Bone Health

Bones give form to the structure of the body. They allow us to stand, walk, and sit. They also protect our vital organs. For example, the ribs protect the heart and lungs, and the skull protects the brain. The bones also serve as a “mineral bank” for our blood cells, which are formed in bone.

Over time, factors can develop in the body that cause a condition known as osteoporosis, a disorder characterized by progressive thinning of the bones or porous bones. Factors can include aging, a decrease in hormones (at menopause), and mineral deficiency (particularly calcium), as well as other things . . .

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When the bones are weak and thin, they become prone to fractures. Even minimal activity, such as lifting a small box (or even just the weight of a person’s body) can cause painful and disfiguring fractures. Approximately 1 1/2 million fractures occur per year as a secondary result of osteoporosis. It is estimated that 1/3 of all women in the United States develop osteoporosis severe enough to cause such fractures. Statistics show that there are twice as many fractures today as there were thirty years ago.

Three types of fractures occur as a result of osteoporosis: wrist fractures, vertebral crush fractures, and hip fractures. Hip fractures are the most devastating in terms of mortality in that many people (up to 20%) with such fractures die within one year of the fracture, and as many as 50% become unable to live at home and are placed in nursing homes.

Detailed Information on Bone Health

  • Bone Is Living Tissue
  • Composition of Bone
  • Hormones That Affect Bone Formation
  • What Causes Osteoporosis?
  • Recommended Reading

Nutrients

While osteoporosis is an insidious disease, the good news is that you can take action to help rebuild and strengthen bones. Nutrients play an important role in rebuilding bone. (More on bone composition. . .) Bevko products specifically designed for bone health include

  • Bone & Minerals Complete
  • Cal-Mag Plus
  • Tri-Mag.

Associated Nutrients

Other nutrients that are helpful with bone health include vitamin C and a probiotic.

Diet

Diet plays an important part in bone health, specifically by increasing nutrient intake. Diet recommendations include eating an alkaline diet. An alkaline diet is important because our bodies are supposed to be slightly alkaline, but the modern diet creates a state in which most people have an acidic environment. An acidic environment develops when we eat mostly acidic foods: too much animal protein, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods.

These foods can deplete the body of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, which are important to bone health. An alkaline diet includes (preferably organic) whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruit. (Alkaline Diet Chart.) For bone health, you should also have some flesh foods and dairy (hormone and antibiotic free) and LOTS of pure water (not tap water).

Lifestyle

  • Exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise (walking, running, swimming, and lifting weights), helps build bone density. Short periods of diverse weight-bearing activities are more effective than long periods of running, bicycling, or swimming. Exercise at least three times per week for an hour (build up to this if you have not been exercising at all). Incorporate strength training.
  • Improve digestion (via stimulation of stomach acid and the restoration of “good” bacteria into the intestine).
  • Avoid substances such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and processed foods, which are known to promote osteoporosis.
  • Be judicious in the use of replacement hormones.

Recommended Reading

Better Bones, Better Body by Dr. Susan E. Brown

Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis by Dr. Alan R. Gaby

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause by Dr. John Lee