Osteoporosis is a decreased mineralization of the bone. It is a chronic loss of bone mass and strength. It happens when the rate of bone loss is faster than the production of new bone. As we age our bones are not as effective at making new bones as it was. It is more common in women over 50, but can affect anyone of any age or sex. There are many factors leading to this to include life styles and eating habits. The risk of it can be reduced and improved by simple natural protocols that include supplements, exercise, and aromatherapy.
As we age our estrogen levels drop. This happens in women during menopause, but men also have estrogen so they are susceptible also. Estrogen helps our bones absorb calcium that they need. It also helps the bones to conserve the calcium that they have stored. When our estrogen levels drop, either because of age or disease, the calcium absorption becomes an issue. Eating disorders can disturb estrogen levels at a young age as well as some prescription drugs and hereditary. This makes any one, at any age susceptible to loss of bone mass and strength i.e. osteoporosis. Though as stated before, osteoporosis it is more common in women who are over 50.
Lifestyle factors play a major role in the health of our bones. From the way we eat, to the exercise we get, these things affect our bones. Exercise is a major factor. Exercise, that is weight bearing exercise, places stress on bone, increasing its density and strength. A woman should be exercising long before menopause to be able to build up bone and muscle strength. It is recommended that we exercise 3 to 5 times a week.
A healthy diet to include plenty of calcium rich foods, soy products, and low in saturated fats, will also greatly aid in the reduction of chance to get osteoporosis. Studies have also shown that caffeine and alcohol aggravate the condition. Over all a healthy diet of whole organic foods is preferred. As well as water that is free from fluoride, as fluoride will leach calcium from bones.
Supplements can also play a key role. Listed below are the Therapeutic Daily Doses:
Vitamin C: up to 5,000 mg/day
Vitamin D: Up to 5000 IU_Women under 50:22IU/day; women 50-70: 400IU/day; women over 70:600 IU/day; Maximum daily does should not be greater than 2000 IU/day
Vitamin A as beta carotene: 3500 IU of vitamin A or 42000 IU of beta carotene//day. Excessive levels of vitamin A may be associated with bone loss; Beta carotene is water soluble and carries less risk than retinol or vitamin A.
Calcium citrate: 1200-mg, 1500-mg if over 50 each dose should not exceed 500-mg.
Magnesium: 600-mg, but best if a 1:2 ratio with Calcium
Vitamin E: 400-800 IU/day
Kelp Laminaria digitata granules: 2-t
Brewers Yeast: 2-3 T
Essential fatty acids: 3000mg
Flaxseed organic: 2-t ground fresh
Herbs to include in the diet are herbs that are high in calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Herbs recommended in general for osteoporosis would be Oatstraw Avena sativa, Parsley Petroselinum crispum, Alfalfa Medicago sativa, Nettle Urtica dioica, and Horsetail Equisetum arvense. Herbs high in phytoestrogenic substances recommended for postmenopausal symptoms are: Red clover Trifolium pretense, Black cohosh Cimicifuga racemosa, Licorice Glycyrrhiza glabra, Passion flower Passiflora incarnate, Sarsaparilla Smilax spp., and Vitex agnus castus. There are also herbs that are excellent sources of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. These should also be included in the diet for those that have osteoporosis.
There is also the debate on Estrogen Replacement Therapy, ERT. This is a highly debatable subject. As described earlier, estrogen plays a vital role in the ability of the bones to absorb calcium. It seems that people go either in one direction or the other for ERT and there is no middle ground. It is a personal decision and one that you should undertake only when you are well informed and have thoroughly considered and discussed with your medical counselor the benefits and side effects. There are numerous studies and opinions for both sides of the argument. You must be informed and make the right decision for yourself.
Osteoporosis is a disease that they are constantly learning about. It can be treated with natural protocols and in most circumstances greatly aided with the correct lifestyles and diet. As with anything regarding your health one of your best tools is information. There is a wealth of information out there. Work with your doctor or Holistic Practitioner to see what supplements and herbal choices would be best for you. And as always healthy lifestyles and diets are your number one tool to a better life.