Natural Prevention Guide for Osteoporosis

Table of contents for Osteoporosis: Risk, Prevention, and Natural Treatment

  1. Assessing Your Osteoporosis Risk Level
  2. Natural Prevention Guide for Osteoporosis
  3. Natural Osteoporosis Treatment

[This is Part 2 of a three part post on Osteoporosis. If you missed Part 1 on Assessing Your Osteoporosis Risk Level, please use the series link above to read it!]

Although osteoporosis is usually considered a disease of women, 30% of osteoporosis fractures occur in men. It affects 75 million people in the US, Europe, and Japan, and causes 1.3 million fractures annually in the US alone. (1).

Osteoporosis-related hip fractures are fatal 20% of the time and produce permanent disability half of the time.  With such stats, it is highly beneficial to look at prevention through natural forms of calcium supplements. I’m going give you the recommendations from a couple of different sources, all of which are footnoted at the end of this post.

This is Part 2 of a 3 – Part Post; if you missed the post to assess your risk level, click the above series link. Part 3 will cover Natural Treatment to improve your bone density and minimize bone loss.

Here is a list of natural calcium supplements condensed from suggestions by Mother Nature.com. Use the link to read their full article.

1. Eat a handful of sesame seeds each morning
2. Drink almond milk morning and night, which is high in calcium. Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.SC. suggests making your own by soaking ten almonds in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes, peeling them and mixing into a blender with 1 cup of cow, goat, or soya milk. Then add a pinch each of cardamom, ginger powder and saffron. You can also buy almond milk at stores such as Walmart.
3. A daily intake of dark green leafy vegetables, low-fat dairy products and sardines with bones are a natural calcium supplement suggested by Richard Gerson, Ph.D.
4. For a non-dairy calcium supplement, naturopathic physician Michael Murray, N.D. suggests juicing 3 kale leaves, 2 collard leaves, a handful of parsley, 3 carrots, 1 apple and 1/2 a green pepper. This provides 212 mgs calcium and 102 mgs magnesium, both necessary for good bone density.
5. Two standing yoga poses done once daily are good exercise for maintaining bone density, called the mountain and the tree, as suggested by Stephen A. Nezezon, M.D. A word of caution – elderly and advanced osteoporsis patients should not do the tree pose.
6. Avoid calcium “excreters.” Michael A. Klaper, M.D., nutritional medicine specialist, reminds us that for calcium supplements to benefit, one needs to avoid items that cause your kidneys to excrete calcium, such as animal proteins, refined sugars, alcohol, salt, tobacco, and the caffeine found in coffee, black tea, cola and chocolate. (2)

In addition to the above suggestions, Dr. Ray Sahelian also recommends these osteoporosis preventative measures (abridged list):

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables; studies strongly points to their positive link to bone density.
2. Weight bearing exercises are tremendously helpful. **See note below**
3. Calcium supplements taken at mealtime are important for osteoporosis prevention. However, calcium from food is a better option.
4. Take a multivitamin mineral supplement. Studies show a supplement with vitamin D (400-1,000 IU per day) and calcium (800-1,200 mg per day) may reduce the risk of falls and fractures.
5. Reduce or avoid soft drinks due to their phosphorus content.
6. Vitamin D deficiency is quite common in cases of hip fractures and can be supplemented by taking a multivitamin with mineral complex or cod liver oil. A dosage of 400 to 800 units should be helpful. Sitting by the window or taking walks is also beneficial.
7. Adding onion to food may help people fight off the bone-thinning disease; studies done in rats showed onions assisted in the reduction of bone loss. (1)

**Exercise – Dr. Sahelian says any type of movement helps strengthen bones. For weak bones, try swimming first. Walking is great for lower extremities, but the best osteoporosis exercise is weight lifting. For the best osteoporosis prevention, you need to be physically active preferably throughout life. [See the link below to Dr. Sahelian’s site for a great description of why and how various exercises are or are not beneficial for prevention of osteoporosis.] (1)

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Medicinenet gives these cautions about exercise and osteoporsis.

Most doctors recommend weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, preferably daily. Tt is important to avoid exercises that can injure already weakened bones. In patients over 40 and those with heart disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure, exercise should be prescribed and monitored by their doctors. Finally, extreme levels of exercise (such as marathon running) may not be healthy for the bones. Marathon running in young women that leads to weight loss and loss of menstrual periods can actually cause osteoporosis. (3)

Here are 2 extremely helpful lists of the daily mgs for calcium intake as well as the mg in natural calcium food sources.  Also by Medicinenet.com

These daily mgs are the amounts recommended by The National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on Osteoporosis for all people, with or without osteoporosis:

  • 800 mg/day for children ages 1 to 10
  • 1000 mg/day for men, premenopausal women, and postmenopausal women also taking estrogen
  • 1200 mg/day for teenagers and young adults ages 11 to 24
  • 1500 mg/day for post menopausal women not taking estrogen
  • 1200mg to 1500 mg/day for pregnant and nursing mothers
  • The total daily intake of calcium should not exceed 2000 mg

Mg’s calcium from the following Natural Food Sources:

1. 300 mg of calcium in an 8-ounce glass of milk
2. 450 mg of calcium in 8 ounces of plain yogurt
3. 1300 mg of calcium in 1 cup of cottage cheese
4. 200 mg of calcium in 1 ounce of cheddar cheese
5. 90 mg of calcium in ½ cup of vanilla ice cream
6. 300 mg of calcium in 8 ounces of calcium-fortified orange juice (4)

1. Osteoporosis by Dr. Ray Sahelian
2.
New Choices in Healing Osteoporosis by MotherNature.com
3.
Osteoporosis by Medicinenet.com
4.
Osteoporosis by Medicinenet.com

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