At age 16 I was a volunteer at a hospital bacteriology lab. I became a chemist for U.S. government. Then I studied health & related fields.
Woman (Kate Beckinsale) Without Osteoporosis
Cause and Cure of Osteoporosis
Since science is constantly discovering new things, it is good to know that this article was written in April 2011. I see from questions on Hubpages that there is a lot of confusion about this subject of osteoporosis and bone density. Lack of bone density does not have to be your destiny.
Make sure to read to the end, since that is where I have the great quotes by medical doctors about this and other causes of osteoporosis. The links are in blue. To go back to other sites, you can right click on the back button, to see a list of them. You can always click on File and New Window to open a link in a new window, if you have the memory to handle that.
U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, PubMed.gov: Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study:
RESULTS: We found no evidence that higher intakes of milk or calcium from food sources reduce fracture incidence.
CONCLUSIONS: These data do not support the hypothesis that higher consumption of milk or other food sources of calcium by adult women protects against hip or forearm fractures.
See this article Do You Get Enough Calcium & Protein with June 2016 information. The Calcium Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet (see above article for link) from U.S. Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements says:
Serum calcium is very tightly regulated and does not fluctuate with changes in dietary intakes; the body uses bone tissue as a reservoir for, and source of calcium, to maintain constant concentrations of calcium in blood, muscle, and intercellular fluids. The remaining 99% of the body's calcium supply is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure and function.
Consuming Milk or Dairy
The first thing that people think of is that there is not enough calcium in the diet and that causes osteoporosis or weak bones. Dairy has a lot of calcium in it. If you look at Wikipedia under Protein, it says that drinking milk causes weak bones. That is if it has not been removed by someone working for the Dairy Industry.
It is important to note here that contrary to popular belief, the consumption of dairy products does not prevent bone loss. In fact, the consumption of dairy products, as it is high in animal protein, creates bone loss. Whenever there is an increase in dairy consumption the rate of osteoporosis and bone fractures also go up.
If you consume too much fat or carbs (carbohydrates), your body stores it as fat. If you consume too much protein, like the average American, your body cannot store the excess protein. It must break it down. This creates different toxins and makes the body too acid. This leads to many diseases.
Animal foods are very high in protein, like dairy foods. Cheese has more calcium than milk and Americans eat a lot of cheese. Yet Americans have high rates of osteoporosis or weak bones. As far as the average American eating too much protein, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) says that the average vegan eats twice the protein that they need.
That is too much! Vegans eat no animal foods. The M.D. who wrote the 2008 book Anticancer , says that the problem in America is that Americans eat a meal with a lot of meat and a little bit of vegetables. Instead they should be eating a lot of vegetables and a little bit of meat. His book talks about giving up all meat to cure cancer like he did.
For a vegan this would be eating a lot of tofu or seitan with a little bit of vegetables, instead of eating a lot of vegetables with a little bit of seitan or tofu. Seitan is a wheat product with twice the protein of meat. So by eating the excess amount of protein, that seems normal to Americans but would be very abnormal to people in many other countries, the body becomes too acid.
So the body tries to neutralize this acid by taking the calcium out of the bones. But why can't it recycle that calcium? The calcium is bonded to the acid to neutralize it and then the body gets rid of it through the urine.
So the problem is not a lack of calcium in the diet. The problem is from a lot of calcium in the urine. A simple test can show this. So to have stronger bones and prevent cancer (according to David Servan-Schreiber M.D. PhD, author of Anticancer ) eat less high protein animal foods.
Below you will see more about what Dr Joel Fuhrman says about other foods affecting bone density. But as far as foods that are alkaline and acid, you find that the unprocessed healthy foods are usually alkaline and the man-made unhealthy foods are usually acid. Please note that acid fruits are alkaline since this refers to what is left after it is digested.
Also the Chinese say that it is better to go 3 days without food than to go one day without tea! The Chinese started drinking tea 5,000 years ago, not because it tasted good but because it was the healthiest herb around! The green tea and white tea are healthier than the black tea that is more fermented than the other two.
Green tea is the most alkaline food that exists! I bet you all the tea in China, that osteoporosis can be beat! The book Anticancer has a whole page about green tea (page 102).
