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3 Natural Steps To Stop Or Reverse Osteoporosis

More than one million fractures occur annually in the U.S. and 300,000 of these are hip fractures. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of hip fractures will increase worldwide from 1.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million by 2050. In addition, what we previously thought was the answer to treat and / or prevent osteoporosis. Here are some of the best known risk factors:

o History breaks down after 50 years

o Decreased bone mass

or Post-menopause

Small and thin frame

o Family history of osteoporosis

o Vitamin D deficiency

o Low calcium intake

o Inactive lifestyle

o Cigarette smoking

o Use of certain drugs (cortisone, chemotherapy, prednison, anticonvulsants)

o Low testosterone in men

o Excessive use of alcohol and / or caffeine

There are other medical conditions that can cause unusual osteoporosis such as parathyroid tumors and digestive and absorption problems. Although there are medicines available for the treatment of osteoporosis, there are also fears of side effects. This fear has been borne out by recent findings of the side effects of hormone replacement therapy, Vioxx and other drugs. The causes and treatment of osteoporosis should not be taken lightly and people at risk may consult their doctor. That said, in the overview of treatments that have been shown to be effective in treating and / or preventing osteoporosis, there are three notable ones.

1. Eat a balanced diet including fat, carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) and protein along with calcium and vitamin D. Supplements Given our recent dietary status, I believe supplements are needed.

2. Exercises have been shown to stop and treat osteoporosis. Recommended exercise programs should include strength, weight training and flexibility training.

3. Sunlight in safe doses has also been shown to benefit bone health from vitamin D synthesis in the skin.

Stacked Myth Studies on Milk

In an article in the March 2005 issue of Pediatrics, some long-standing myths about milk. Author - PCRM senior nutrition scientist Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D; PCRM President Neal Barnard, M.D .; and Susan Berkow, Ph.D., C.N.S. - has reviewed over 50 studies on the effects of dairy products and other calcium-containing foods on bone density in children, adolescents, and young adults.

They conclude that there is little scientific evidence to support the suggestion that milk builds strong bones or to justify high art recommendations by the U.S. government. for calcium intake. Most studies have found that there is no relationship between calcium intake or diet and bone health.

The authors found no evidence that milk was a source of calcium. Although milk and other dairy products contain calcium, many factors influence the availability and retention of calcium from this product, one of which is lactose intolerance. Calcium from dairy products is also not as absorbed as in dark green leafy vegetables, but has a fraction of absorption similar to calcium supplements, calcium beverages, calcium tofu, sweet potatoes, and nuts.

Physical activity has shown significant positive effects on adolescent bone health. In addition to safe exposure to sunlight, avoiding smoking and high salt and caffeine intake, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables are good strategies to support healthy bone growth and maintenance.

The PCRM convened in Washington, D.C., on March 7, 2005 to share the findings of its bone health paper. It is protected by hundreds of media channels, including the Associated Press, Reuters, the Washington Post, CBS News, and CNN.

In discussing calcium supplements, the story comes to mind. Over twenty-five years ago my mentor was running down a grassy hill when he suddenly tripped and fell behind him. At the time he was 68 and had practiced chiropractic for almost thirty years. He asked me for a x-ray of his spine and pelvis and fortunately there was no bone fracture. When I saw x-rays, I was shocked to see his bones as if they were at least thirty years younger, even though he was a smoker. He is a strong believer in calcium supplements and is recommended to take 2,500 mg. daily calcium. He often tells his patients to "flood" their bodies with calcium because their calcium absorption is poor. Whether the supplement works or he just has a strong bone, I'll never know, but I'll never forget that.

Is Protein a Good Body?

Studies have shown that protein along with calcium and vitamin D are important for bone health. In one study (published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition), two groups of men and women aged 65 and older followed over three years. One group was given calcium and vitamin D supplements and the other half received placebo pills. Studies show that men and women who take supplements and have a protein-rich diet have higher bone density. The placebo group did not benefit from a diet rich in protein and experienced an increase in fractures over the course of three years.

How much protein and what source of protein a person needs to take depends on a person's biochemical personality. Let me first tell you the story of Dr. Kelly. Dr. Kelly was sick with cancer and through her studies determined that she should go on a vegetarian diet. Although on a vegetarian diet, his health improved and he felt better than he had in the long run so he decided that his wife should be on the program as well. To his surprise, he became very ill and his health began to decline. When Dr Kelly returned to his studies, he concluded that genetic inheritance also plays a role in metabolism. To illustrate this concept, there are two different groups to consider. Eskimos protein intake is estimated at 25 percent of total calories and they take 2,500 mg. daily calcium. However, their osteoporosis is one of the worst in the world. Bartus's group in South Africa uses a 12 percent diet mostly plant protein, and only 200 to 350 mg per day of calcium, about half of our female intake. Although women have six or more children and nurses for a long time, osteoporosis is a very rare disease there. When these women emigrated to the United States, they developed osteoporosis but did not look like Caucasian or Asian women. I agree that there are genetic differences that are modified by nutrition, but we cannot ignore the sun's factors. African women receive more vitamin D than Eskimo.

