March 5, 2011

030 Building Healthy Bones [21 Sept 2009]

As the framework of our body, our bones are very important to our overall health. What can we do to help build strong healthy bones?

Most people think immediately of calcium. While calcium is the most abundant mineral in bones, there are many others, equally important although found in lesser or trace amounts. Dr. Robert Thompson in his book “The Calcium Lie” argues that supplementing only with calcium will create a mineral imbalance that may make your bones weaker. He recommends a trace mineral supplement as well as calcium and magnesium.

Vitamin D is also essential for bone health, although in much smaller amounts than is required for its other important functions.

Eating a good diet of high quality unprocessed foods is essential for good bone health. Include a lot of fresh vegetables, particularly onions because of their gamma-glutamyl peptide content. Vegetable juicing is an ideal way to obtain the nutrients from a large amount of fresh vegetables.

There is a concern that excess protein will promote calcium excretion in the urine. Some high quality protein, however, is necessary to provide certain amino acids that are required for the protein matrix in healthy bones. One protein to avoid if possible is gluten, a specific protein in wheat and some other grains, which has been shown to decrease bone density.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for bone health, so eat plenty of fish or take a fish oil supplement. At the same time reduce consumption of Omega 6 fatty acids, found in processed vegetable oils. Vitamin K2 is another nutrient shown to strengthen bones.

Weight bearing exercise is important in developing and maintaining strong bones. A recent study of astronauts returning from a few months in the zero gravity of space showed hip bone strength loss from 14 to 30%.

The pH of the body is critical in bone health. If our blood becomes too acidic, our body will attempt to buffer it by borrowing calcium and magnesium from the bones. It accomplishes this by both stimulating the osteoclast cells that breakdown old bone tissue and inhibiting the osteoblast cells that rebuild new bone.

Your goal should be to keep your bones in a healthy balance by promoting the growth of strong new bone tissue to replace the old dead tissue that is being removed.

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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