Natural & Alternative Osteoporosis Treatments
Chances are you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis and are looking for a natural osteoporosis treatment alternative to bisphosphonate drugs or are taking a proactive approach to your bone health.
Fortunately, there’s hope. Several studies have shown a natural treatment for osteoporosis does exist. But first…
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis, “porous bones”, is a disease that causes bones to become fragile and brittle and very susceptible to fractures. These fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.
A fracture or broken bone can have a huge effect on your life, causing disability, pain, or loss of independence. Fractures can make it very difficult to do daily activities without help.
Mostly common in women over the age of 50…it has been estimated that out of every 5 American women over the age of 50, 1 of them has osteoporosis, and about 3 of the 5 women are most likely to face a fracture of the wrist, hip, or spine.
What causes osteoporosis?
Researchers have revealed that the many causes of osteoporosis are:
- Failure to form new bone by the body
- Calcium and Phosphate intake is not meeting the required minimum amount
- As people age, unless the calcium and phosphate are supplied properly through diet, the calcium and phosphate already present inside the bones becomes reabsorbed, leading to the thinning of bones tissues
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Bed confinement for an extended period of time
- Chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
Osteoporosis is not an exclusive medical condition, limited to only women. About 80,000 men each year break a hip or bone, and are most likely to die within a year of the incident. Several factors are responsible for putting a man at Osteoporosis risk, including heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, steroid medications, and even low testosterone levels.
The best method to diagnose osteoporosis is a bone mineral density test, called a DEXA test. It is recommended to get a bone density test if:
- You’re a woman age 65 or older
- You’re 60 and at increased risk of osteoporosis – see our risk factors below
The results of your bone density test will give you a T-score. The T-score compares your bone density with that of an average healthy young adult of your sex. Below you will see how to interpret your T-score.
- Above -1 = Your bone density is considered normal
- Between -1 and -2.5 = Your score is a sign of osteopenia, a condition in which bone density is below normal and may lead to osteoporosis
- Below -2.5 = Your bone density indicates you have osteoporosis
New Osteoporosis Guidelines
In fact, the American College of Physicians has issued new osteoporosis screening and treatment guidelines in older men which are:
- Clinics should regularly assess men for the danger of osteoporosis
- For those found at a higher risk of osteoporosis, DXA tests (a test to measure bone density) should be taken
Studies by experts at the National Osteoporosis Foundation forecast that by 2025, osteoporosis will be responsible for a total cost of $25.3 billion each year, and approximately three million fractures. The National Osteoporosis Society estimates that by 2036, osteoporosis treatment would encompass a total cost of $9.7 billion, which is a staggering increase from the current expenditure level of $3.25 billion.
Osteoporosis treatment and tests should be taken by a person when they cross the age of 50. More common in women who are past their menopause, a report by the World Health Organization has revealed the following statistics of the percentage of female populace according to their age in which osteoporosis is likely to strike:
- Age: 50-59 years -> 14%
- Age: 60-69 years -> 22%
- Age: 70-79 years -> 39%
- Age: 80+ years -> 70%
The above report also highlighted the fact that of all the ethnic racial groups, those white and Asian backgrounds were most prone to osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis shows no early symptoms, thus a routine checkup should be undertaken by both men as well as women. Osteoporosis is more prevalent in people who have had a family history related to the disease, heavy alcohol, and/or cigarette consumption, steroid medication, little or no exercise, and also in those individuals who show low levels of estrogen (females) as well as testosterone (males). However, some experts suggest people that they should be on the lookout for certain symptoms such as:
- Dull pain in the muscles and/or bones, particularly in the neck and lower back
- Sudden pangs of sharp pain, which are limited to only a certain area, which intensify on putting pressure
Risk Factors of Osteoporosis
In the past osteoporosis was thought of as a women’s disease. Now we know that men also have to worry about weak bones and are at risk of osteoporosis.In fact, one in four men over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture caused by osteoporosis.
These factors can increase your chances of developing osteoporosis:
- Your Sex – Fractures from osteoporosis are about twice as common in women as they are in men.
- Age – Your bones become weaker as you age.
- Race – Caucasian and Southeast Asians have a greater risk of osteoporosis, Black and Hispanic men and women have a lower but still significant risk.
- Family History – Having a family member with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk as osteoporosis is genetic.
- Body Size – Individuals who are thin or have small body frames have a higher risk because they have less bone mass.
- Smoking – Research has shown that tobacco use contributes to weak bones.
- Breast Cancer – Women who have had breast cancer are at increased risk of osteoporosis, especially if they were treated with chemotherapy
- Diet – A diet lacking in calcium plays a major role in the development of osteoporosis.
- Lack of Exercise – Exercise throughout life is important, but you can increase your bone density at any age.
