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Strong Bones: Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis Naturally

Strong bones help prevent osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and break easily. Osteoporosis is, indeed. a major health concern for western women. However, it should be noted that women in other cultures around the world either do not suffer from osteoporosis or have lower bone density but with no increased risk of fracture. Recent news reports have raised the question about whether there is an increased risk of fracture in patients with osteoporosis using medication known as bisphosphonates.

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Myths and Misinformation about Bone Loss

How do you increase your bone density? 
Prevention and treatment of Osteoporosis bone loss Contrary to the medical marketing hype, synthetic hormonal drugs, dairy products and most calcium supplements actually weaken the bones and have other harmful effects on health.

In a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised concerns about the potential for some serious side effects in women taking bone-building drugs called bisphosphonates, specifically Fosamax, Actonel and Reclast.

The published findings are not new. In 2011, the agency voiced concerns that taking the drugs long-term may actually make bones weaker and increase the risk of serious side effects such as atypical fractures of the thigh bone, esophageal cancer and osteonecrosis of the jaw, a rare but painful condition in which the jaw bone crumbles. To investigate, the FDA reviewed data from women who had taken the drugs for six to 10 years.

Researchers believe that bisphosphonates not only suppress bone resorption, but also interfere with new bone formation. This effect is seen only after bisphosphonates have been used for more than five years. Studies of Fosamax were cleverly stopped after four to six years. This is just the point at which the fracture rate for women taking similar drugs began to rise. Now doctors worry that staying on the drug for more than five years can cause some women's bones to become more brittle. Merck & Co. is facing legal fire related to its osteoporosis drug Fosamax. Plaintiffs allege that long-term Fosamax use causes osteonecrosis of the jaw, a rare type of jawbone degeneration.

Women are constantly bombarded with the message that the war on bone loss must include calcium supplements and a daily consumption of calcium-rich foods , primarily dairy products. Board-certified cardiologist, Thomas E. Levy, offers scientific proof that the regular intake of dairy and calcium supplementation promotes all known chronic degenerative diseases and significantly shortens life

Osteoporosis: The Dairy Product Myth

Study shows that women who got the most calcium from dairy products actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk.

Developing Osteoporosis Risk Factors The dairy industry spends several billion dollars each year trying to convince you that you can't live without your two glasses of pasteurized, homogenized milk each day. The fact is that animal protein inhibits the absorption of calcium. Women from third world countries who have a very low calcium intake combined with a low intake of animal protein, including dairy, have much less of an incidence of osteoporosis.

Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD - "... Hip fracture rates vary 30-fold around the world, with some cultures being almost immune to osteoporotic fractures. Cultures with the highest calcium intake have the highest osteoporosis rates. Further, in many countries, such as Germany and China, people have lower bone density than we do, yet they fracture much less than we do in the US.

Study show that women who got the most calcium from dairy products actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk. Although many people think of calcium in the diet as good protection for their bones, this is not at all the whole story. In fact, in a 12-year Harvard study of 78,000 women, those who got the most calcium from dairy products actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk. Similarly, a 1994 study of elderly men and women in Sydney, Australia, showed that higher dairy product consumption was associated with increased fracture risk. Those with the highest dairy product consumption had approximately double the risk of hip fracture compared to those with the lowest consumption. To protect your bones you do need calcium in your diet, but you also need to keep calcium in your bones.

Many scientific studies have shown an assortment of detrimental health effects directly linked to milk consumption. And the most surprising link is that not only do we barely absorb the calcium in cow's milk (especially if pasteurized), but to make matters worse, it actually increases calcium loss from the bones.

A 1994 study of elderly men and women in Sydney, Australia, showed that higher dairy product consumption was associated with increased fracture risk. Those with the highest dairy product consumption had approximately double the risk of hip fracture compared to those with the lowest consumption. To protect your bones you do need calcium in your diet, but you also need to keep calcium in your bones.

Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD - "... Hip fracture rates vary 30-fold around the world, with some cultures being almost immune to osteoporotic fractures. Cultures with the highest calcium intake have the highest osteoporosis rates. Further, in many countries, such as Germany and China, people have lower bone density than we do, yet they fracture much less than we do in the US. "

What vitamins do you take for osteoporosis?A study to determine the effects of milk consumption on the calcium metabolism of healthy postmenopausal women funded by the National Dairy Council showed that drinking three 8-ounce glasses of low fat milk a day for one year failed to create a positive calcium balance in these women. Magnesium Deficiency Can Seriously Impact Your Bones and your Health. It is much better to supplement with magnesium, and eat minimal animal protein after menopause.

Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. Calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is in the bones. The very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.

Chronic Acidosis and Osteoporosis

Stronger Bones Without Drugs, Increase Bone Density‎ A seven-year study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, on 9,000 women showed that those who have chronic acidosis are at greater risk for bone loss than those who have normal pH levels. The scientists who carried out this experiment believe that many of the hip fractures prevalent among middle-aged women are connected to high acidity caused by a diet rich in animal foods and low in vegetables. This is because the body borrows calcium from the bones in order to balance pH. The cells of the body in health are alkaline. In disease the cell pH is below 7.0. The more acid the cells become, the sicker we are and feel. We can remain in health by consuming a diet that is 70-80% alkaline and 20-30% acid. Most raw-foods diets are predominantly alkaline forming foods.

Osteoporosis From Fluoride in the Water, Mouth Wash and Toothpaste

Scientists at EPA in Washington have declared that there is every reason to believe that the increasing numbers of people with osteoporosis, carpal-tunnel syndrome and arthritis-like pains are due to the mass fluoridation of drinking water.

Soft drinks are high in phosphoric acid and sugar, making these drinks highly acidic. Calcium is the main mineral utilized by the body to neutralize that acid. So phosphoric acid or high amounts of other acids depletes calcium levels, causing calcium to be pulled from the bones. Calcium is pulled out of the body when this happens, and this lowers blood calcium levels. To remedy this, the parathyroid gland restores calcium balance in the blood by pulling calcium from your bones. Consequently, anything highly acidic like soft drinks can directly lead to osteoporosis.

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Natural Alternative Programs for the Prevention and Recovery of Bone Loss

Protection from bone loss Glutathione is shown to be highly effective in increasing the formation of osteoblasts - which increase bone density, and reduce the amount of osteoclasts that adsorb bones. The researchers were looking at why estrogen deficiency causes bone loss, and noted that when they removed the ovaries from rats, stopping the production of estrogen, the levels of glutathione fell sharply. When they administered estrogen, the levels rapidly returned to normal.

Next, the researchers looked for an alternative to estrogen (as it is so unhealthy in the drug form) to stop the bone loss. They administered nutritional precursors of glutathione (which is what Immunocal does better than anything) and found that these stopped and reversed the bone loss in those rats. To prove the glutathione link to bone loss, they administered a specific inhibitor of glutathione synthesis which induced substantial bone loss.

The conclusions from this study are that estrogen, at least in great part, prevents bone loss by stimulating formation of active sulfur-based antioxidants (glutathione) in bone osteoclasts. Adequate levels of glutathione inhibit osteoclast production and over activity, but doesn't harm the osteoclast cells, like drugs might. Glutathione had the same bone loss preventing effect as estrogen. Glutathione keeps osteoclast function in proper balance, and evidently through the same mechanism as estrogen. When estrogen is low or nonexistent, osteoclasts spin out of balance because the body loses its ability to manufacture glutathione in these cells.

Magnesium plays important role in building strong bones

Reversing bone loss Magnesium stimulates parathyroid hormone and calcitonin, two hormones that prevent bone thinning," says Dr. Dean. "Getting 320 mg. of magnesium daily could prevent osteoporosis altogether." Doctors, too, stress the importance of calcium to their older patients trying to avoid bone loss and osteoporosis. But a physician at the Keck School of Medicine of USC is looking one rung beyond calcium in the periodic table of the elements: magnesium. Magnesium seems to play a role in keeping bones healthy, said Robert Rude, USC professor of medicine.

Epidemiological studies looking at bone health and diet have found that the more magnesium people consume in their food, the denser their bones. Dr. Carolyn Dean discusses in her very important book The Miracle of Magnesium, magnesium deficiency is a significant factor -- often the major factor -- in many other severe illnesses including heart attacks and other forms of heart disease, asthma, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, fatigue, diabetes, migraines and other headaches, osteoporosis, insomnia, and most cases of muscular problems. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium to some degree and many are severely deficient. Because magnesium deficiency is largely overlooked by orthodox medical doctors, millions of Americans suffer needlessly from the foregoing ailments or are having their symptoms treated with expensive drugs (which often have unpleasant or dangerous side effects) when they could be cured with magnesium supplementation. Chlorophyll and green vegetables contain large amounts of magnesium.

