Today I am going to clear up some misconceptions about osteoporosis or thinning of the bones. First of all, osteoporosis literally means holes in the bones. It is a loss of the mass of the bone over time that leaves the bone frail and prone to fractures, most notably fractures of the spine, hip, and wrist. Many people believe that they need calcium supplements to avoid osteoporosis, but the reality is that osteoporosis isn’t about calcium supplements. It’s about calcium excretion.
Eskimo women consume about 2000-2500 mg calcium daily, but have the worst rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures in the world, whereas the Bantu women in Africa consume about 350mg calcium daily and have very little osteoporosis and hip fractures. What is the cause then? When you look at epidemiological studies, countries that are the highest consumers of dairy products and flesh foods are the countries that have the highest rates of hip fractures. The key is protein, and specifically animal protein.
You see, Eskimo women consume somewhere around 250-400 grams of protein daily, whereas the Bantu women only consume about 10% of their calories from proteins. The more proteins you consume, the more calcium you lose in the urine.
A study was done where participants were separated into three groups. All were given 1400mg calcium daily, and all calcium loss was measured. One group was fed 48 grams of protein daily, the second group 95 grams, and the third group 142 grams. The group that was fed 48 grams of protein daily, had a net gain of 20mg of calcium daily. The 95 gram group had a net loss of 30mg daily, and the 142-gram group had a net loss of 70mg daily.
Protein isn’t the only factor. Excess sugar and especially chocolate has been shown to increase excretion of calcium in the urine. Other factors include smoking, alcohol, caffeine, excess salt, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, estrogen deficiency, inactivity, phosphoric acid (from soft drinks), chronic stress, depression, and certain medical conditions and medications.
What can you do to prevent osteoporosis? Well, avoid those things just mentioned. Get outside in the sunshine and exercise. Exercise helps the body build new bone and strengthen the bone that is there. Sunshine helps make vitamin D, which is essential for the body to utilize calcium. Eat a plant-based diet high in greenleafy vegetables, and avoid dairy products (the have been shown to increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures) and other highprotein foods such as flesh foods. Give God the glory and follow His ways to WELLNESS, water, exercise, live temperately, lots of fresh air, nutrition, entire trust in God, sunshine and sufficient rest, and enjoy the health He gives.
God bless you abundantly as you learn to live God’s WELLNESS way.