- Alcohol Abuse – Long term alcohol abuse reduces bone formation and interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium
Making the Check
A recent study conducted in over 11 nations has revealed the fact that those fracture clinics, which have committed someone to specifically check their patients for osteoporosis have a far better success rate. They said “We have orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists, orthopedic technicians. It makes complete sense to have someone who specializes in osteoporosis, who could test the patients, educate them and guide them to a proper osteoporosis treatment facility.”
Taking the Time
It is also concluded that any future studies should include a standardized reporting of the bone density in addition to other reports, in order to help the elderly recognize this problem as soon as possible.
Osteoporosis Prevention – Adequate Amounts of Minerals and Exercise
It is never too late, or too early to treat or prevent osteoporosis. Building strong bones when you are young is the best defense against getting osteoporosis later on in life. To improve your bone health use the following advice:
1. Calcium and Osteoporosis
The best way to treat and prevent osteoporosis is to get adequate amounts of calcium along with magnesium, trace minerals, vitamins D3 and vitamin K2 in your diet. Osteoporosis is not only due to insufficient daily calcium intake but rather because we do not get sufficient amounts of bone building nutrients in our diet.
We recommend getting as much calcium from foods in your diet as possible, and then make up the shortfall using a calcium supplement with the proper bone building ingredients included in the formula.
Here is the recommended amounts of calcium you need each day :
|Ages||Milligrams per Day|
|51 and older||1200|
For More Calcium Info
|Calcium and Calcium Deficiency||Calcium and Weight Loss|
|Calcium Benefits||List of Calcium Rich Foods|
|Calcium and Osteoporosis||Calcium Absorption|
2. Vitamin D and Osteoporosis
To help your body absorb calcium It is also important to get enough vitamin D. You can get vitamin D through sunlight and foods. You need 10-15 minutes of sunlight to the hands, arms, and face, two to three times a week to get enough vitamin D. Recent studies show you need much more vitamin D than was previously recommended.
For More Vitamin D Info
3. Magnesium and Osteoporosis
Magnesium and calcium work together to keep calcium in your bones and out of your soft tissues. It is always best to get minerals from your diet by eating legumes, and vegetables (especially dark-green, leafy vegetables with chlorophyll).
For More Magnesium Info
4. Vitamin K2 and Osteoporosis
There are many recent studies finding vitamin K2 to be very important for healthy bones. Vitamin K is not made naturally by the body so it must come from your diet.
Learn more about Vitamin K.
5. Exercise and Osteoporosis
Exercise helps your bones in many ways :
- Slows bone loss
- Improves muscle strength
- Helps limit bone-damaging falls
Weight-bearing exercise, which is any activity in which your body works against gravity. Here are some examples: walking, dancing, running, climbing stairs, gardening, doing yoga, tai chi, hiking, playing tennis, or lifting weights ― it all helps!
Avoid Osteoporosis With These Early Detection Tips
Around the world weakened bones cause 8.9 million fractures per year. Osteoporosis has hit what the Surgeon General calls ‘epidemic levels’ mainly due to huge lifestyle changes that have occurred for most of us over the last few generations. Losing some bone density is a by product of age for most people. But losing bone density at a rapid pace is what leads to the early onset of osteoporosis – which usually ends in life altering fractures from simple innocent activities that never would have previously harmed you.
Reduce Your Risk: Top Causes of Fractures and How to Avoid Them
Our ancestors did not have the same knowledge and tools to do this, so many of them only found out they had porous bones from a painful fracture. Usually discovered late in life, typically it was too late to change the course substantially and positively affect bone density.
That’s why it is vitally important to take steps to prevent osteoporosis before it happens.
This infographic was designed for this very purpose: once you go through it, you will be armed with the latest tips and insights on how to prevent what is grimly called ‘the silent killer’.
Osteoporosis treatments are probably the most common query among the minds of the older age adults. This is a condition which causes a fracture in the wrist, hip, or spine following a fall or slip, and can cause serious troubles, especially for someone who is older in age. Osteoporosis leads to a weakening of the bone tissues. This condition is caused due to a deficiency in the intake of requisite minerals, calcium, and phosphate being the primary requirements. Often these requirements are met through drugs and other medicinal intakes. But today we’re going to take a closer look at osteoporosis treatment options.
Falling a bit Short
Osteoporosis treatments generally include consumption of bisphosphonates or other such drugs. These drugs seem to have had tremendous success in controlling the onset of osteoporosis. However recent studies have shown that dependence on such drugs is risky. Extensive use of bisphosphonates not only increases the risk of a special case of thigh fracture, but in fact, it even doubles the risk of esophageal cancer, as published in the British Medical Journal recently. Other side-effects are heartburn, constipation, and diarrhea. In fact, the FDA suggested in the year 2009 that these oral osteoporosis drugs could be linked not only to esophageal cancer, but also to untimely deaths in women, linked to bisphosphonate-linked malignancies.
This growing risk has compelled researchers and doctors to look for other ways to treat the same.