Green tea also acts as a detoxifier for the body. It activates mechanisms in the liver that can that can then eliminate cancerous toxins from the body more rapidly.
Instead of getting calcium from dairy products you can get it from orange juice, leafy greens and many plant foods. Leafy greens also have vitamin K1 that is also needed for bone health. According to Joel Fuhrman M.D., all this excess protein in the American diet contributes to high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems like strokes and heart attacks. Forty percent of Americans over the age of 40, have high blood pressure (hypertension).
Joel Fuhrman created the term 'nutritarian' diet where people eat nutrient dense foods. He created the ANDI scale of foods that is is used by Whole Foods Market. Hundreds of doctors follow his nutritarian diet. He says that Americans eat about 5 times the protein that they need. Also ex-President Bill Clinton has become a vegan except for fish every once in a while.
My college textbook on nutrition says that protein deficiency is rare in the world and does not exist in this part of the world. Kwashiorkor, which is commonly considered to be a protein deficiency, is actually a symptom of malnutrition in general. If you give kwashiorkor sufferers a diet containing sufficient calories, their “protein deficiency” symptoms clear up automatically – even if they’re eating just bread or rice. I think it was used to by the meat industry to make you think you need to worry about protein.
Also needed for good bone density and to avoid osteoporosis, you need many other nutrients including vitamin D, vitamin K1, K2, magnesium, boron and others . You also need to be doing weight bearing exercises that stress your bones. "Use it or lose it!" The best for this is resistance training or weightlifting. Also carrying your baby or groceries also helps. Our ancestors have been doing this for hundreds of thousands of years.
Please note that it is very important to get enough vitamin D, far beyond what you need for bone health to prevent cancer, cardiovascular problems and many other things. So see the Vitamin D article here. Also Vitamin K-2 in the MK-7 form helps to take calcium out of the arteries and put it into the bones according to many studies. See the article on Vitamin K-2 here for why this is the most effective and a food source of it. Note that you can right-click on the BACK button to list the websites you were at so you can jump back to them.
The PCRM is the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Their article The Protein Myth says:
Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones: Diets that are rich in animal protein cause people to excrete more calcium than normal through their kidneys and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Countries with lower-protein diets have lower rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures.
Increased calcium excretion increases risk for kidney stones. Researchers in England found that when people added about 5 ounces of fish (about 34 grams of protein) to a normal diet, the risk of forming urinary tract stones increased by as much as 250 percent.
To consume a diet that contains enough, but not too much, protein, simply replace animal products with grains, vegetables, legumes (peas, beans, and lentils), and fruits. As long as one is eating a variety of plant foods in sufficient quantity to maintain one’s weight, the body gets plenty of protein.
Steven Pratt, M.D., says in Super Foods Rx (© 2008):
Keep in mind [page 22] that eating plant protein leads to less calcium loss than animal protein, a benefit to those who are vulnerable to osteoporosis. In general, as you increase your protein intake, you increase the amount of calcium lost from your bones. The acidity that occurs with eating meat increases the calcium loss compared with plant protein.
On page 122 he says:
For one thing, the more protein you take in, the more calcium you excrete in your urine, thus raising your risk for osteoporosis.
A high-protein diet is also associated with some risk for kidney damage among susceptible people.
Here is more information from Fasting and Eating for Health (by Joel Fuhrman M.D.). This book has a 3 page chapter called High-Protein Diets Cause Osteporosis . Page 39 says:
Multiple studies have linked osteoporosis not to low calcium intakes, but to diets high in protein, salt, refined sugar, caffeine, and phosphorus contained in soft drinks, all of which cause an excessive loss of calcium in the urine.
[Hegsted M, Linkswiler HM. Long-term effects of level of protein intake on calcium metabolism in young adult women. Journal of Nutrition 1981;111:244-51.][Zemel MB, Schuette SA, Hegsted M, Linkswiler HM. Role of sulfer-containing amino acids in protein induced hypercalciuria (the presence of abnormally great amounts of calcium in the urine) in men. Journal of Nutrition 1981;111:545-52
My uncle, Dr. Bernard Bluestein (Uncle Bernie) (PhD in chemistry with wife Claire who was also a PhD in chemistry) got me interested in chemistry when I was very young. For more on the chemistry, calcium (and other minerals) can combine with acids to form a salt. That is how calcium neutralizes an acid. For example calcium citrate [Ca3(C6H5O7)2] is the calcium salt of citric acid [C6H8O7].