Fruits and Vegetable Diet

Raw Food for Strong Bones and osteoporosis prevention Raw Fruits and vegetables are rich in several nutrients that appear to play important roles in bone health, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K. Several epidemiological studies have found that higher intakes of fruits and vegetables, particularly those rich in potassium, are associated with higher BMD and lower risk of fracture in older adults. Fruits and vegetables are rich in precursors to bicarbonate ions, which can preserve calcium in bones by buffering organic acids consumed in the diet or generated metabolically. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) studies have also reported that high fruit and vegetable intake may improve bone health.

Originally designed to test the effect of diet on blood pressure, the DASH trial compared three diets: a control diet that provided only 3 servings of fruits or vegetables, a diet that provided about 8 servings of fruits or vegetables, and a diet that provided 8 servings of fruits or vegetables and 3 servings of low-fat dairy products (now called the DASH diet). In addition to lowering blood pressure, both fruit- and vegetable-rich diets reduced urinary calcium loss, and the DASH diet lowered biochemical markers of bone turnover, particularly bone resorption (loss). Taken together, the results of epidemiological and clinical trials suggest that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that contains adequate calcium and vitamin D may help prevent bone loss. Eat a minimum of 5 servings of a variety of different colored fruits or vegetables daily. Teenage and adult women should aim for at least 7 servings, while teenage and adult men should aim for 9 servings (the equivalent of 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit).

Vitamin D and Sunlight

Although it has long been known that severe vitamin D deficiency adversely affects bone health, recent research suggests that marginal vitamin D deficiency is common and increases the risk of osteoporosis. When vitamin D is metabolized to its most active form, it increases the intestinal absorption of calcium and prevents urinary calcium loss. Without sufficient vitamin D, calcium absorption is not efficient enough to satisfy the body's needs, even when calcium intake is adequate.

Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin when exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation from sunlight and can be obtained from the diet. Very little UVB radiation reaches the earth above 37 degrees of latitude from November through February, so people who live north of 37 degrees produce little if any vitamin D during late fall and winter (see map). The application of sunscreen with an SPF factor of 8 reduces skin production of vitamin D by 95% even in summer. The ability to synthesize vitamin D in the skin also decreases with age. A 70-year-old makes only 25% of the vitamin D made by a 20-year-old exposed to the same amount of sunlight.

Dr. Lee's 3 Osteoporosis Myths

Dr. John Lee MD - "Estrogen's Deadly Truth: a story of deception, betrayal, hidden agendas, propaganda and misinformation. I saw these patients who were on estrogen and they were getting swollen breasts and fibrosistic breast disease, they were getting fat around their middle, their hips, their abdomen, losing libido and getting depressed."

Myth #1: Osteoporosis is an estrogen-deficiency disease . Not even basic medical texts agree with this. It is a fabrication of the pharmaceutical industry with no scientific evidence to support it. Osteoporosis begins long before estrogen levels fall, and accelerates for a few years at menopause. Taking estrogen can slow bone-loss for those few years, but its effect wears off within a few years after menopause. Most importantly, estrogen cannot rebuild new bone. Osteoporosis was intentionally exploited by the drug companies in the mid-1970's as compelling reason for women to take HRT. (In 1976 two studies reported that estrogen replacement therapy caused an 800% increase in endometrial cancer in the previous 10 years). To convince women to return to using these steroid hormone treatments an intentional advertising campaign was launched to scare women back to hormones. Up until that time, osteoporosis was a relatively unknown condition by the public. It took a while but the campaign ultimately was successful. Osteoporosis was perceived as primarily a woman's disease. Menopause and estrogen deficiency were seen as the culprits and, Hormone Replacement Therapy was deemed the primary solution. Madison Avenue does it again!!

Myth #2: Osteoporosis is a calcium-deficiency disease . Most women with osteoporosis are getting plenty of calcium in their diet. It is quite easy to get the minimum daily requirement of calcium in even a relatively poor diet. The truth is that osteoporosis is a disease of excessive calcium-loss caused by many factors. In osteoporosis, calcium is being lost from the bones faster than it is being added, regardless of how much calcium a woman consumes. Good bone health comes down to eating a nutrient rich diet (it has now proven that organic foods have a higher nutritional content), including regular weight-bearing exercise, reducing the toxic and heavy metal load, reducing stress ( adrenal exhaustion leads to bone loss), having strong digestion in order to properly digest and assimilate nutrients and hormonal balance.