Compression fractures are probably the most common fracture associated with this bone disease. Medtronic Inc. devised a new osteoporosis treatment, in which the surgeons treat the compressed vertebrae by inflating tiny balloons inside the fractured bone structure. This creates a cavity inside the bone structure, in which bone cement is injected which hardens with time.
But these are all medical treatments. It has been a well known fact that exercising regularly helps in increasing the bone mineral density and also strengthens the bones, and thus helps in preventing osteoporosis. Research and studies conducted by the Medical College of Georgia and published in the medical journal Bone concluded that a 30-minute routine of vibrations or rhythmic movements of the bone done for 12 weeks, may help in preventing osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral density. This is not a new development, but instead dates back about 200 years, around the War of 1812! The vibrations exercise the stem cells of the body, which are in fact the primary controllers of the healing process.
Another alternate is a biological drug called Prolia, which acts like an antibody, and acts only on those cells which are responsible for removing the calcium from the bones. This drug is an improvement since it does not include the side-effects in which the bisphosphonate drug family has.
Osteoporosis today has affected more than 75 million people around the globe, with 10 million being in the United States itself. The 1990s saw an increase in the number of hip fractures due to osteoporosis by almost 25%, which had doctors all over the world worried. By 2050, it is projected that the number of people suffering from this disease could increase by 310% in men, and by 240% in women. These are not numbers to take lightly. And these numbers seem to keep rising. It seems some changes need to be in order.
So why not hear from the experts – and their advice on natural osteoporosis treatments…
44 Experts Reveal Their Top 3 Natural Treatments for Osteoporosis
The causes of osteoporosis (a disease that means porous weak bones) are numerous:
- Lack of Exercise
are just a few, but definitely not all.
And depending who you talk to, the ways to prevent it seem equally as complicated.
That is why we asked 44 bone health experts and prolific bloggers a simple question:
“If you could only recommend 3 natural treatments for osteoporosis, what would you choose?”
Here were their answers:
|Top Natural Osteoporosis Treatments (as voted by 44 experts)|
|Weight-bearing exercises (38 votes)|
|Diet of mineral-rich foods (23 votes)|
|Proper Calcium Supplements with Vitamin D (18 votes)|
|Alkaline Diet (17 votes)|
Here Are Top 3 Natural Osteoporosis Treatments As Chosen By the Experts:
Dr. Sharon Stills, NMD – Drstills.com
- Proper calcium supplementation with Vitamin D levels optimized around 65-75, Strontium, Vit K, Boron, Magnesium
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement
- Proper exercise and diet – creating an alkaline environment in the body
Dr. Holly Lucille – Drhollylucille.com
- Weight bearing exercise
- Decrease refined sugars
- Increase green leafy vegetables
- Stay plant strong and nutrient dense
Justine Keyserlingk – JustGetFit
- Resistance training: Don’t be afraid to lift heavy enough for about 10-15 reps. 2-3x a week
- A diet rich in organically grown fruits and green leafy vegetables for sufficient Vitamin K (activates osteocalcin, the major noncollagen protein in bone) Dark leafy greens especially, which also are also naturally high in Calcium and boron (both crucial for protection against osteoporosis as they help reproduces many of the positive effects of estrogen therapy in postmenopausal women)
- Also lowering the amount of animal protein to your diet. Animal protein in excess makes the body acidic. This then causes the body to buffer the acidity by withdrawing alkaline minerals like calcium from the bones
Marni Wasserman, Nutritionist – MarniWasserman.com
- Eating more dark, leafy greens and sea vegetables
- Eating more nuts and seeds full of healthy fats
- Resistance training
Dr.Pamela Frank, BSc (Hons), ND – NaturopathToronto
- Diet – low glycemic index/low glycemic load (sugars increase acidity, leaching of nutrients out of the bones and inflammation) with lots of dark green leafy vegetables (for all the minerals and vitamin K which helps lock minerals in the bones) and bone broths
- Exercise – weight bearing (walking, jogging, running, cycling OUTSIDE to get Vitamin D) and weight lifting
- Stress reduction – cortisol is known to decrease bone building and increase breakdown of bone
Dr. Joanna McMillan – Drjoanna.com.au
- Do regular exercise that incorporates weight lifting, balance exercises, weight bearing activities and some impact (as appropriate).
- Follow a calcium-rich diet or take a supplement.
- Take a daily vitamin D supplement and try to get 15 minutes in the sun (non-peak hours) with bare arms and legs.
Lauren Felts, Nutritionist – TheHolyKale
- Supplements: a. natural form of minerals such as coral to provide Magnesium and Calcium, b. hexane-free vitamin D3, c.natural source of iodine (seaweeds), and kidney support (cordyceps)
- Adding in mineral rich foods: sesame seeds, almonds, chia and hemp seeds, leafy greens (collards, kale, spinach) – but lightly cooked to reduce physic acid
- Exercise: weight bearing exercise such as weight lifting paired with yoga
Chloe Brotheridge, Hypnotherapist – EasyWayToChange
- An anti-inflammatory alkaline diet, with lots of fruit and veg. Too much acid producing foods such as meat and dairy leech calcium from the bones.
