As we discussed last time, according to much new research, milk is not a healthy way to get calcium for your bones. The dairy industry has done a great job the past several decades in convincing us that the most important mineral for our bodies is calcium, and that we MUST get it from milk.
But we now have enough evidence with 100’s of studies to confirm what we know to be true. MILK DOES NOT DO OUR BODY (AND BONES) GOOD, and we do NOT need to drink milk to support our bone health. In fact, research shows that drinking milk can be hazardous to our bones (and bodies) and can actually worsen osteoporosis and bone loss. Go here to read the full article.
In fact, do we even need calcium supplementation to strengthen and prevent bone loss?
According to Dr. Robert Thompson, in his book, The Calcium Lie II, he calls it a cult and a religion. Here is what he says:
“Osteoporosis is defined as a loss of minerals from the bones, not a loss of just calcium.”
Thompson says that if we take calcium supplements and eat calcium rich foods, we may build up excess calcium.
According to many studies and much research by Dr. Robert Thompson, M.D., top bone expert and author of the best-selling book, The Calcium Lie II, this popular philosophy is FALSE!
People have been taught, (or brainwashed, per Dr. Thompson),
that osteoporosis is caused by lack of calcium. Doctors, dieticians, nutritionists and government officials all tell us that we need 1200 mg. of calcium a day in order to have strong bones (1500 mg. if you have osteoporosis). But you very seldom hear of the other dozen or so minerals our bodies need to keep our bones healthy.
In fact, I attended a talk on Nutrition just last evening at the local gym where I attend, and the dietician emphasized with great rhetoric, that everyone (50 and older) needs at least 1200 mg. of calcium and Vitamin D to maintain strong bones. But not once did she mention the importance of the 12 other minerals that make up bones and how important it is to maintain a balance of these along with calcium.
I also picked up a book this morning called Solve it with Supplements, and Robert A Schulman, MD began to emphatically outline a generous onslaught of supplements for bone health, which included only 3 minerals (calcium, copper, and magnesium) including a full-fledged 1500 mg. of calcium for bone health! And as a Mineral Balancing Expert, I know that taking copper supplementation is dangerous as it can easily create more of a copper toxicity that most of us already have. (Please do not go out and supplement with any minerals, especially calcium and copper, unless you have been tested for your mineral levels.)
Many people believe that bones are made up only of calcium. But actually, bones are composed of 13 different minerals (some say more than that), and a proper balance of all of these is essential. The belief that bones are only made of calcium has led many doctors, dieticians to falsely recommend adding calcium supplementation to our diet to help ward off and prevent osteoporosis. This has resulted in worsening osteoporosis in patients all around the US.
Maybe YOU are one of those who has faithfully been taking the recommended 1200 mg of calcium, plus Vitamin D, and also do weight bearing exercises. Has your OP gotten better or worse. If worse, then you need to set up an appointment with me to discuss your mineral levels, and how to begin reversing your bone loss! Make an appointment here.
Looking at research, it says that over 90 percent of us don’t even need any extra dietary calcium because of our diet (high in dairy), and of the many foods we eat that are fortified with calcium.
As people eat these many fortified foods and foods high in calcium, like yogurt, ice cream, cheese and milk, and don’t supplement with foods high in these other important minerals (usually from fruits and vegetables), than calcium builds up in the body, and has no way to escape. This elevation of calcium actually drains the body of the other minerals, such as magnesium, causing other health issues.
Research also tells us that calcium supplementation can increase the risk for many health issues, including chronic disease, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism, bone spurs, kidney stones, gall stones, brain issues, (shrinking of the brain), dementia and more.
One such study, as recited by Dr. Thompson, Lara Pizzorno (Your Bones), and Ruth E. Heidrich, just to name a few, used the study published in the British Medical Journal in 2008. This popular study found that taking calcium supplements increases the risk of heart attacks in older women and increases risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Wow!
So What Can We Do?
Here is a list of steps to take in order to increase your minerals, as noted by these mineral and bone health experts:
1. Get your Minerals tested! This is the number one test I give my clients, and I recommend it hands down. The HTMA assesses the primary, secondary and tertiary minerals and checks for levels as well as an imbalance among these minerals. Mineral ratios look at heart health, thyroid, blood sugar, hormone, adrenal health, metal toxicity and even infection. It also determines your metabolic type so you know exactly which foods you should be eating according to your body type.
2. Eat according to your metabolic type.
3. Add foods rich in specific minerals missing from your diet to help balance out your minerals, (especially dark leafy greens and vegetables). This is determined from the mineral test.
4. Do NOT add supplementation until you have had a mineral test. Supplementing when you do not know your levels increases your risk for a mineral balance making your osteoporosis and health issues worse.
5. Begin weight bearing exercises as soon as you are able: walking, running, jump rope, weightlifting, or any kind of exercise that gets you moving, and your feet hit the floor to encourage bone regrowth.
Where do you go to get a Mineral Test?
Most functional doctors can perform this test, and some Naturopaths. But that is also what I do.
If you order a Mineral Test with me, I also give you a 90-minute consult as well as a food plan on where and how to get started with diet.
But, if you suffer with bone loss, please know that this is where you start. Rebalancing your minerals takes time, commitment and perseverance. Functional Medicine helps you get to the root cause of bone loss; it doesn’t just treat it.
Just having a mineral test is not necessarily enough. That is why I prefer clients to sign up for at least my 6-month Building Better Bones Program. With this program we conduct an HTMA for mineral levels, as well as look at gut, hormone and food sensitivities, and other tests, as needed. Once your mineral levels are established, you receive a customized food and supplement protocol according to your needs. We meet every other week to keep you accountable, and work together to determine your nutrient and supplements.
Getting healthy is not cheap. Changing your way of life is not easy, but isn’t it s far better to spend your money getting your body healthy so you can have quality of life into your old age, rather than spending it on surgery, hospitals, medication, or a wheelchair?
My thoughts exactly!
More to come next time! If you are enjoying this series, please like my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/veronicashealthyliving and ask to join my private Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/bonelossbodyandbrainhealth where we discuss this more deeply.
As a Mineral Balancing Expert, the first thing I assess with a new client who has bone loss are the minerals.
Stay tuned for more to come!
The Calcium Lie II , by Dr. Robert Thompson and Kathleen Barnes
Your Bones, by Lara Pizzorno
Senior Fitness, by Ruth E. Heidrich