Osteoporosis is a disease that is not only treatable without the need for drugs, but it is also preventable! In the United States more women are killed by osteoporosis every year than the combined deaths from cancer of the breast, cervix and uterus. In the USA today twenty-five million people have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, and it is estimated that as high as nine out of ten people in America are at risk of developing osteoporosis having sub-optimal bone density. At Hippocrates Health Institute we frequently encounter guests suffering from this debilitating and unnecessary disease and have witnessed remarkable changes in those adopting our wellness enhancing lifestyle.
Osteoporosis develops when bones lose mass, weaken and become prone to fracture. Under a microscope such bones appear ‘porous’ hence the name Osteoporosis. This disease often goes un-diagnosed until one suffers a fracture. In the US there are over 1.5 million such fractures each year from osteoporosis, with hip fractures accounting for almost 20%. A quarter of all hip fracture patients end up in a nursing care home unable to walk, and another quarter will die within three months from health conditions related to the fracture.
Osteoporosis occurs when bone mass loss is accelerated and our bodies are not growing enough new bone to maintain healthy bone mass. Our bones are living tissues and each year we replace about 20% with new tissue mass. As we grow older we lose bone mass, but if we have built strong bones in our youth, this won’t matter. Accelerated bone mass loss occurs when our diet is over acidic causing calcium leeching to occur. The most acidic foods happen to be the foods of the standard American diet, namely meat, dairy and caffeine. But refined sugars, salt and phosphorous can also play a significant role, as we shall see.
Animal protein is highly acidic and most Americans obtain about 70% from animal sources. On top of that we consume on average 100g of protein a day, that’s two to four times what’s necessary for health. Animal protein metabolizes to form strong acids in the body, and the body reacts by leeching calcium from our bones in an attempt to neutralize and balance acidity. Unfortunately consuming more calcium does not solve this problem. Studies conducted on Alaskan Inuits who have the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world, found that they consume more than twice the calcium than the average American, together with twice the amount of animal protein. The excess calcium consumption does not help, which leaves the problem pointing to excess animal protein. The Hippocrates Health Institute living food diet provides alkaline proteins in amounts perfectly suited for optimum health.
Americans consume more than 96% of all the world’s dairy production from a population representing only 4% of the world. If milk and cheese were good for us, why do we have almost the weakest bones in the world? Although cows milk contains more than four times that of human milk, its not bioavailable to the body and we cannot absorb it as much. This is due to the fact that milk is low in magnesium necessary for calcium absorption. Cows milk is also high in acidic protein that the body counteracts by leeching calcium from our bones. We end up with a net loss of calcium! And we are told to feed milk to our children so they will have healthy bones when they grow older??
Sugar is added to almost all processed food from ketchup to sodas, and the average American person intakes about 150 pounds of refined sugar a year! But how does this contribute to bone damage? Well, excessive refined sugars actually create acidic blood conditions similar to meat and dairy! This occurs because refined sugars are absorbed quickly into cellular glucose, but is lacking in oxygen resulting in partial oxidation that form acids! And as we learned already acids cause calcium loss from our bones. To make matters worse sugar causes magnesium loss, which is necessary for bone formation. The Hippocrates Health Institute diet cuts out all refined sugars producing a healthy environment to counteract many modern lifestyle diseases including osteoporosis.
It’s easily possible to lose up to 20% bone mass in 10 years from just 5000mg of daily salt consumption! Many Americans consume from 8,000 to 10,000mg of sodium a day compared to our ancestors 70mg per day! Every 5000mg of sodium causes 23mg loss of calcium in the urine, and this equates to 2.5% bone mass loss per year.
This mineral in excessive quantities inhibits calcium absorption by reacting with it to form an insoluble compound, and also metabolizes to form phosphoric acid, which the body deals with by taking calcium from the bones to neutralize acidity. Excessive phosphorous is contained in meat, and soda drinks that have added phosphoric acid.
Along with a healthy diet, exercise plays an essential role in bone growth and reversing bone loss. Control studies have showed bone mass increasing in people who exercise compared to bone mass loss in a control group not exercising.
The ideal lifestyle to treat and prevent osteoporosis combines exercise with non-acidic bioavailable forms of calcium found in green vegetables such as broccoli, chard, kale, and whole grains and beans to name a few. Also important is vitamin D, which is the main intestinal regulator for calcium absorption. Vitamin D is best sourced from skin contact with sunlight. Other important vitamins necessary to absorb calcium are magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. All of these can be adequately sourced from a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, grains and beans.
Preventing and reversing osteoporosis – conclusion
Firstly prevent osteoporosis by reducing ‘calcium loss’, most effectively achieved by cutting meat and dairy from your diet, and drastically reduce sugar, salt, phosphorous and caffeine intake. Secondly increase your intake of calcium by consuming foods that contain bioavailable calcium that don’t create acidic conditions, along with nutrients that support bone mass growth, such as manganese, boron, vitamin D, vitamin C.
The plant-based diet encouraged at Hippocrates Health Institute together with adequate exercise that forms the basis of the Hippocrates’s Life Transformation program is the best way to accomplish both prevention and reversal of osteoporosis. This disease therefore need not exist, as indeed is the case in countries and societies where traditionally meat and dairy are seldom consumed.