Reversing osteoporosis

I got this from Jackie on my customer support team:

“We’ve been getting a lot of people asking about whether you can reverse osteoporosis. Can you address this on the blog?”

First of all, we have to stop believing, as a culture, that drinking cow’s milk is some kind of insurance against osteoporosis. The U.S. has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world AND the highest dairy consumption! The other highest rates of osteoporosis in the world are the other highest dairy-consuming nations. (Perhaps this is partly because in North America and Europe, we don’t get enough bone-building Vita D from the sun–but clearly guzzling milk by the gallon isn’t helping us build strong bone.)

Some of the lowest rates of the disease are found in countries that consume NO dairy products, such as in African nations where it’s virtually unheard of.

Dairy products have calcium that is about 32% bioavailable to humans, whereas leafy greens are over 60% bioavailable. (Plus dairy products are mucous-forming, they are pasteurized to kill all the helpful enzymes, and full of bovine pus, antibiotics, and growth hormones.

An exception to all those problems is to buy raw, organic milk and make kefir or yogurt from it. The fermenting process breaks the proteins down and avoids the body’s reaction of producing mucous to flush it out.)

So if we need more useable calcium rather than more calcium, greens are the most bioavailable source. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record here, but greens cover a multitude of sins.

And let’s not forget about our soda-drinking habit. If we’re guzzling pop by the liter, we’re draining the bones of calcium because of the massive amounts of phosphorus the body has to work overtime to neutralize. Check out my sources in Ch. 1 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods: kids who drink sodas have three to four times higher risk of bone fracture than kids who don’t. Kids only gain bone mass for 20 years or so, so it’s a crime to let them drink soda. “You can’t recapture your youth” has another important meaning…..you get only once chance to build bone mass.

I can’t promise anybody they’ll reverse anything. That wouldn’t be ethical. Prevention is easier than reversal. But I will tell you that I get emails EVERY SINGLE DAY about exciting stories of chronic conditions reversing, using the practices I teach.

I often have readers of my blog say, when I see them in public, “Is it really true you wore glasses when you were 20 and now you have 20/20 vision at 43?” I don’t know if I have 20/20 vision, but I did 4 years ago when I was last checked. And I didn’t have surgery or any other corrective actions.

I don’t know why that happened except that I juiced or blended vegetable and green juices for years and now eat 20+ servings of vegetables, greens, and fruits every day.

You can take MSM, or chondroitin, or whatever, to reverse osteoporosis, but I don’t think the studies show impressive results. What I have much more faith in is food and good lifestyle practices. Don’t drink or smoke. Breathe fresh air, find ways to release stress like yoga, let go of anger and guilt and resolve your emotional issues, and drink lots of water.

raw food diet: why not raw meat?

Talking more about the raw food diet here.Most raw foodists don’t eat animal protein (supermodel Carol Alt is an exception).See my book review here of The China Study http://greensmoothiegirl.com/reviews.html or read the book for why.I won’t go into detail, since I often talk about that huge study in great detail on this site.

But also, while carnivores have high hydrochloric acid concentrations–so they can digest unchewed meat–humans don’t.We put a tremendous strain on our ability to digest, particularly on our kidneys and liver, when we eat meat, even raw.The uric acid in the meat has to be neutralized, causing our body to struggle to find enough alkalinity and ultimately robbing calcium from the bones.Plus meats are high in phosphorus, leading to more bone loss.

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 3 of 12

More today on whether dairy products contribute to health:

 

Calcium absorption rates according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

                      Brussels sprouts                       64%

                      Mustard greens                       58%

                      Broccoli                                           53%

                      Turnip greens                         52%

                      Kale                                                     50%

                      Cow’s milk                                 32%

 

Suzanne Havala is a fellow of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and says this:

“Milk is species specific.   Each species’ milk is tailor-made for its own kind.   So how on Earth did people start drinking milk from cows?   Even adult cows don’t drink cow’s milk.   And if we drink cow’s milk, why stop there?   Why not drink dog’s milk?   Or bear’s milk?”

 

Neal Barnard, M.D., is president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.   He said this:   “The dairy industry continues to whitewash the dangers of cow’s milk.   The ubiquitous ‘milk mustache’ campaign makes misleading claims about milk preventing osteoporosis, lowering blood pressure, and enhancing sports performance.   Recent studies, including the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, have show that milk offers no protection against broken bones.   And, unlike prescription drug ads, the mustache ads don’t reveal the many unwanted side-effects of milk, among them increased risk of prostate and ovarian cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.”

 

Tell me: Is the “Got Milk?” ad campaign seeming stupider and more dishonest to you, every time you see a new paid celebrity with a milk mustache on the side of a bus? Eat less dairy and get your calcium from plant foods instead!

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 2 of 12

Today, great stats on whether dairy products contribute to health:

 

Asians have little or no osteoporosis.   They also (until recently) have been nonconsumers of dairy products.   (Besides eating much less meat and almost no dairy products, they also drink few sodas, get lots of exercise, and eat more vegetables.)

 

The huge nurses’ study (75,000 subjects) by Harvard School of Public Health found that women with the highest dairy consumption had substantially more bone fractures than women who drank less milk.

 

The highest dairy-consuming countries are Finland, Sweden, the U.S., and England.   The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are Finland, Sweden, the U.S., and England.

 

Black South Africans consume 1/10th the amount of calcium that African Americans do.   But African Americans have 9 times as many hip fractures!   (Our obsession with eating massive amounts of calcium is unwarranted.   We just need to eat bioavailable sources of calcium.   These foods high in calcium include greens, nuts, grains, etc.)

Researchers studying diet and hip fractures in 33 countries found this “absolutely phenomenal correlation”:   the more plant foods people eat (primarily fruits and vegs), the stronger their bones, and the fewer fractures they experience.   The more animal foods people eat, on the other hand, the weaker their bones and the more broken bones they experience.

Avoid Soft Drinks

One of the most important statistics, I believe, related to the obesity epidemic, is this one:

 

Teen boys are drinking three times as much soda as they did 30 years ago, and teen girls are drinking more than double.   I hope parents will avoid soft drinks, because of two critical factors they may not be aware of:

First, almost half of peak bone mass develops during adolescence.   This is critical to development, because by our 30’s, bone is broken down faster than it is rebuilt, making that period of childhood and adolescence very important.

Second, soft drinks are very high in phosphorus, linked by many studies to robbing the bones of calcium.   Kids who drink sodas are four times as likely to break bones as those who don’t drink sodas.

Dr. James Beaty is president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.   He says, “There’s some early data showing that even a 10 percent deficit in your bone mass when you finish your adolescent years can increase your potential risk of having osteoporosis and fractures as much as 50 percent.”

 The first goal of my 12 Steps to a Whole Foods Lifestyle is to get the family to avoid soft drinks and start drinking green smoothies.   That way, you stop robbing your body of critical bone-building minerals, and start giving your body what it desperately needs in childhood and beyond.