Lack of calcium has always been pinpointed as the culprit behind osteoporosis, a condition characterized by porous and fragile bones, afflicting mostly women, and found by recent studies to strike even before puberty.
Top natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola, however, refuses to buy the whole calcium story. “The first myth is that osteoporosis is due to a calcium deficiency. As you’ll soon see, that’s not simply the case,” he says, warning against the many dangers of osteoporosis:
- Low bone mass
- Structural deterioration of bone tissue
- Increased fracture risks
Exposing the Calcium Lie
The Calcium Lie, authored by Dr Robert Thompson M.D., tackles this myth. The book states that the bone is made up of at least a dozen minerals, and that a focus on calcium supplementation is likely to worsen bone density and even increase osteoporosis risks!
“Dr. Thompson believes that the overconsumption of calcium in the goal of preventing osteoporosis creates other mineral deficiencies and imbalances that will also increase your risk of heart disease, kidney stones, gallstones, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Mercola says.
He also adds that a recent study presents another link, reporting that exercise, not calcium, builds strong bones among teenagers.
The Danger of Drugs
Another wrong notion on osteoporosis, says Dr. Mercola, is that it should be treated with bisfosphonate drugs like Fosamax, Actonel, or Boniva, which he says are “dangerous and loaded with side effects.”
“This is one of the worst strategies for treating this condition, because even though it will increase your bone density, it is a poison!” reveals Dr. Mercola, explaining that such osteoporosis drugs work by killing certain cells in the bones called osteoclasts.
When this happens, he adds, cells die off and only bone-building osteoblasts are left. “Hence you get bigger bone that is denser, but NOT stronger. Your bones actually become weaker, and in the long term increase your risk of developing a fracture,” he says.
Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis the Safe, Natural Way
Dr. Mercola asserts that despite the dangers of osteoporosis, you can still build healthy bones and a better, osteoporosis-free self.
- Eat right. Resist processed foods. Eat high-quality, organic food that is biodynamic and locally grown. Avoid certain stuff like gluten – a specific protein in many grains like wheat, barley, and rye, to name a few – because it’s been shown to decrease bone density.
- Go down the Omega-3 route. Omega-3 fats help build healthy bones. Dr. Mercola specifically recommends krill oil, a superior Omega-3 source. Another concern is to balance out your Omega-3 and Omega-6 ratio and reduce consumption of processed vegetable oils.
- Fight the disease with Vitamin K! Dr. Mercola says that potent disease-fighting Vitamin K2 supplements are beneficial in warding off osteoporosis. Vitamin K holds a number of benefits, including improved bone density and aid against arterial calcification, coronary heart disease, and heart failure
- Vitamin D for defense. Potentially fighting a number of conditions, optimized Vitamin D levels might as well be beneficial for building bone density and strength.
- Exercise your way to better bones. Weight-bearing exercises contribute to strong, healthy bones. “Remember, bone-building is a dynamic process, so you want to make sure you exert enough force on your bones to stimulate the osteoblasts to build new bone,” Dr. Mercola advises.