Sun and Vitamin D

In his book, The Healing Sun, Richard Hobday, MSc, PhD explains that traditionally, lack of sunlight has been associated with weak or fragile bones. This book quotes the writings of a Greek historian Herodotus (480-425 BC) who states that after the Battle of Pelusium (525 BC) there were extraordinary discoveries in the bodies of Persian and Egyptian victims. Persian skulls that always shield their heads from the sun with very thin and fragile skull caps. Egyptian skulls are very difficult and difficult to break. Egyptians shaved their heads from childhood to harden skulls by the effects of the sun.

Dr Hobday says there is a link between sunshine and certain conditions, one of which is osteoporosis. He explained that there were more hip fractures during the winter than at other times this year and that these fractures also became more common with increasing latitude. Although there is evidence that there are benefits to calcium and vitamin D supplements, the digestive system of the elderly is less efficient at absorbing oral supplements. Therefore, it is useful to include the benefits that sun bath will bring from vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Dr.'s book Hobday is very interesting and informative about the benefits of the sun and explains how to safely sunbathe.

Oregon State University Studies

Oregon State University conducted a five-year study and revealed that postmenopausal women participating in long-term fitness regimens that include jump training and weight-bearing resistance can prevent significant bone loss in the hip.

The average age of women in this study was 66 years at the beginning and participated in a five-year exercise program. The program includes three sessions a week consisting of resistance exercises with a jacket weighing one to 10 pounds. While wearing this jacket they do squats, lunges, step up and down and in and out of the chair. Jumping with a jacket about 50 times a day, three days a week is also part of the program. Women should jump no more than 4-5 inches and flat ground to distribute the troops. It is important to note that there is enough knee, ankle and hip strength and stability before the subjects participate in this exercise.

Significant improvement was observed in the bone density of women after five years. Christine Snow, director of the Bone Research Lab at OSU and lead researcher in the study stated that "Exercise is good or better than either estrogen or Fosamax to prevent bone loss."

Strength Training at the Mayo Clinic

More than a decade ago, scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota took a group of 50 women 58-75 and compared them to two different groups. One was a control group and the other practiced re-training for two years. Although the report does not provide the frequency with which the training is conducted, I should consider that three times a week is reasonable. After two years the strength of the coach has stronger back muscles but there is no difference between the groups in bone density. Then eight years later, scientists followed the women and tested them again to see if the difference still existed. Women who had strength training originally had stronger back muscles and better bone density than controls. It is also noted that women in the control group had nearly three times more spinal fractures than women originally in the strength training group. The control had 14 fractures and the strength of the trainer had only 6 fractures. This is a very significant difference between groups. Whether women in the strength training group continued to train for the next eight years is unknown.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility training is essential for improving joint movement and improving posture. Once your muscles are warmed up, enlargement can be done to improve the range of motion in the joints. Spinal swelling should be avoided or done with caution. If you have lower back conditions such as sciatica, flexion can cause flare-ups. There is also a greater risk of spinal fractures when osteoporosis is present. I encourage you to "be careful" to exercise regularly to increase strength and mobility. Because it is very important to prevent falls and fractures, observing the movement throughout your daily life activities is critical. Pilates is a great way to increase not only strength, flexibility and balance but it also excels in improving movement awareness. Pilates training is now available at local gyms and schools. All levels of Pilates training are also available on DVD.

While thinking about osteoporosis and movement, another story came to mind about an elderly female patient who came to see me for treatment for back pain. In taking her history, I asked if she had a broken bone. He explained that it was several years before he picked up the trash and by tying plastic bags to the knot and "knocking" his arm back to pull the knot, he broke a bone. This is a good example of why we need to be more aware of how we move once we get "advanced" in age.

I'm excited that we're seeing a fracture reduction with a simple strength training protocol. I hope this information will reach the majority of people so that bone loss can be prevented and / or reversed.

It was not long ago that doctors believed that bone loss in women after menopause was irreversible. We have been led to believe that our only hope is hormone replacement therapy. The good news is that with the three natural ways of treating bone loss as outlined above, we can take more responsibility for our bone health and look forward to a better quality of life and independent living.


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