Osteoporosis is very common as people age, especially in women. It’s the most common cause of hip fractures.
Mind you, many people think that if someone with osteoporosis falls, they break their hip. But that’s not how it always happens…often, they break their hip, and then they fall. The frail hip simply cracks under the stress of standing, and down you go.
These kinds of fractures and falls frequently lead to disability and even death. And fatal complications following such a fracture is actually more common among men than women.
Unfortunately, the mainstream’s solution to osteoporosis is all wrong. And likely to cause far more harm than good.
In a moment, I’ll tell you what you can and should do to help build strong bones naturally. But first, let’s take a look at the mainstream’s failed approaches…
Osteoporosis drugs fall short
As you know, I always advise against taking any of the popular osteoporosis drugs — such as Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel — which artificially increase bone density.
In fact, as I reported in the January 2015 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter, several large clinical trials show these drugs don’t significantly lower the risk of bone fractures over the lifetime of a patient. (You can access my newsletter archives by visiting www.DrMicozzi.com and logging into the Subscribers Sign-In with your username and password. Not yet a subscriber? Simply click here.)
Plus, research is beginning to reveal that women who take these drugs for more than five years can even suffer from atypical bone fractures — meaning their bones break spontaneously, even without a fall or major force.
These dangerous drugs attempt to build new bone cells on top of old, unhealthy bone cells. And you can’t build a strong structure on top of a rotten foundation. No wonder the research is starting to show increases in atypical bone fractures…
In my view, we should ONLY give these drugs to dogs. (And I mean that with the utmost respect to dogs.)
Our 10-year-old Great Dane, Maximus, was diagnosed last November with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer common in larger breeds. Osteosarcoma typically erodes and eats away at healthy bone surrounding the tumor.
We give Max monthly IV infusions of a bisphosphonate drug (since it is poorly absorbed through the GI tract) to stop osteoclast cells from breaking down healthy bone.
The treatment has worked well, and given Max a new lease on life, for which we are grateful. I’m glad these drugs work so well in dogs with bone cancer, like Max, but I’m sorry so many unsuspecting women take them, since they don’t work so well for osteoporosis.
The other mainstream treatment you hear about when it comes to bone health is calcium supplementation. But that approach is problematic as well…
Calcium supplementation causes more problems than it solves
Mainstream doctors generally believe that nutritional supplements are dangerous. Or — at best — useless.
But they make an exception for calcium supplements.
In fact, many U.S. doctors recommend you take calcium supplements for bone health — especially if you’re an older woman with declining estrogen levels, which can weaken bones.
However, in most cases, I strongly recommend against taking calcium supplements, as they can lead to serious health issues. (You can read more about these issues in my Daily Dispatch archives. Simply visit www.DrMicozzi.com and type “calcium supplements” into the right-hand search bar.)
Below are five major reasons why I advise against this form of supplementation:
- High calcium intake from supplements increases the risk of dementia, kidney stones, and prostate cancer.
- Calcium supplements may affect your thyroid’s hormone production.
- Calcium supplements can interfere with certain antibiotics. (Although I generally advise against taking these drugs in most instances.)
- Excess calcium can interfere with absorption of other minerals taken at the same time.
- Perhaps most importantly, research links calcium supplementation with cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer in the U.S.
In fact, calcium supplementation can lead to excess calcium in the blood, which contributes to calcification of the arteries, also known as arteriosclerosis. This “hardening of the arteries” is the underlying cause of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease of the legs.
Suzanne Humphries, M.D., a leading natural health physician, expressed concerns about these failed mainstream approaches in a recent interview. She said, “it saddens me to see older women with ‘osteopenia’ and ‘osteoporosis’ listening to their doctors and taking supplemental calcium and even problematic drugs called bisphosphonates. These are irrational, dogmatic, harmful approaches to the problem of degrading bone as we age. In my time practicing nephrology and internal medicine, I saw numerous patients suffering from vascular disease while taking the recommended doses of calcified blood vessels and calcified heart valves.”
So, let’s set the record straight right now: Osteoporosis does not primarily stem from a deficiency of calcium. Rather, it stems from a deficiency of other key nutrients…
Vitamin C naturally stimulates bone growth
Your body needs vitamin C for collagen synthesis, which builds strong connective tissues in your joints. Vitamin C also neutralizes oxidative stress throughout the body. Together, these two actions support bone health and provide real “anti-aging” benefits for the body.
Vitamin C also helps add calcium into the bone, naturally stimulating the cells that form bone to grow. It also inhibits the bone cells (osteoclasts) that break down and absorb bone.
By inhibiting osteoclasts from breaking down bone, vitamin C acts — in part — like the bisphosphonate drugs. But it works in a natural, balanced way that results in strong, healthy bone, instead of abnormal bone.
Plus, if you don’t get enough vitamin C (as well as vitamins D and K), calcium may ultimately end up in the heart muscle, heart valves, and in the blood vessels — which indicate cardiovascular disease.
Studies show that older patients who suffered bone fractures had significantly lower vitamin C levels compared to people without fractures. On the other hand, women who took vitamin C supplements had higher bone mineral density, regardless of their estrogen levels.
To maintain strong bones as you get older, follow these five simple steps:
- Avoid bisphosphonate drugs.
- Always get your daily calcium from a balanced diet, not from supplements.
- Take 250 mg of vitamin C twice daily. (You need vitamin C each and every day. Humans are among the only mammals that don’t make their own vitamin C.)
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamin C, as part of a balanced diet.
- Also take 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily. (Look for a combination bone health supplement that also contains 5 mg of boron and 150 mg of magnesium, as magnesium citrate.)
By following a proper diet and supplementation routine — and knowing what to avoid — you can build stronger, healthier bones and enjoy a more vibrant life full of more activity and less pain.
“Osteoporosis is scurvy of the bone, not calcium deficiency,” GreenMedInfo (www.greenmedinfo.com) 8/9/2012