By Liz Barrington, Natural Body Healing
Osteoporosis is the acceleration or rapid breakdown of bone mass
that causes the bones to thin and become brittle. It is a
condition that affects over 3 million people in the UK alone and
anyone can be at risk at they approach middle-age.
condition is often associated with post-menopausal women.
During menopause the levels of oestrogen in the body declines, a
hormone that helps to deposit calcium in the bones. When bone
mass begins to breakdown, there is an increase in the size of
the holes within the bones, which makes the bones weaker, and so
they become porous and brittle, more fragile and liable to break
more easily. This is why it is so important to maintain a good
intake of calcium throughout life to maintain bone mass.
elderly, osteoporosis especially can result in bone fractures.
Not only can osteoporosis lead to severe distress and
disability, but in the worse case scenario it increases the
likelihood of premature death. In fact 15% of older people with
hip fractures die within the year of the fracture.
are the symptoms?
Any of the
following early warning signs and symptoms could indicate the
presence of osteoporosis if you are aged over 45.
Gradual loss of height
cramps at night
are the causes? Are you at risk?
and women have some risk of developing osteoporosis as they get
older. If you think that you may have one or more of these risk
factors, you are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis,
so you’ll need to discuss your risk with your doctor and ask to
be tested. The main factors that could cause osteoporosis or
indeed increase the risk include:
history of an over-active thyroid, Cushing’s disease, or any
condition that causes poor mobility.
periods of dieting, especially if you have or have had
anorexia nervosa or bulimia.
Individuals, who have a small bone structure, are short in
height and are of thin build.
past the menopause (when the level of oestrogen falls.
Inadequate intestinal absorption of certain nutrients from
food; enzyme deficiency.
Individuals that smoke or drink a lot of alcohol.
High-protein diets because excess of animal protein creates
elevated levels of acidity, leading to an excess of
phosphorous and subsequent calcium deficiency in the body.
full of excess sweets and refined carbohydrates which
overly-stimulate alkaline digestive juices, making calcium
insoluble (calcium is more soluble in the hydrochloric acid
environment like that normally found in the stomach).
Refined carbohydrates are also magnesium deficient;
magnesium controls the movement of calcium in/out of the
cells and is also essential for strong bones and teeth.
Inadequate intake of Calcium or Vitamin D in your diet over
a long period of time.
Individuals that have already had a bone fracture after a
minor fall or bump.
Hereditary factors/pre-disposition – a strong family history
Individuals that lead an inactive lifestyle with no
Individuals that have taken, or are taking, a steroid
medicine (such as prednisolone) for 3 months or more.
your intake of sugar, alcohol, caffeine, fried food, dairy
products and red meat.
Remember to try to achieve the
right pH balance in the body
through your diet by eating primarily alkaline-forming
Increase your intake of whole-grains, legumes, fruits, green
leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds.
least 3 portions of oily fish a week (such as mackerel,
salmon and herring), fish and small amounts of organic meat
and dairy - try sheep’s or goat’s produce instead of cows.
sources of calcium include: low-fat cheddar cheese,
semi-skimmed/skimmed milk, green leafy vegetables such as
watercress, kale, collards, broccoli, bok choi and cabbage,
sardines, salmon, tuna, almonds, eggs, tofu, dried figs,
yogurt, kelp, leeks, lentils, onions, parsley, linseed,
sesame seeds, soybeans, and pecan nuts.
too much salt, caffeine, alcohol, fizzy drinks and smoking –
as each of these increase and speed up the calcium being
excreted from the body. Smoking especially accelerates bone
loss, and caffeine interferes with proper calcium
avoid chocolate, rhubarb, spinach and too much bran as these
foods contain substances that interfere with calcium
Hydration is also important - aim to drink at least 4 to 6
glasses of filtered or mineral water a day.