- Get more sunlight – this is how we make 90% of our vitamin D, which aids to absorption of calcium. 20 mins 3-4 times a week in the sun during the summer is enough to last you the year.
- Lift weights – contrary to popular belief lifting weights as a woman won’t make you ‘bulk up’. You have to massively increase your calorie intake and lift weight for hours a day to do this. It’s a great way to improve bone density.
Tricia Cardone, Nutritionist – A Passion For Healthy Living
My top 3/4 recommendations would be:
- Genetic testing to rule out Gluten Sensitivity
- Weight Bearing Exercise
- Diet Change – Focus on an organic whole foods diet, incorporating plenty of fresh veggies/leafy greens.
- Rule out other underlying health concerns such as thyroid disease, check vitamin D levels, etc.
Dr. Patrick Callas, ND – IslandNaturalHealth
My 3 top recommendations for osteoporosis:
- Alkaline diet: lots of dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and clean proteins. No processed sugars or flours.
- Weight-bearing exercise: at least 3x weekly.
- Vitamin D
Dr. Marlee Laméris, Chiropractor – FamilyFirstChiropracticAndWellness
- Supplement with Calcium and Vitamin D (both are necessary for proper absorption!)
- Weight bearing exercise (anything that actually loads the bones and joints)
- Quit the vices; smoking, drinking and caffeine (these are responsible for leaching calcium from your bones, so either cut these back or cut them out)
Dayne Crocker, Nutritionist – FromEarthToPlate
This sounds great and I would love to write a couple of sentences on the 3 best osteoporosis treatments I would recommend, defiantly taking a plant based calcium would be one along with Chlorella for the high levels of vitamin D which not only increased the absorption of the calcium but alkalises the body creating an anti-inflammatory environment in the body.
Thirdly I would recommend living a Wholefood lifestyle rich in essential fatty acids, fresh vegetables, fruits and lean protein sources.
Cutting out sugar, highly refined carbohydrates, dairy & high levels of animal proteins in particular red meat which contribute to acidic solid waste build up in our cells hence why a plant based anti inflammatory diet is essential in not just osteoporosis but for every living bean.
Giles Gyer, BSc (Hons) Osteopathy – Osteon
- Vitamin D and calcium. Both are needed for bone health, and many people don’t get enough of either.
- Physical activity. Weight-bearing exercise — such as strength and conditioning — is key for bone health.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can weaken your bones.
Laury Raiken, Personal Trainer – TheFitnessDish,FlowtoxCleanse
I would recommend supplementing with gelatin, so home made bone broth and beef gelatin from healthy, grass-fed cows. I would also recommend gentle yoga to help strengthen the body and bones!
Eduard Burt, D.C.,MUAC – Burt Chiropractic
- Calcium supplementation
- Weight bearing exercise
- Healthy diet and avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
Zain Saraswati Jamal, Holistic & Sports Nutritionist – ZainSaraswatiJamal
- A healthy diet, of whole, unprocessed, organic foods and foods rich in calcium
- A daily yoga practice
- Weight training
Dr. Alexander J. Rinehart DC, CCN, CNS – DrAlexRinehart.com
Phytoestrogens from soy, kudzu, etc during menopause. The steep decline in estrogen during this period is most of the reason for women’s hormone loss during this time. Bioidentical hormones and hormone replacement therapy are still too strong in my opinion and can affect appropriate hypothalamaus-pituitary-ovarian/adrenal/thyroid singling, as well as a stress on liver detoxification and methylation.
High intake of green-leafy vegetables. Green leafies are the most bioavailable source of calcium (think kale, chard, collard greens). As for the acid-alkaline debate…while high protein and meat intake will be “acidic” to your system, the protective “alkalizing” effect of greens is much greater, so it is not necessarily an excess of protein/meat intake, but moreso a green veggie-deficiency that promotes bone loss.
Vitamin D. I believe that most calcium imbalances are not a deficiency of dairy intake, but an issue of pandemic vitamin D and leafy green deficiency. Of course if you’re not eating greens with just about every meal, a calcium-magnesium or conventional bone health supplement would be necessary; and the research still supports use of such supplements for peri-menopausal women. But calcium and other bone metabolites are tightly controlled by hormones like vitamin D, and varying degrees of intestinal absorption. I like levels between 40-80 ng/mL, but more optimally 50-70 ng/mL. Most Americans are in the 20-30’s or lower, with African-Americans being at most risk.
I would say promoting digestive health with enzymes, identifying food sensitivities/allergies, and anything else that would disturb healthy digestion. Minerals like calcium and magnesium require ample acid production in the gut for absorption. Symptomatically, I will to take a betaine HCl supplement and Zinc to support digestion, but they are usually a result of a pattern of stress (can stress yourself out to an ulcer), or a hidden food sensitivity to things like dairy and grains.
