still much to learn about bone health and the many doís and doníts that
contribute to it. Statistics show that osteoporosis affects 1.4 million
Canadians. Itís characterized by
bone density deterioration that leads to increased fragility.
Bone loss sneaks up on us; there are no telltale symptoms.
While it largely afflicts people over 50, it can strike at any age.
surprises me that many women still donít take supplements since twice as many
women as men are affected by bone loss. As
a nutritionist and chiropractor for 22 years, I regularly see the negative
effects on their spines. We know
that stress depletes the nutrients our bodies need to heal and grow, so women
today who are stressed juggling work and family can be drastically affected.
Studies have shown that 70% of bone mass is genetically determined, while
30% is based on environment.
childhood to age 35 bones are building, but after 35, bone mass begins to
decrease. Here are 8 blocks to help
you build stronger bones and halt bone loss.
eat foods that pull calcium and nutrients out of bones: avoid sugar, alcohol,
caffeine and high protein (red meat) diets encourage mineral loss, usually in
the urine. Low calorie weight loss
diets, antacids and digestive disturbances lead to trace mineral malabsorption.
Foods high in phosphorus such as carbonated soft drinks promote bone
Do modify your diet
are living tissue and need a healthy diet to grow.
Eating raw veggies, especially leafy greens like kale, collards and
lettuce, fresh fruit, raw nuts and seeds; tofu, fresh water fish (sardines and
salmon with the bones) and low fat dairy products provide a wealth of vitamins
and minerals for a strong foundation.
replaces weight-bearing exercise. Unless
bones are challenges, no amount of calcium or remedy can change bone density.
Exercising 20-60 minutes three times per week, as well as a brisk walk,
aerobics, jogging, bouncing on a mini-trampoline or racquet sports will help
strengthen bones. Consult a
chiropractor, physiotherapist or personal trainer for other beneficial
weight-bearing exerciseÖto strengthen bonesĒ
take calcium with magnesium
needs to be replaced daily. Take an
absorbable microcrystalline calcium supplement such as hydroxyapatite (MCHA) or
calcium citrate, bound with magnesium in a 2:1 ratio.
Taking calcium alone can result in kidney and/or gallstones.
Do include other important nutrients
health depends on many interactive nutrients.
Minerals such as zinc, boron, chromium, silica from horsetail extract or
silicon and vanadium are important additions to your daily multi-vitamin and
mineral supplement. Vitamin D is
necessary for absorption; it draws calcium from the blood into the bones.
Cold water fish (salmon, tuna, halibut), eggs, fortified dairy, soy
products and sunlight are excellent sources.
Vitamin C enhances calcium assimilation into the body.
Vitamin K is important for bone metabolism to prevent bone loss.
Itís found in dark green leafy vegetables: broccoli, kale and organic
Tanabata Japanese Green Tea. A
Combination of Vitamin B6, folic acid and Vitamin B12 protects the body against
homocysteine build up known to interfere with collagen formation; an integral
part of bone development.
Do balance hormones
John Lee found that natural progesterone helped his patients increase bone
density by an average of 15.4%. Some
alternative options to hormone replacement therapy are to eat phyto-estrogenic
foods such as soya, brown rice, legumes, whole grains, papaya, clover and
alfalfa. Try herbal remedies such as panax ginseng, black cohosh, or
ipriflavone (an isoflavone-bioflavinoid derived from soy) for naturally
occurring estrogen. Topically
applied natural progesterone cream (3%) has been shown to balance hormones to
achieve positive bone mass increase. Discuss
the pros and cons with a health practitioner.
Do aid digestion
Adequate levels of
stomach acid (HCL) are critical for mineral absorption; this is often low in
women. Supplementing HCL, the
bitter herb gentian or plant enzymes taken with meals, can improve intestinal
absorption of all nutrients.
Do get advice
a knowledgeable expert for correct dosages for your body, ask questions and get
the information you need. It can
mean the difference between bones and teeth that are supportive, or a crumbling
foundation. Start early, itís never too late to halt or reverse bone
loss. The choice is yours.
Support your body NOW and will support you for the rest of your life.
Katrina Kulhay, Director of the Kulhay Wellness Centre and Instep Foot Care
Clinic, is a Nutritionist, Chiropractor, Acupuncturist and Foot Care Specialist
practicing in Toronto, Ontario.