Skeletal Strength: In
order for our bones to be healthy and strong, it requires
optimum amounts of three key nutrients – Calcium, Magnesium and
Vitamin D especially. Skeletal Strength is a comprehensive
structural supplement that provides essential nutrients that the
body uses to manufacture bones, ligaments, tendons and the skin,
including calcium, magnesium and vitamin D that can help
Calcium and Magnesium are
essential. Calcium helps to mineralise and
harden bones, and the research shows that by increasing your
daily intake of calcium, you can reduce the risk of
vertebrae fractures by 20. Because most postmenopausal women
have a deficient intake of dietary calcium, supplementation
of an extra 500 to 1500mg a day of calcium should be
considered. Magnesium is essential for every
biochemical process that takes place in the body, and a
shortfall will affect just about every part of your body.
Deficiency of magnesium is common, especially if you take
large amounts of calcium which can hinder magnesium absorption, a deficiency of which is a risk factor for
osteoporosis, so you also need to take the appropriate level
of magnesium as well.
Vitamin D increases calcium absorption by as much as 30% to
80%. The best source of Vitamin D is the sun. However, for
those living in the UK, it’s not possible to get daily
exposure to the sun, so taking an extra 200iu to 400iu per
day to prevent osteoporosis is therefore recommended.
or Omega 3
Fish Oil – these rich sources of essential fatty
acids (EFAs) increase calcium deposition in the bones and are
important for every cell in the body – they also can help with
swelling. EFAs have to be taken externally as the body cannot
Primrose Oil – as a rich source of Omega 6, evening primrose oil
helps bones retain their levels of calcium.
Multivitamin and minerals – the body needs all vitamins and
minerals to maintain optimum health and well-being, and
especially calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, folic
acid, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and zinc which are
all crucial for good bone health.
Synerprotein – this is a low-fat balanced protein supplements
derived from soya protein which provides all the essential amino
acids required for the building blocks of protein, which is
essential for healthy muscles, tissues and enzymes etc.
& Rosemary - Horsetail contains significant amounts of herbal
silicon which is highly recommended for arthritic and brittle
bone conditions. Silicon deficiency leads to structural
abnormalities of the long bones and skull and is also important
to the proper utilisation of calcium.
Complex – B vitamins are particularly important for the nervous
system and vital for good digestive function and enzyme
reactions that control energy, circulation, hormones and overall
Kelp is a rich source of minerals that are easily assimilated by
the body and is essential for healthy cellular function.
with Bioflavonoids – this can help strengthen collagen, the
cell-binding protein found in bone. The bioflavonoids increase
the action of Vitamin C.
following herbs are also recommended in the treatment of
Sarsparilla – traditionally used to treat skin conditions,
Sarsparilla is also very effective as a pain reliever.
Yam – this is an anti-inflammatory and anti-cramp herb and
is commonly prescribed for joint and muscle pain.
Ginseng – this is also recommended as it can be taken to
improve physical and mental performance.
exercise is also important to help maintain mobility, muscle
tone, and increase bone density. Yoga,
pilates and tai chi can
all help increase flexibility and improve muscle tone.
Meditation and relaxation practices may be of great benefit to
those suffering anxiety and depression related to osteoporosis.
weight-bearing exercise such as walking, swimming, dancing or
jogging can maintain bone mass. If the exercise is vigorous
enough, such as that in
Therapy, this will actually encourage bone re-growth. To
begin with, always try gentle exercises which can be steadily
increased at your own speed.
massage to increase blood circulation is also essential. Useful
that can help osteoporosis include Clary Sage,
Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tea-tree, Peppermint and/or
Cinnamon – blended in a base oil of almond, grape or apricot.
you are not exercising at the moment, it’s never too late to
start, and it’s a great way to lose those extra pounds!
Always check with your Doctor before commencing any exercise
important to get daily exposure to the sun, if possible, to
enable the body to synthesise its levels of Vitamin D, if not
you can always obtain
in our nutritional supplement form.
see, the good news is that osteoporosis can be prevented and
even reversed. With all chronic conditions, prevention is far
preferable to treatment. By making some adjustments to your
diet, taking some appropriate supplements and starting gentle
weight-bearing exercise, you can help reduce your risk of
osteoporosis by 40%.
The nutritional supplement product links stated in this article can only be purchased from this website in UK and in Europe; however all other health product links stated on this page are available worldwide from Natural Body Healing.
The above information should not be treated as a substitute for the
medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care