Just as high blood pressure is known as the silent killer, osteoporosis is known as a silent disease, often not detected until a seemingly minor slip or fall results in a not-so-minor broken bone. Osteoporosis is common in post-menopausal Asian and Caucasian women but less so in African-American women, who tend to have a bit more bone mass genetically. Men are less susceptible to thinning bones because testosterone partially protects them against bone loss, even as they age. Visible signs of osteoporosis include loss in height and rounding shoulders. Symptoms may include neck ache and backache. Bone mineral density (BMD) can be measured by one’s physician.
The conventional wisdom, particularly for women at risk, is to “get enough calcium” and incorporate moderate strength-building exercises into their daily routine. Prescription drugs that suppress bone breakdown or provide hormone replacement are also widely used. While such plans will help if executed wisely, the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis is far more complex.
Prevention of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is most easily and effectively prevented by achieving peak bone mass in early adulthood. In fact, the more dense one’s bones by the 29th birthday, the better long-term bone health will be. To achieve this goal, young people should get plenty of calcium in their diet; avoid excessive intake of alcohol, caffeine, and salt; exercise; get a healthy amount of Vitamin D (sunshine), Vitamin K (cabbage, broccoli, soybeans, and lettuce), and magnesium (cocoa, nuts, seeds, and whole grains). As they mature, this investment in health will pay off in major, life affirming ways.
Beyond Conventional Wisdom
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects all women to some degree. It is vital to be aware of the complexities of the disease and to be armed with practical, natural therapies to reduce its impact on women’s health. So, let’s reach beyond conventional wisdom and examine what else can be done to guard bone mass.
Calcium & Synergistic Nutrients
The three nutrients scientific data most strongly support, in terms of benefiting bone health and strength, are calcium, Ipriflavone (derived from soy), and vitamin D.
While calcium alone is not enough to prevent osteoporosis, it is vital to bone health. Researchers recommend up to 1,500 mg. per day of calcium, optimally obtained from the diet. If supplementation is necessary, calcium that is easily assimilated is recommended, such as Calcios, Coral Calcium, and Calcium Citrate. (Edgar Cayce recommended Calcios as a supplement to several women with osteoporosis-like symptoms. Calcios is pre-digested calcium prepared from bone and marrow and is easily assimilated into the body.) Along with the calcium, it is important to take 50 percent as much magnesium as calcium, which, when taken with vitamin D—the best source of which is milk and sunlight—will promote calcium absorption. There are several supplements available with the proper balance of all three nutrients. It would be time well spent to go to a health food store or pharmacy and discuss such options with a knowledgeable professional.
Although it is always best to derive the nutrition we need from a healthy lifestyle, being updated on nutritional research when appropriate is important. So let’s discuss Ipriflavone, a flavonoid derived from the soy isoflavone, daidzein. It has been shown to help incorporate calcium into bone and to slow bone breakdown. Just 600 mg. a day of this nutritional supplement may be of help.
Protein: Animal or Vegetable?
The effect of protein, especially animal-derived, on osteoporosis is an area of intense scientific research. Protein accounts for 25 percent of our bone mass. Hence protein intake is a vital consideration. The studies available on this subject often focus on animal protein (meat, fish, eggs, and dairy) vs. vegetable protein (soy and beans). At this point, the results are often contradictory, and for that reason studies continue. However, the summary overview to date of all the protein research results sounds very Cayce. Too much protein can be dangerous, but too little can be dangerous as well. Finding the right balance is the key. It’s important to have a balanced amount of protein in order to have bone health.
Cayce’s Suggestions for Osteoporosis
- Take an easily assimilated calcium supplement, such as Calcios or Calcium Citrate.
- Keep your colon healthy through hydrotherapy. Many therapists recommend a colonic at the change of every season. Also, include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. This practice will increase assimilation of nutrients such as those discussed above.
- Massage with peanut oil, which is good for the joints.
- Follow a proper diet. The Basic Cayce diet promotes assimilation and elimination. This diet focuses on keeping a proper acid/alkaline balance, while avoiding foods that promote toxicity, such as fried foods, refined foods, and overly processed foods.
- Exercise moderately. Cayce suggests a walk after dinner.
There is so much we can do beyond calcium supplementation to fight osteoporosis. True Health will keep you updated as more information is made available. Until then, follow Cayce’s suggestions for strong bones – and a healthy life!