Fighting Osteoporosis Naturally

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My mom was diagnosed with osteoporosis about 10 years ago. Ever since then, I have been looking closely at my habits to make sure that I do not succumb to this “silent disease.” Since there are no symptoms (hence silent disease), many people do not realize they have osteoporosis until there is a bone break. So I feel it is important to be proactive about strengthening your bones and doing what you can not to end up as one of the 10 million Americans who have it.

Here are some risk factors that increase your chance for osteoporosis. This list came from NIH (National Institutes of Health).

Risk factors you cannot change include:

  • Gender. Women get osteoporosis more often than men.
  • Age. The older you are, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Body size. Small, thin women are at greater risk.
  • Ethnicity. Caucasian and Asian women are at highest risk. Black and Hispanic women have a lower risk.
  • Family history. Osteoporosis tends to run in families. If a family member has osteoporosis or breaks a bone, there is a greater chance that you will too.

Other risk factors are:

  • Sex hormones. Low estrogen levels due to missing menstrual periods or to menopause can cause osteoporosis in women. Low testosterone levels can bring on osteoporosis in men.
  • Anorexia nervosa. This eating disorder can lead to osteoporosis.
  • Calcium and vitamin D intake. A diet low in calcium and vitamin D makes you more prone to bone loss.
  • Medication use. Some medicines increase the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Activity level. Lack of exercise or long-term bed rest can cause weak bones.
  • Smoking. Cigarettes are bad for bones, heart, and lungs.
  • Drinking alcohol. Too much alcohol can cause bone loss and broken bones.

So what can be done? Studies have shown that a combination of healthy lifestyle (exercise, eating right, not smoking) and a bone support formula with calcium and vitamin D maybe be the best way to increase your chances of strong bones.

Dr. Jerry Teplitz posted this information in his newsletter, offering another perspective. Just recently, research published in Advances in Therapy found that giving study participants 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate and 200 mg of omega-3 fats resulted in a 20 percent reduction in pain reported to researchers. While glucosamine was effective by itself, combining it with omega-3s really increased its effectiveness. Adding these nutrients together prevented cartilage degeneration that occurs with osteoarthritis.

Another supplement to explore for relief from osteoarthritis is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). It can help with arthritis, muscle soreness, shingles and many other painful conditions. In one study of arthritis sufferers reported by Raymond Francis, one group took 2,250 mg of MSM per day. They experienced an 80% reduction in pain over a 6-week period.

Yet another study compared groups taking 1,500 mg per day of glucosamine, 1,500 mg of MSM, or the two together. At the end of 12 weeks, the glucosamine group experienced a 63% reduction in their pain. The MSM group’s pain levels dropped 52% and the group taking both nutrients experienced a 79% reduction in their pain. In addition, the combination group experienced quicker relief in both their pain and inflammation levels.

Keep in mind, you want to take chondroitin with glucosamine, MSM and omega-3s.

If you would like an individualized consultation, please contact one of our nutritional advisors.

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June 2010
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