achieving ideal weight.
Improved sugar metabolism

 
 
 What Doctors Don't Tell You: Osteoporosis 
 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 14, Issue 11)
Q A bone density test has revealed that I have signs of osteoporosis. My doctor has offered me drug treatment together with calcium and vitamin D, but I am very reluctant to take drugs because of the side-effects, and calcium makes me constipated.

I am on a vegetarian diet to control irritable bowel problems, so can you recommend a vegetarian diet I can follow to combat osteoporosis? - EC, Isle of Wight

A Women are more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, a disease that involves the loss of protein matrix tissue from the bone, causing it to become brittle. It’s often associated with the menopause because that’s when the ovaries stop producing oestrogen hormones, which help maintain bone mass.

But osteoporosis is just as likely to be a lifestyle disease, linked to our modern, protein-rich diets. We eat up to five times the protein our bodies actually need, and it’s the acid byproducts of protein that leach calcium and other minerals from our bones. This suggests that even young women (and men) eating a high-fat diet could be unwittingly weakening their bones. We begin to lose more bone than we make at around age 30, and the menopause may only be accelerating an already established pattern unless we have made efforts to reduce our protein intake.

It is simplistic to suggest that calcium on its own - either as a supplement or from dairy products - will reverse or even prevent osteoporosis. Eskimos have the highest intake of calcium in the world, with a daily consumption of 2000 mg per person mainly from fish bones, and yet they also have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world. Fish, along with meat and eggs, are the most acid-forming foods - and the ones that cause the greatest loss of calcium.

In contrast, the Chinese eat only half the daily amounts of calcium consumed in the West every day - and that mainly from vegetables - yet osteoporosis is rarely seen.

>From this, it’s not surprising to learn that vegetarians often have a higher bone density than carnivores. Research involving 1600 women, roughly half vegetarian and half meat-eaters, found that the average meat-eater had lost 35 per cent of her bone density by the time she reached age 80, whereas a vegetarian of at least 20 years’ standing would have lost, on average, only 18 per cent of her bone density (Am J Clin Nutr, 1988; 47: 1022-4).

Your being a vegetarian suggests that you’ve already taken the biggest step to slow the progress of your osteoporosis. It is important, nonetheless, to have a varied diet to combat the disease, and the best foods for this include the green leafy vegetables, alfalfa, kelp and cabbage, and all vegetables that are rich in boron, a mineral that reduces the excretion of calcium, and improves calcium and magnesium uptake. Nuts (especially almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts), avocados, and kidney and borlotti beans are also good sources of boron.

Fruits that are rich in vitamin C, such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, citrus, kiwi, peaches and apples can slow osteoporosis, as can dried figs, apricots and dates.

Nuts and seeds are a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Eat unsalted nuts, such as walnuts and brazil nuts, and sunflower, linseed and pumpkin seeds. Of the pulses and grains, try soybeans, wheatgerm, lentils, chickpeas and brown rice.

Your doctor is right to suggest vitamin D, as this helps the body absorb calcium, but the best source comes from the sun itself. The next best non-vegetarian source is oily fish; otherwise, you will need to take supplements. Other supplements to consider include magnesium, vitamin C, zinc and boron, although much of what you need can be derived from your diet.

Things to avoid other than meat include sugar, alcohol, cigarettes, coffee and, to a lesser extent, ordinary tea - use green or herbal teas instead. Finally, keep your weight down to a reasonable level, and try to take some gentle exercise every day, even if it’s just a walk to the shops and back.

 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Integrative Healthcare Symposium 2015
     February 19-21, 2015
     New York, NY USA
 
Wellness Inventory Certification Training (Level I)
     February 24-May 26, 2015
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Communicating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar