What Causes Osteoporosis and Ten Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis

Ten Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk for Osteoporosis

  • Stop or decrease your meat intake.
  • Stop or decrease your dairy intake.
  • Decrease or eliminate sugar from your diet.
  • Cut back on processed foods.
  • Eliminate highly acid vinegars.
  • Decrease or stop caffeine.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Cut back or eliminate alcohol consumption.
  • Start a weight bearing exercise program.
  • Get plenty of sunshine or supplement vitamin D.

"The myth that osteoporosis is caused by calcium deficiency was created to sell dairy products and calcium supplements. There's no truth to it. American women are among the biggest consumers of calcium in the world, and they still have one of the highest levels of osteoporosis in the world. And eating even more dairy products and calcium supplements is not going to change that fact." - Dr. John McDougall

Discussion:

The ingestion of milk causes the blood to become acid ie -pH less than the normal 7.43. The body corrects this via the calcium phosphate balance which requires mobilization of additional calcium into the bloodstream to correct the acidosis. This calcium is obtained by removing it from the bones. Thus, it is no surprise that milk causes a total body calcium loss. This is not new information and is well discussed with reference to the original studies in John Robbins's book "Diet for a New America."

Amazing as it sounds, the ash (residue) from any animal protein that finds its way to the bloodstream is so acid that the homeostatic mechanisms of the body that maintain the pH of the blood at 7.43 are immediately invoked. The prime mechanism to accomplish this (as noted above) is the calcium / phosphate balance in the bloodstream. Since calcium acts as a base (can correct an acid condition of the blood) the body pulls calcium from the bone to offset or correct the acidosis caused by the acid residue from the animal protein (this includes dairy/milk).

Over time the continuing ingestion of animal protein leads to significant loss of bone mineralization and eventually clinical osteoporosis. Ingesting more calcium is a very simplistic approach that more often than not does not help. The problem is that supplemental calcium seldom finds its way to the bloodstream and the body will continue to remove calcium from the bone since this is the pathway that mother nature has established.

As a diagnostic radiologist I had many an occasion to see calcium tablets of all varieties totally undissolved on abdominal radiographs. Treating osteoporosis with additional calcium is like replacing the wood in a termite infested house without eradicating the termites. The only effective (and extremely simple) answer is to just not consume animal protein. One of the other complications of the increased mobilization of calcium is kidney stones. The incidence of kidney stones is considerably increased in those who consume animal protein.

The Bantu women, who are exclusively vegan and live off of a completely plant based diet in central Africa, get less than 350 mg of calcium in their daily diet. Yet, there is no osteoporosis in these women since they do not ingest any animal protein. This is also true for many women in the more remote portions of mainland China.

All the new imaging devices for measuring bone density are really a large technological waste of time and money. If you consume animal protein you are at risk for osteoporosis -period. Just take some of the money you would spend to have your bone density measured and go out and buy some good organic veggies. You and your bones will love you for it.

Osteoporosis is not gender specific. Although more women than men are affected, men also have osteoporosis. I once knew an Ultrasound technician in his thirties who had osteoporosis.

Recipes:

The following recipes are good sources of calcium from totally natural sources as well as recipes that avoid the foods that cause osteoporosis. For those of you outside of the US the need for organic foods is not as critical since the destructive commercial farming practices here have not reached the rest of the world -yet. This is especially true in Europe where a tomato, I am told, still tastes like a tomato.

Black bean burritos, tostadas and tacos.

Prepare some organic black beans refried style as in the MericleDiet or however you like to prepare your beans. Obtain some organic tortillas, taco or tostada shells. Drop some refried beans into or onto one of the above and add some chopped lettuce, cabbage or onions. Black beans and onions really make a good burrito. Wrap the tortilla around your filling and garnish with salsa and maybe some more cabbage or lettuce. If you like, you can fry the burrito to make what we used to call a "Cindy Special" from an old Mexican restaurant here in Tucson. The frying is however not without its caloric burden, although it makes for a real taste treat.

Other good sources of calcium are organic kale, collards, broccoli, bok choy and tofu.

A fresh spinach salad makes a nice addition to this meal and a lot of organic greens really are excellent sources of calcium that the body can utilize. I have been told that, although spinach is high in calcium, it is also high in oxalic acid which is alleged to bind the calcium thus limiting its absorption. However spinach is still a good bet since it has been shown to retard the development of macular degeneration.

Summary:

Osteoporosis is not a disease of calcium absorption but is a proactive disease caused by ingesting foods that upset the acid/base balance of the body thus requiring calcium to be slowly but constantly leached from your bones in order to keep the blood (pH) normal (7.43). No amount of ingested calcium will correct the problem as long as one continues to destroy their bones by eating the wrong foods. The answer is to simply stop the destruction of your bones by significantly reducing or completely stopping the ingestion of animal protein.

We hope you find this informative. Please stay tuned for the next newsletter that will cover sugar, vitamin C, insulin, your white blood cells, your immune system and the very interesting subject of competitive inhibition or -how much vitamin C should I take? To sign up for the MericleDiet Newsletter / Dr. Mericle Health Tips please follow the link below:

http://www.DrMericle.com

One last quote:

"In the next 10 to 15 years, one of the things you're bound to hear is that animal protein ... is one of the most toxic nutrients of all that can be considered . Risk for disease goes up dramatically when even a little animal protein is added to the diet." T. Colin Campbell Ph.D. (Author of The China Study).

Remember the Bantu women.

The MericleDiet.

The MericleDiet is a completely vegan, 100% Sugar Free and 100% Organic easy to follow diet. It is actually more of a lifestyle than a diet as you never feel deprived or restricted. It also will keep your bone density at the best it can be. Your bones will love you for it. To visit just follow the link below:

http://www.DrMericle.com

Copyright 2005 J. Mericle M.D. All Rights Reserved

http://www.DrMericle.com is devoted to achieving optimal health and peak performance through diet and lifestyle change. Dr. Mericle brings together a unique blend of formal medical education, 29 marathons, 3 Hawaii Ironman competitions and a lot of practical real life experience.

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