According to statistics, every second woman over 50 suffers from this “fragile” disease. Swiss doctors warn that osteoporosis could become a serious social and financial problem in the near future. With this disease, the bones become so brittle that a fracture is possible without any effort, injury or stress. It is enough to stumble a little, fall, and sometimes it happens just when walking, coughing, the most ordinary movements. The reason for this dangerous condition is calcium deficiency in the bone tissue, which leads to a decrease in its mineral density and a violation of the structure.
The need for calcium, depending on age and gender, ranges from 400 to 1,500 mg per day. The older a person gets, the more calcium she needs. The need for this mineral reaches its maximum values in women during pregnancy, lactation, with the onset of menopause, and becomes the same in men and women after 65 years. As much as calcium is important for our health, it is just as capricious.
Special conditions are needed for Calcium absorption:
- Healthy digestive system.
- Normal acidity. With hypoacidity (low acidity), calcium is very poorly absorbed.
- Sufficient amount of omega-3.
- Natural prebiotics such as inulin.
- Vitamin D, C, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, silicon, and boron.
- Phytic acid reduces the bioavailability of calcium. That’s why it’s so important to soak grains, nuts, and legumes before eating.
- Simple carbohydrates, alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated drinks increase calcium excretion.
Calcium is strongly associated in the minds of most people with dairy products. How accurate is such an association?
Let’s look at the facts.
Osteoporosis is a real epidemic all over the world. Over the past 10 years, the incidence rate has increased by 300%. However, it is interesting that this increase is uneven. Countries, where osteoporosis is most prevalent, have the highest levels of dairy consumption: the United States, Canada, and Australia. And, for example, Japan and China, where they eat much less cheese, milk, and meat in general, have a significantly lower incidence of osteoporosis.
How to explain it?
The fact is that calcium from dairy products increases the acidity of the blood, and in response, the body takes calcium from the bones.
So where do you get calcium if you don’t eat dairy?
Quality sources of calcium:
- Activated seeds, especially sesame, poppy, flax, hemp, amaranth, chia, and mustard.
- Activated nuts, especially almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios.
- Legumes, after soaking or sprouting.
- Green leafy vegetables and all types of cabbage.
- Seafood and fish.
If you eat all of these foods in sufficient quantities, you can avoid supplements or take them in a minimal amount. Ideally combined with magnesium and boron and against the backdrop of a good multi-vitamin complex.
Risk factors for development.
- Age 45+, especially women. genetic predisposition.
- The presence of fractures in adulthood.
- Long-term use of steroids.
- Early menopause in women.
- Low weight – BMI less than 19.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Smoking and alcohol abuse.
- Lack of vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
- Decrease in height after 40 years by 1 or more inches.
- Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) for more than a year, is not associated with pregnancy.
If you have a combination of more than 3 risk factors, be sure to get a densitometry (checking bone density). ⠀
Nutrition for osteoporosis.
Nutrition has a huge role to play both in prevention and in slowing down the progression of the disease. An important factor is a sufficient amount of protein. Watch not only how much you use it, but also how it is absorbed. Both animal and plant-based proteins can be used. For example, kale (kale) contains 9 out of 10 essential amino acids.
What to exclude?
- Milk and dairy products from cow’s milk exactly, the rest individually.
- Wheat, all its derivatives (semolina, couscous, bulgur), rye – in other words, gluten. Spell can be left.
- Products containing dyes and preservatives.
- Carbonated drinks, processed juices.
- White sugar and simple carbohydrates (high glycemic foods).
- Margarine and all products containing it.
- Coffee (no more than 1 cup of black coffee per day).
First of all, all the products that are not right for you. This is determined by sensation, allergy testing, and through an elimination diet – eliminating potential allergens until the condition improves and then gradually adding them.
What should be added?
- Vegetables of all colors.
- Pumpkin seeds.
- Shiitake and Reishi mushrooms.
- Superfoods: turmeric, moringa, milk thistle seeds.
- Fermented foods: miso, sauerkraut, plant-based yogurt.
- Sprouts, microgreens, green leafy vegetables.
- High-quality vegetable oils.
It is necessary to drink enough water and choose the right diet – the number of meals and the size of servings. Should be consistent with lifestyle and health.
Methods for the prevention of osteoporosis.
This is what everyone can do:
- Monitor vitamin B12 levels and keep them at the upper limit of normal. If necessary, take it additionally.
- Enough Calcium. Moreover, the biggest problem with calcium is the difficulty of its absorption. These are special conditions in the digestive system, and the presence of other minerals and vitamins: magnesium, boron, iodine, phosphorus, vitamin C, etc. In addition to taking supplements, there are foods that contain easily digestible calcium.
- If you do not want osteoporosis, you will have to give up bad habits: excessive consumption of sweets and alcohol, and smoking.
- Normalization of hormonal levels with the help of herbal medicine, homeopathy, and other methods of alternative medicine. For me, this is the first choice. But if this does not help and there are no contraindications – hormone replacement therapy.
- Regular physical activity. Walking with little weight improves bone density very well. There are dumbbells with Velcro for 1 pound. Attach them to the ankle and wrist joints.
- Do whatever helps reduce stress. It is very simple: severe stress causes => a lot of cortisol => causes the destruction of bone tissue (and muscle).
- And, of course, follow the nutritional recommendations. All these measures may help prevent the disease but they may also slow down its development.