Posted on: 23.10.2022 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

July 1, 2004


Bone Health

Four Steps to Stronger Bones

Concerned about osteoporosis? Good. That means

this degenerative disease has your attention, which may be the most

important step in protecting yourself against it. And there is reason

for concern. Women are three times more likely to develop osteoporosis

than men, and eight times more likely to fracture a hip. This is

a frightening concept, especially since a lot of women who take

calcium supplements still get osteoporosis, and the “big guns”

in treating it—hormones and expensive drugs such as Fosamax

and Miacalcin—can cause unpleasant side effects and health

risks of their own. In addition some are prohibitively expensive.

It’s never too early to start working toward stronger,

healthier bones. I have patients well into their 80s who enjoy documented

bone strengthening—not just a slowing of bone loss—on

the program outlined in these six steps.

Step One: Get Your Bones Tested.

Ask your physician to order a DEXA (dual x-ray

absorptiometry) test, to measure the density of bone in your pelvis

(hip) and spine, the two most life-altering “weak spots”

if you have osteoporosis.

Why: To identify your current bone

strength and provide a baseline to compare to, so you can see whether

your bone-strengthening program is working.

How: If DEXA technology is not available

in your doctor’s office, odds are a nearby hospital or clinic has


Step Two: Help Your Body Neutralize Excess Acid.

Why: The human body is designed to

be slightly alkaline—it has a built-in buffering system to

neutralize excess acid generated through diet, exercise, and even

stress. As we enter middle age, our buffering systems often weaken,

and our bodies have to find another way to neutralize acid.

Bones contain the body’s biggest reserves of acid-neutralizing

(alkaline) minerals—including calcium. When the body becomes

overly acidic, those minerals are “stolen” from the bones

to restore the blood’s slightly alkaline pH and then discarded in

urine. Over time, this causes bones to weaken and become more porous,

leading eventually to osteoporosis.

Step Three: Take High-quality Supplements.

Why: The average American diet is

grossly deficient in minerals, and even if you think you eat a bone-friendly

diet, many of the foods available today are cultivated in mineral-depleted

soils. Remember, your bones not only serve to support your body,

they also are called upon constantly to donate their mineral reserves

to neutralize excess acid in your blood.

Even when your acid load is tempered by adjusting

your diet and other high-acid factors, the body continues to make

daily “mineral withdrawals” from your “bone bank”

to neutralize acid by-products of metabolism and stress. Whether

your bones can afford this will depend on their mineral reserves.

How: First, don’t expect calcium

alone to do the trick. Many of the bone-building minerals work best

if taken together. Second, don’t rely on a 1- or 2-tablet

“daily multivitamin-mineral supplement” to maintain strong

bones. Your mineral needs cannot possibly be met by such small dosages.

Instead, choose a daily supplement formulated for

bone health with a variety of bone-supportive essential nutrients

in proper balance with each other. See Nutrients

for Stronger Bones for my recommendations.

Step Four: Have Your Hormones Tested.

Why: Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone

and DHEA each play an important role in strengthening and building

your bones.

  • Estrogen reduces the amount of

    calcium drawn from the bones (and discarded in the urine), helps

    your body absorb calcium, and increases the output of the bone-enhancing


  • Progesterone

    increases bone mass by stimulating the bone-producing cells to

    create new bone. The benefits seem to increase when taken together

    with estrogen.

  • Testosterone, typically thought

    of as the “male hormone” but present in small amounts

    in women as well, is one reason osteoporosis is less common in

    men. Like estrogen, studies show testosterone encourages calcium

    absorption from the intestines and discourages calcium withdrawal

    from the bones, and it stimulates the formation of new bone. Like

    progesterone, testosterone’s benefits seem to increase when taken

    in conjunction with estrogen.

  • DHEA. If (and only if) you’re confirmed

    DHEA-deficient, there is a growing body of evidence from research

    laboratories indicating that DHEA supplementation can strengthen

    your bones. Levels of this hormone decline steadily in women every

    year after approximately age 25, and faster for some women then

    others. By the age of 70, this hormone, an important marker of

    aging, has dropped to very low levels.

    How: Have your estrogen, progesterone,

    testosterone and DHEA levels tested, then work with your doctor

    to arrive at a replacement program that meets your individual


Read More on Bone Health:

Getting Started

The Role of Our Bones

The Bone Matrix

Four Steps to Stronger Bones

Keep it SIMPLE Bone Health tip — Flaxseed

Nutritional Therapies

Supplements for Stronger Bones

Increase Your Soy Intake

Foods that Break Down Bone

Complementary Therapies

An Ancient Solution to a Modern Problem

Tie Dye Smoothie



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