True strength exercise for women is still not common. Many women still stick to the treadmill and light weightlifting. Muscle strength is important for bone health, the “tugging” of muscles through their attachment on bones promotes healthy bone growth. Build a strong base during 20’s and 30’s, that way when menopause hits in mid 40’s a woman has more bone density to start with, so any natural loss does not put them in a clinically osteoporotic state.
I am a chiropractor, so I cannot counsel on medication use, but drugs that affect digestion and deplete the body of minerals such as birth control pills, proton pump inhibitors, and many others. Look at the book called Drug Muggers (by Suzy Cohen, R.Ph), or any work by Ross Pelton or James Lavalle for more on this issue.
Jessica Jessie, Personal Trainer & Nutritionist – JessicaJessie.com
- Weight lifting
- Change of diet
- Quit smoking plus a calcium supplement
Along with yoga!
Dr. Lauren Noel, ND – DrLaurenNoel.com
- Removal of grains and simple sugars. (Osteoporosis has been called diabetes of the bone, so keeping blood sugar in check lends to bone health)
- Hormonal balance. (Healthy levels of estrogen and progesterone keep bones healthy)
- Bone health targeted supplements (Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, Calcium, Magnesium, Strontium). Ideally get your levels checked.
Heather Johnstone, MS, RN, APN, AMP-C, E-RYT – ShiprockInstitute
We would recommend avoidance of toxins, proper diet to include healthy greens, and weight bearing, strength-training exercise such as yoga.
Dr. Natasha Turner, ND – DrNatashaTurner.com
- Nutrients for bone health – vitamin k, folic acid, b12, magnesium, calcium, boron
- Manage inflammation for bone health – exercise is anti-inflammatory, sleep is anti-inflammatory, CLA proven to aid bone health in this manner
- Manage blood sugar and insulin balance – high insulin linked to faster bone loss so eat for hormonal balance
- Optimize hormones – low estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, growth all fuels bone loss as well as high cortisol or excessive thyroid – as well as low thyroid
- Optimize pH balance to maintain bone calcium levels
- Top up your hormones: The decline in your sex hormones – estrogen, progesterone and testosterone – with age accelerates bone loss. Here’s why: There are two important cell types in bone tissue, osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoblasts produce new bone tissue while osteoclasts remove existing bone tissue. Without enough estrogen, osteoclast activity speeds up, and bones lose their density. Whereas, progesterone and testosterone has been shown to stimulate osteoblast activity and potentially aid new bone growth. Consider bioidentical hormone replacement if any, or all three, are low. Look for an anti-aging doctor or a naturopathic doctor that specializes in hormone balancing.
- Go greener with veggies and good fats: Research has shown that the incidence of osteoporosis is lower in the Mediterranean areas compared to other European countries. Part of this reason may lie in the traditional Mediterranean diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. One study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), revealed that consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil (compared to a low fat diet) for two years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin concentrations, suggesting a protective effect on bone. All the more reason to include a tablespoon of olive oil you’re your meals twice daily. (http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=FP7_NEWS&ACTION=D&DOC=1&CAT=NEWS&QUERY=01395cef9e56:0e0d:228f7aa2&RCN=34955)
- Stick in some strength training: Bone density has a lot to do with what you do – or do not do – in the gym. Bone is a tissue that is always changing due to hormonal changes and physical activity, or lack thereof. Regular strength training helps to deposit more minerals in the bones, especially those in the legs, hips and spine. The opposite is also true – lack of regular exercise will accelerate bone loss. A study to be published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism(JCEM) suggests that physical activity for premenopausal women is very effective in reducing sclerostin — a known inhibitor of bone formation. The study found that women who had more than two hours of physical activity per week had significantly lower levels of serum sclerostin, and higher IGF-1 levels (your youthful hormone) than those women who had less than two hours of physical activity per week. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815082606.htm).
- Keep your weight (and insulin) in check: If you are prone to osteoporosis, you may be shocked to discover that all the calcium in the world isn`t going to help you maintain your bones if your insulin levels are high. In fact, most of that calcium will be eliminated through your urine, or even worse, form calcifications in your arteries. In an important feedback loop, insulin signals osteoblasts to activate a hormone called osteocalcin, which in turn promotes glucose metabolism. Coupled with weight gain caused by insulin resistance, it`s a double whammy that increases your chances or breaking or fracturing a bone. Recent research has revealed that one of the body’s obesity-related hormones — adiponectin — is also linked to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures, as well as reduced muscle strength and lower muscle mass (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101171036.htm).
In addition to a diet that keeps your insulin levels low, such as the meal plan in The Carb Sensitivity Program, I recommend adding a conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to your supplement arsenal twice daily with food. CLA has been shown to help preserve lean muscle as well as maintain bone density and muscle mass, improve insulin (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15930483)
Melissa Ramos, CNP, R.Ac. – SexyFoodTherapy
Here are the three things I’d recommend for the treatment of osteoporosis:
- Increase the alkalinity in your diet – this would mean adding in at least 50% of greens into your diet.
