Causes of Osteoporosis
There are a number of causes of osteoporosis and they are mostly life-style related. The ones that are not lifestyle-related such as gender, age, early menopause in women, race and ethnicity, body frame and genetics we can't do much or anything about so why not concentrate on lifestyle factors that can be changed, start making some changes and delay or avoid the pain of osteoporosis? Here are some (controllable) factors that have been identified as causes of osteoporosis or weakened bones:
Lack of Sufficient Weight-bearing Exercise - such exercise signals the body to add material and strength to the bones to accommodate a change in lifestyle. The
best exercise for osteoporosis is rebounding.
Insufficient Boron and Vitamin D3 Intake Boron deficiency markedly increases calcium excretion in the urine, particularly of postmenopausal women. Boron activates Vitamin D, and thus affects absorption and utilization of calcium.
Insufficient magnesium in the diet (this is more important than calcium)
Lack of Gamma Linolenic Aacid and Eicosapentaenoic Acid These essential fatty acids "enhance calcium absorption, reduce excretion and increase calcium deposition in bone." (Kruger MC, Coetzer H, de Winter R, Gericke G, van Papendorp DH Calcium, gamma-linolenic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid supplementation in senile osteoporosis. Aging (Milano). 1998 Oct;10(5):385-94). They are found mainly in plant oils from such items as walnuts, flaxseed, chia and hempseed.
Fluoride in Drinking Water. Fluoride collects in the bones, and although it "technically" increases bone mass and density, the evidence is very strong that fluoride intake can actually double the incidence of hip fractures. (See: www.fluoridealert.org/health/bone/density/cortical-trabecular.html) Bone mass and density does not always equate with stronger bones as revealed with an understanding of how drugs such as Fosamax work.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) does slow the rate of bone loss but at an increased risk of cancer, especially breast and endometrial cancer in women. In contrast, natural progesterone increases bone strength and density by stimulating osteoblasts, the bone building cells and without the same risks. The recent 'million women study' published in the medical journal The Lancet suggested that women on certain types of HRT had double the risk of breast cancer.
Fosamax This drug works by destroying osteoclasts, the cells that remove old bone so your osteoblasts can build new bone in its place. Since old bone is not removed, the result is denser but not stronger bones.
Less-common conditions that may lead to osteoporosis include:
- bone cancer
- corticosteroid overuse (Cushing's syndrome)
- low testosterone levels in men (which may be linked to low levels of exercise)
- thyroid problems
- use of alcohol or tobacco.
- chronic diseases of the lungs, kidneys, stomach, and intestines
- prolonged use of antacids, anticonvulsants or steroid medications
A high-acid diet is probably the most serious factor, is extremely common and is easily avoided. Foods that, when metabolized, promote low body pH levels actually leach calcium out of your bones. They do this because the body does all it can to maintain the critical pH of the blood and, if it is becoming acid, will use whatever it can to maintain blood pH at 7.4.
The standard medical book Human Physiology and Mechanisms of Disease by Arthur Guyton, M.D. regards body pH (or acid-alkaline balance) as one of the most important factors in human health.
A diet high in acid-forming foods is a major reason for rapidly-increasing osteoporosis levels. It is not related to gender and, because of it, men are gaining on women in osteoporosis rates.
Milk and osteoporosis are linked but not in the way most people have been led to believe. Dairy actually takes more calcium to counteract its acidity than it contributes to the body.
Yes, dairy is one of the causes of osteoporosis!
Animal foods in general, because of the higher ratio (relative to non-meat sources of protein) of sulphur-containing amino acids are acid-forming and therefore contributors to bone loss.
Lack of calcium from milk or any other source is rarely the real cause of osteoporosis.
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