One of the things mentioned above by Dr. Fuhrman is salt. He promotes a diet with no salt ideally. New Zealander researchers put elderly woman on a low-salt diet (1,600 mg daily). Then they switched them to a high-salt diet (3,900 mg of salt daily). They ate the same amount of calcium on both diets. On the high-salt diet, 30% more calcium was flushed out of the body! Also read about how Salt Can Make You Overweight and how it is the Main Cause of High Blood Pressure. In the above, you learn that consuming foods that are high in potassium helps your body to get rid of excess sodium from salt.
Copyright 2011 by Chuck Bluestein
Osteoporosis Prevention by Dr. Sten Ekberg (D.C.) (1 minute long)
Osteoporosis Treatment: Health Model Versus The Disease Model
90 second video-- I want what you've got!
Nell Rose from England on July 03, 2019:
Hi, I will pass this on to a woman I work for. She has terrible Osteoporosis, she will be really interested. Great advice, thanks Chuck.
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on December 26, 2016:
I was listening to an MD saying that consuming meat, dairy and eggs is just as bad as smoking. But in 1950 smoking was very popular and suggested for health. So he says that things will change in 50 years but will you be alive. See my Twitter page, https://twitter.com/whizkid7
Michael Kismet from Northern California on December 26, 2016:
Your hub title drew me in..I have Osteoporosis, and was informed that it was hereditary. It is most evident in my jaw, to which I need bone grafts before starting orthodontic treatments. So, I've been drinking plenty of milk for calcium and taking vitamin D supplements.
But after reading your article, I am genuinely shocked that the studies you mentioned reveal consumption of dairy calcium may actually exacerbate bone loss! God knows how long I would have continued with dairy to try and combat my Osteoporosis, before knowing better!
(please note I mentioned "God", but I am a devout Atheist, and only mentioned "him" for dramatic effect)
I will be upping my leafy green and vitamin K intake, post haste! I can't thank you enough Chuck. I will be sharing this article, no doubt.
Additionally, I love this following quote from your article, "Also the Chinese say that it is better to go 3 days without food than to go one day without tea!"
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on February 02, 2014:
Debby, they still contain huge amounts of sodium and that is what is bad for you. The good things that you hear about it comes from people selling it. It is not a food. But food companies put it in foods since it increases appetite so people eat more. I have a whole article on salt. If you put 4 ounces of it in a pint of water and drink it, you will be dead within an hour due to hypernatremia (too much sodium in the blood).
Debby Bruck on February 02, 2014:
More good info. People today are relearning how to eat properly to maintain the correct balance. Very interesting study about salt intake in the body. What do you think of Celtic and Himalayan Salts that contain many trace minerals and nutrients? Thank, Chuck.
Elaine McFadden, MPH, RD on September 07, 2013:
Agree with the article and many of the comments. Recently interviewed Organic Pasteur's Raw Dairy and believe we need to find the best way to go back to raw milk on a massive scale to improve health of all Americans. For minerals my #1 recommendation is Terramin, ION-MIN 15 million y/o minerals with strong negative charge and one micron size. With 57 minerals in the perfect form for absorption into our body, plus having them all present together, is in my mind the ultimate way to remineralize our bodies. Something that has to strengthen every system including our skeletal. The pH of the minerals helps bring our bodies back to normal balance for optimal health. Check it our on Amazon. Terramin comes in pills (if don't like taste to drink minerals or powder to mix with water, use on skin, hair, to brush teeth and heal itching, burns, rashes, wounds, sores. Internally can help with digestion problems and heartburn like nothing I've ever seen.
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on October 19, 2012:
Thanks. Not only am I good at finding information online, I am unequalled in all the world at putting it together and figuring it out. My uncle was a PhD in chemistry. He saw that there were all these health problems that no one could figure out.
He saw that I was learning everything at a much earlier age. So he taught me as a little boy to think like a scientist and figure things out. He also tried doing this with his youngest daughter but it did not stick.
So I have been learning to explain it as simply and clearly as I can. Also it looks like from doing yoga from age 12, I developed personal healing abilities. So the 2 of these together created the perfect storm.
Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on October 19, 2012:
Good research here. Your articles always have such interesting health details. Off to RT on Twitter.
healthylife2 on September 17, 2012:
Osteoporosis is something I have to definitely avoid after serious health issues. Great article with useful tips. A vegan diet is my ultimate goal but one I haven't achieved yet. I've learned I can get all the calcium I need from dark leafy green vegetables and don't need to ingest dairy at all. Thanks for the useful information and reminder to add green tea. Voted up!
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on September 17, 2012:
Thanks! I will go and see your article.
visionandfocus from North York, Canada on September 17, 2012:
Excellent info on osteoporosis. You've certainly done your research thoroughly. Calcium supplements are hazardous and yet doctors prescribe them needlessly and thoughtlessly. Whatever happened to: "First, do no harm"? The lack of nutrition education in medical school is alarming and should be remedied immediately. At least Dr Oz is telling the public the truth about what they eat and the fact that they need to exercise. Let's hope the public becomes more informed and take control of their lives rather than trusting their doctors blindly.
Great hub. I'm linking to it from mine on "What to eat for strong bones and teeth". Voted up!
Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on September 14, 2012:
very extensive research and well written. Lots of veggies, greens, beans and low salt and low meat - would that sum it up? ... oh and I love green tea.... I seem to go on kicks where I drink it daily -- then for a few months have no desire for it... odd. I need to cut back on coffee... Ouch! - I love it!
Chic Shades of Green on August 02, 2012:
This is very informative. Dark, leafy greens are a great source of calcium and all other nutrients. Also, raw milk and raw milk products are a great source of nutrients. I used to worry about calcium and would buy calcium-fortified foods. Whole foods are the best way to better health.
Akiharu Murase on January 19, 2012:
Too much zinc can lead osteoporosis.
Julia on October 16, 2011:
Excellent article Chuck. Really informative. Interesting about dairy not being useful for calcium ... makes you wonder in whos interest it was to promote this falsehood? Definitely food for thought.
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on September 24, 2011:
It looks like you are right above about excess calcium and kidney stones. I need to add a link to this site on my article-- PCRM.
"?Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones: Diets that are rich in animal protein cause people to excrete more calcium than normal through their kidneys and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Countries with lower-protein diets have lower rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures.
Increased calcium excretion increases risk for kidney stones. Researchers in England found that when people added about 5 ounces of fish (about 34 grams of protein) to a normal diet, the risk of forming urinary tract stones increased by as much as 250 percent."
adan lerma on September 14, 2011:
nicely laid out article, glad you mentioned about vit D, and the omega-6 vs 3 usage
hadn't heard as much re B-12, so that was good to read
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on July 15, 2011:
The 3 above mentioned deficiencies are what are helping to kill Amercians. Moores Cancer Center proposes that cancer is a vitamin D deficiency! This also causes the type 1 diabetes.
Americans get too much omega-6s from vegetable oil and not enough omega-3s. This causes cardiovascular problems.
Lack of vitamin B-12, causes high homocysteine levels and that causes cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and strokes. So these are the 3 big killers of Americans-- heart attacks, cancer and strokes.
Chuck Bluestein (author) from Morristown, AZ, USA on July 15, 2011:
My college textbook on nutrition says that protein deficiency is rare in the world and does not exist in this part of the world. It is not a concern. They suggest eating very healthy, nutrient dense plant foods and not counting how much fat, carbs, protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus etc.
What is a concern then? Many Americans do not get enough vitamin D (see http://bit.ly/can-cer ), omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12. These are the ones to be concerned about. The reason for the concern over protein is that the meat (they sued Oprah and lost) and dairy are high in protein so they market them by saying to get more protein.
Mary Hysong; Hysong Designs on July 07, 2011:
that was very interesting. I'm wondering if that high urinary calcium is also the cause of kidney stones? So what do these guys recommend as the appropriate amount of protein to eat in a day?
Andrew Gubb from Barcelona, Spain on April 25, 2011:
Cool hub Chuck, this is a message that needs to be heard. That thing about green tea is interesting, by the way; I'll have to see if I can learn more :)