The biggest myth for many is that they have to take MORE calcium when really they need to question the absorption of their
calcium. By making sure their diet is alkaline, it will allow for increased bioavailability.
- Remove the coffee! – Coffee will not only create acidity in the body, but it will also leach the calcium
out of your bones! If you really want coffee, keep it as a treat for the weekends.
- Weight-bearing exercise– By adding in weight-bearing exercise, you’ll be able to strengthen your bones by
creating more osteoblasts (bone cell production). This will help to strengthen the body and prevent any future fractures.
Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT – PlantBasedDietitian
Three methods to prevent osteoporosis include regular resistance training, an alkalizing plant-based diet, and avoiding processed foods.
Danny-J Johnson, Trainer – TheSweatyBetties
If I could recommend 3 natural treatments for Osteoporosis it would be:
- Resistance training/weight lifting – its the only thing that can really improve bone density. Holding a plank is great for wrists too.
- Cut out caffeine and coffee. Caffeine can cause the body to take important minerals from bones.
- Cut diet soda! Diet soda also takes important minerals from bones.
Trainer Jo – TrainerJo.com
First off, I recommend finding a personal trainer with a specialty in geriatrics to help you with a solid strength training program with Yoga (since osteoporosis is most common in people over 50) Making sure to avoid any movements that can set off inflammation and pain, especially neck flexion, that is why an expert is recommended.
Second, an organic dietary lifestyle that is low is saturated fats, high-glycemic carbohydrates & GMOs. I have seen inflammation in many of my clients practically cease by simply removing all manufactured foods, foods with gluten as well as commercially farmed meat products.
Thirdly, 5-10 minutes of meditation a day with focus on reducing inflammation. What I mean is spending 5-10 minutes a day with your mind telling your body that it is healthy and free of inflammation. Whatever the mind says, the body will eventually follow. Believe with all your heart that your condition will not cause you pain… And that will become true
Eben Davis, Clinic Director – ExecutiveExpressChiro
- Walking (weight bearing exercise builds bone mass)
- Plant based diet (high animal protein diets linked to bone loss)
- Chiropractic adjustments (keeps the spine mobile and better able to handle exercise)
Shannan O’Hara-Levi, MSW, CHHC – HolisticallyRooted
If I could pick only 3 natural treatments for osteoporosis they would be:
- Eating a diet rich in plant foods high in calcium such as broccoli, kale and beans.
- Quit smoking! (I mean I hate to waste one of my recommendations on that one because really?! Are people still smoking out there??? Quit!)
- Soak up that vitamin D!! That big yellow ball in the sky facilitates your body to better use all that calcium right food you are eating.
Of course prevention is key! Start all these things NOW and your chances of even developing osteoporosis earlier in your life lowers.
Victoria Dunckley, MD – DrDunckley.com
- Eliminate all carbonated beverages, especially soda. They leach calcium out of bones.
- Increase weight bearing activities (doesn’t have to be lifting weights necessarily).
- Use a vibration platform several times a week for 10-20 min/session. You can literally just stand on it while watching TV or flipping through a magazine. Studies show increased bone density, improved hormone profiles (increased sex hormones and decreased cortisol, a stress hormone), and, importantly, fewer falls in the elderly. (You can even start by sitting on it if balance is an issue)
Supposedly the vibrations help the lymph system as well, though I don’t think that has been studied.
For me it’s the easiest way to exercise when you don’t feel like it!
Judith Ann Sullivan, BSc (Hons) MChS – BetaHealthClinic
Stopping smoking should be priority along with regular weight-bearing exercises, such as walking or aerobics and good calcium intake is essential for healthy bones.
Lani Muelrath, M.A., fitness and plant-based nutrition consultant – LaniMuelrath.com
The loss of bone mineral – commonly referred to as osteoporisis – is most likely the result of a combination of genetic along with dietary and lifestyle factors. The biggest lifestyle factors are the intake of animal protein, salt, and possibly caffeine, along with tobacco use, physical inactivity, and lack of exposure to the sun. International comparisons show a strong positive relationship between animal protein intake and bone fracture rates as well.
Here are 6 tips for offsetting osteoporosis and keeping strong calcium-fortified bones.
- Get and stay active: There is a distinct correlation between physical activity and bone calcium. Active people retain calcium in their bones, while sedentary people tend to lose bone calcium.
- Soak in some rays: Vitamin D controls how efficiently the body absorbs and retains calcium. By enjoying a few minutes of sunlight on the skin each day, you can produce the vitamin D your body needs.
- Eliminate animal proteins from the diet: A 1994 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that when animal proteins were eliminated from the diet, calcium losses were cut in half. You can easily obtain sufficient dietary protein from vegetables, beans, and grains.
- Stop smoking: smoking contributes to bone loss
- Step on the salty food brakes: Sodium in the form of salty snacks, high sodium packaged foods, or too much from the salt shaker encourages calcium to pass through the kidneys.
- Curb caffeine: Caffeine has a diuretic effect on the body, resulting in loss of both water and calcium when consuming the equivalent of two or more cups of coffee a day. Thus, limiting caffeine accordingly can be a bone-saving strategy.
Shivana Pateras, C.N.H.P. – BeyondBeliefs
I’d recommend Alkaline diet, Resistance exercise, and EFT (emotional freedom technique).
Carrie E. Demers, MD – HimalayanInstitute
The most important things to do to help bones (osteoporosis) are
- EXERCISE: Weight bearing exercise is what makes the body put more calcium into the bones; the stress of moving own weight is what makes bones become stronger!
- CALCIUM RICH FOODS:Green leafy vegetables (kale, collard, and broccoli!), dairy products, nuts and seeds (especially almonds, brazil nuts and sesame seeds/tahini). Good quality fats.
- VITAMIN D: We need vitamin D to help our bodies absorb the calcium we are eating. Without it, we don’t take it into our bodies.
- BONUS RECOMMENDATION – RELAXATION: The other piece of this puzzle is relaxation practice. Thin bones are a characteristic of Vata (ayurvedic constitution). Vata needs to relax and restore. Twice a day, people with bone loss should lie down in shavasana (corpse pose) and breath deeply for 8-10 minutes, perhaps after a walk or weight bearing exercise.
Sherrice Sledge-Thomas, Master Herbalist – SafiyahHeals
Thanks for asking.
Emmanuel Dagher – EmmanuelDagher
For me, I believe that every physical issue stems from an emotional root cause. In this case, Osteoporosis is about thinking that oneself is no longer capable of changing our shifting their life in order to grow & develop. So what I would recommend is several things:
- Be willing to learn something new everyday whether it’s signing up for an art class, learning a new language, or anything in between. This will allow the ‘mind’ to begin opening back up to the possibility that one can actually continue to expand, grow & develop.
- Exercise, but make it fun. Things like dancing, swimming or any fun activity that can get the body moving would be great.
- Eating natural foods that are not processed or in a box/can is very helpful. Foods rich in calcium, magnesium & silica are very important. If one works with these 3 methods, they can absolutely begin anchoring more wellness in their lives.
Abhishek Ghosh – Dr.AbhishekGhosh.net
It is found that fish oil containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and GLA (gamma linolenic acid) provide effective safeguards against osteoporosis ( Citation – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163782700000163, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378512202000221). Third is decreasing intake of some soft drinks like Colas (Citation – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17023723).
As most of the Pharmaceutical companies, various publications are well known to promote (or rather spam) some new way and ultimately kill the innocent peoples (Rofecoxib is one of the example) and Osteoporosis was never an epidemic like issue, even 200 years ago, it appears to me; following the ways of eating, working said by grandparents are safest – its my personal view. From a logical point of view, the methods described by Baba Ramdev can be useful for prevention Osteoporosis.
Mark Sherwood – 4EverFitLife
That is extremely difficult. However, if forced to choose, I would recommend the following:
- Lifestyle change (including a new view a personal responsibility for total wellness).
- The addition of the medical food Osteoben. This formula is the most effective today with real studies indicating as much as a 16% BMD increase in a 3 year people study with NO side effects as commonly associated with Bisphosphinates.
- The addition of resistance training. This could begin with body weight but would be progressed individually.
Matt Mayberry – MattMayberryOnline
First and foremost, before anything is done on your own, I highly recommend seeing a doctor and figuring out what the real problem is. Who knows, there could be an underlying problem that is giving you the pain you may be experiencing.
Osteoporosis affects tens of millions of americans each year. After you have seen a doctor and been diagnosed, I would highly suggest getting on an exercise regimen. Study after study has always pointed to exercise when bone health is the discussion. Obviously, starting to exercise at a young age is ideal, but even if one is older they can still experience the wonderful benefits of an exercise program. Just three times a week for 10-15 minutes can greatly increase bone density among many other health benefits. Continuing to exercise throughout your life will help reduce bone loss.
Healthy food choices. Aside from exercise, one of the best approaches to maintain and build strong bones is to make healthy food choices. Consult with a local specialist or doctor on the dietary changes you should be making in your life. Here is a list of some nutrients that you will want to get a sufficient amount of daily: Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Boron, and Vitamin K. A great way to unwind after a long day and to absorb your daily intake of magnesium levels is to soak in an epsom bath.
Invest your time wisely by stretching before any physical activity. I stretch first thing in the morning and last thing before I go to bed. See a chiropractor and discuss the different things you should be doing on a daily basis. In the beginning, you might feel this is a painful and long journey, but enrol others in your plan of attack. Seek help. Do everything in your power to fight the battle.
Incorporate an exercise program into your daily life, it could even be a walk around the block, make healthy food choices, and consult a professional immediately. You are not all by yourself.
Madeleine Shaw – MadeleineShaw.com
I am all for eating whole food to help prevent osteoporosis.
Obviously for strong bones you need calcium, I don’t always turn to milk as many people find this hard to digest. Cruciferous veggies (like kale, collard greens and spinach) have a good helping of calcium and can be absorbed easily into the body.
Bone health though is more than calcium, you need not only minerals but fat double vitamins (A, D and K2) to regulate bone mineralisation. I like to get these from seafood and grass fed meat.
My final natural approach is yoga, putting weight on bones strengthens them, it doesn’t have to be crazy headstands, but a little light stretching and body weight balancing goes along way!
The ideal day is a yoga class followed by a plate of salmon and sautéed kale!
Leila Lutz – MomentumForLife.com.au
My ultimate treatment for anything related to bones and joints, is bone broth (home made) one cup daily, regular cleansing ( twice per year) to ensure gut bacteria is balanced and the intestines are able to assimilate adequate nutrients. Good saturated fats, no sugar or processed foods and full body strength training three times per week.
Tara Marie Segundo, M.A – TaraMarie.com
My top 3 recommendations to naturally increase bone mineral density and stave off osteoporosis are as follows:
- Eat foods rich in easily absorbed dietary calcium from sources like dark leafy greens and sesame seeds. I prefer these to milk products, which can be hard to digest. Collard greens, spinach, kale, turnip and mustard greens are great! Grind sesame seeds in a dedicated coffee grinder, used only for seeds. Sprinkle them on veggies, salads, cereal, etc. Tahini is also loaded with sesame seeds and therefore, calcium!
- Build resistance training into your weekly routine. When you strengthen your muscles, your bones become stronger from the mechanical stress of exercise. You can use free weights, machines, bands, tubing, your body weight, etc. You have to stress muscles and bones to make them grow! Aim for a minimum of 3 sessions a week for at least 30 minutes.
- Stop drinking soda! The phosphorus acid in soda (both diet and regular soda) is believed by researchers to leach calcium from bones and/or interfere with calcium metabolism in other ways. Cut it out of your life. Soda does nothing good for your body!!
Meleni Aldridge – ANHInternational
Please find below the top 3 things that we would consider beneficial for osteoporosis sufferers:
- Dietary therapy: Include dietary (not supplementary) sources of calcium such as broccoli, watercress, kale, okra, green/French beans, almonds, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts, fish, apricots and figs, and cheeses and dairy if these are well tolerated. It is important that diets should not be too high in protein. Diets should also include sources of vitamin K2, such as fermented foods and grass-fed meat (as opposed to grain fed). As well as vitamin K2, also include sources of vitamins A (retinol), D (exposure to sunshine), and the minerals magnesium and potassium, as these all ensure efficient utilisation of dietary calcium. Also include sources of the key nutrients: zinc, manganese, boron, vitamin C, B6 and folates.
- Lifestyle modifications: Weight bearing exercise is of key importance in order to maintain bone strength, as is exposure to sunshine.
- Nutritional (supplementation) therapy: Those who have been prescribed calcium supplements alone by their doctors should question on what evidence the prescription has been made. Supplements of the following may be helpful in the appropriate doses: Vitamins A (retinol), D3, K2, magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese, boron, vitamin C, B6 and folates. Those who have, or are at risk of osteoporosis or are concerned about bone health, should consider getting advice from a qualified and experienced nutritional practitioner so that dietary, supplement and physical activity protocols can be optimised for their individual situation.
Evelyn Fuertes, AADP – FromSproutsToSupper
The 3 best tips:
- We all hear that weight bearing exercises are good for bones, but jumping is even better!
- Eating plenty of low oxalate high calcium veggies like Kale and Broccoli.
- Eating nuts, seeds and legumes are also great sources of calcium.
Bonus: For those that consume calcium fortified nut milks a glass a day can help boost calcium, levels, so can fortified cereals.
Lisa Chilvers B.A., RHN, RhA – HolisticUnited
We would love to make some recommendations.
- Anti- inflammatory diet: Cut out all refined sugar and focus on whole foods. Specifically focus on greens leafy vegetables, broccoli, kale, kelp, oats, salmon, flounder, garlic, onions, non-GMO soy products (they help with estrogen), and vegetarian protein sources -> tofu, pea protein, lentils and beans
- Weight bearing activities: We love walking. A lack of exercise can promote calcium loss
- Basic nutrient support: A bone support formula: boron, Vit K, calcium, magnesium, maganese, zinc and B-complex with additional B12, multi enzyme complex with HCL
A big thanks to everyone who contributed to this exceptional post! Please share if you think it was helpful to you!
|Top Natural Osteoporosis Treatments (as voted by 44 experts)|
|Weight-bearing exercises (38 votes)|
|Diet of mineral-rich foods (23 votes)|
|Proper Calcium Supplements with Vitamin D (18 votes)|
|Alkaline Diet (17 votes)|
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