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Is “The Silent Thief” Robbing Your Bones?

Is “The Silent Thief” Robbing Your Bones?

by December 2, 2015 0 comments

Osteoporosis, as defined by Osteoporosis Canada, “is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture (broken bones), particularly of the hip, spine and wrist.” This disease is often referred to as the “the silent thief” given most people don’t know they have it until they fracture a bone.

Based on the latest stats osteoporosis affects 2 million Canadians. Women have a higher prevalence of this disease then men; 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men over 50. Leon Speroff, of the Oregon Health Science Center in Portland, reported at the 1999 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists meeting that the “estimated number of hip fractures will increase six fold between 1999 and 2050. What is often a surprise to many is how serious osteoporosis can be especially if it involves a hip fracture. People think if a bone breaks it will heal and all is good. Not so!  Osteoporotic hip fractures result in death in up to 30% of cases and 23% of those die within the first year. The Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study showed that more women die each year as a result of osteoporotic fractures than from breast & ovarian cancer combined.

Acid-Alkaline Balance

In spite of these sobering facts the reality is that osteoporosis is entirely preventable! The two biggest factors that contribute to osteoporosis are diet and lifestyle. To understand how foods impact our bones we need to understand the concept of acid-alkaline balance. Our body’s metabolic pH (cellular and blood) is tightly regulated and can be affected by diet and lifestyle. Too many acid forming foods and lifestyle choices like meat, sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress, etc result in our pH leaning towards the acidic end of the spectrum. By contrast eating vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, moderate exercise, meditation, yoga, etc make the body more alkaline. The suggested ratio of alkalizing to acid forming foods is somewhere between 70:30 to 80:20. Regrettably many of us are nowhere near this ideal ratio.  Measuring one’s pH can be done using litmus (pH) paper and testing ones urine. An optimal pH is between 7.3 – 7.4.

You’ve tested your urine and you discover your urinary pH is 6.8. What does this mean to you? We know that being too acidic increases your risk of cancer allows many pathogenic (disease causing) organisms to thrive and provides an ideal environment for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. One of the other major concerns is the increased risk of developing osteoporosis. When we’re too acidic our body draws calcium from our bones to buffer the acidity. Being acidic impacts two important cells involved in bone remodelling. One cell known as an osteoclast reabsorbs calcium from bone, essentially “breaking down” bone. The other cell known as an osteoblast re-calcifies bone essentially “building and repairing” it. When you’re acidic osteoclast activity increases and osteoblast activity decreases. Consequently we lower bone mineral density and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Foods have differing abilities to alkalize. Choosing foods that are very alkalizing can help offset our typically acidic diets. Sadly most of us are not getting our suggested daily intake of veggies and fruits, the two most alkalizing food groups available. Only 20 percent of Canadians eat the recommended 7 to 10 servings daily. Aside from making every effort one can to eat more vegetables and fruits one should consider a high quality greens powder like Progressive’s VegeGreens. This product contains some of the most alkalizing substances known. From land vegetables like wheat grass, barley greens, spinach, watercress, broccoli, parsley and kale to sea and fresh water greens like kelp, dulse, chlorella and spirulina. Although just a few of the 60 ingredients in VegeGreens were listed this product has remarkable alkalizing potential and would be a wise addition to someone’s diet if they want to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and simply get more of the valuable phytonutrients so lacking from our diets today.


Supplemental Calcium

Another important factor to consider when discussing osteoporosis prevention and treatment is calcium. Although nothing beats highly absorbable dietary calcium you get from select vegetables, fruits, nuts and proteins like whey the fact is Canadians aren’t getting enough in their diets. The Canadian Community Health Survey indicates that as many as 72% of Canadian women under 50 years of age do not consume enough calcium from food on a daily basis. This makes the need for supplemental calcium so important. Calcium on its own however isn’t enough and that’s why Progressive Complete Calcium for women, men and women over 50 has several other supportive co-factors that improve the quality and efficacy of supplementation. Complimentary minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and potassium were shown to help women lose less bone than those using calcium on its own.

Vitamins D and K have had numerous studies showing they’re importance in ensuring optimal bone health. Progressive complete calcium has vitamin D3 (most active form) and naturally occurring vitamin K from the various vegetables and herbs. It would be prudent to take an additional vitamin D3 and K supplement to meet the higher levels that are required for optimal bone health. Vitamin K (MK-7 form) is especially important given recent studies that have shown an increased risk of heart disease when using calcium supplements. Evidence suggests that a rapid rise in blood calcium levels can lead to calcium accumulating in the vessel walls leading to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and in turn an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. It should be noted however this only becomes an issue when calcium isn’t getting into the bones and staying there. If your diet is alkaline and you use vitamin K calcium will stay in the bone and will not leach out and collect in the blood vessel walls. That’s why using not only vitamin K but eating lots of vegetables and fruits alongside VegeGreens is so important. It’s also worth noting that numerous large studies of calcium plus vitamin D have shown no increased risk of cardiovascular events.

Progressive Complete Calcium also addresses several other factors we know impact bone health, elevated homocysteine and cortisol levels as well as hormonal imbalances. Using carefully selected vitamins, antioxidants and herbs Progressive’s Complete calcium offers support not typically found in many calcium supplements on the market today.

Healthy Fats and Exercise

Aside from the support provided by Progressive VegeGreens and Complete Calcium it’s important one use Omega-3 fats. These fats have been shown to lower levels of Prostaglandin E2(PGE2) a hormone-like substance that when elevated results in bones loss. One should also incorporate weight bearing exercise into their lifestyle. Studies have shown this to be another important component in the fight against osteoporosis. Together these strategies will help keep the “silent thief” from robbing you of your precious bone!

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