Myth #3: Osteoporosis is a disease of menopause. This is at least a decade short of the truth. Osteoporosis begins anywhere from five to 20 years prior to menopause, when estrogen levels are still high. Osteoporosis accelerates at menopause or when a woman's ovaries are surgically removed or become non-functional, such as can happen after hysterectomy. It is staggering to think how many thousands or millions of women have been doomed to a crippled old age or early death because their ovaries and/or uterus were unnecessarily removed before menopause and natural progesterone replacement was ignored. It used to be thought that all women have a considerable decrease in bone at menopause from lower estrogen levels - thus estrogen deficiency was said to be the cause of osteoporosis. Continuing research has disproved this idea. Studies following individual women's bone density over time have shown that although some women  lose a lot of bone with menopause, other lose comparatively little, Also, for some women, bone loss starts before menopause. One study using urine tests to measure calcium loss found that some women are "fast losers" and others are naturally "normal losers." Dr. Jerilynn Prior, researcher and professor of endocrinology at the University of British Columbia has conducted research that seriously challenges estrogen's key role in preventing bone loss. Her research confirmed that estrogen's role in combating osteoporosis is only a minor one. In her study of female athletes, she found that osteoporosis occurs to the degree that the athlete's became progesterone deficient, even though their estrogen levels remained normal.

The Root Cause of Osteoporosis

When millions of people around the world start experiencing the same health problems, something is seriously wrong. Something is unbalanced. And it's never an "accident". What scientists have now discovered is... that the Root Cause of Osteoporosis is the modern lifestyle, causing your body to become diseased by acids, sugars, carbohydrates, excess fats and uric acid (all very common in our modern diets) keep flowing through our bloodstream.

Therefore, any condition is merely a warning sign of a breakdown in your body due to your lifestyle that takes you out of balance this is when you develop "Osteoporosis." And if you don't stop the attacks on your body, you develop even more serious conditions and eventually truly life-threatening health problems. The radical change in diet and lifestyle in the last 100 years has actually transformed your body into a toxic wasteland.

Understand Osteoporosis

"To understand osteoporosis it is important to know a bit about bones. Bone-forming cells are of two different kinds. One type are called osteoclasts, and their job is to travel through the bone in search of old bone that is in need of renewal. Osteoclasts dissolve bone and leave behind tiny unfilled spaces. Osteoblasts move into these spaces in order to build new bone. A lack of estrogens, as experienced at menopause, indirectly stimulates the growth of osteoclasts, thus increasing the risk for developing osteoporosis. HRT containing estrogen should therefore help prevent osteoporosis.

From this point of view it does. However, osteoclast cells have been shown to have no estrogen receptors in themselves, so cannot directly build new bone. On the other hand, osteoblast cells, which are responsible for making new bone, have been shown to have not estrogen but progesterone receptors. What this means is that it is progesterone (the natural form, not the synthetic progestins), not estrogen, which is responsible for building bone tissue. This view is upheld in the Scientific American Updated Medicine Text 1991, which states, "Estrogens decrease bone resorption, but associated with the decrease in bone resorption is a decrease in bone formation. Therefore, estrogen should not be expected to increase bone mass."

The authors also discuss estrogen side-effects, including the risk of endometrial cancer which "is increased six-fold in women who receive estrogen therapy for up to five years; the risk is increased to fifteen-fold in long-term users." Dr. Kitty Little from Oxford found masses of tiny clots in the bones of rabbits treated with hormones. She is convinced that HRT in the form of estrogen and progestins will increase the risk of osteoporosis. Blood clots originate from sticky clumps of platelet cells in the blood. She believes that blood clots in the bones can cause bone to break down, leading to osteoporosis.

More and more research findings are emerging that challenge the estrogen-deficiency/osteoporosis relationship and reinforce the progesterone-deficiency link. The results of a three-year study of 63 post-menopausal women with osteoporosis verify this. Women using transdermal progesterone cream experienced an average 7 to 8 per cent bone-mass density increase in the first year, 4 to 5 per cent in the second year, and 3 to 4 per cent in the third year! Untreated women in this age category typically lose 1.5 per cent bone-mass density per year! These results have not been found with any other form of hormone replacement therapy or dietary supplementation!