Our bones are our support system. They hold us upright, protect our internal organs, and help us move our wonderfully healthy body. But here’s a scary fact: According to Osteoporosis Canada, fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined. And at least one in three women, and one in five men will suffer from this disease in their lifetime.
So what exactly is osteoporosis and why does it occur? And most importantly, what can we do to prevent it?
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, which can lead to increased risk of fracture. We reach our peak bone mass in our late 20s. Until this time, bone building and mineralization (managed by cells called osteoblasts), exceeds bone breakdown (facilitated by cells known as osteoclasts). In our 30s, the reverse begins to occur and the rate of bone breakdown begins to surpass bone building and mineralization. This sets the stage for osteoporosis.
Now for the good news – there are steps that you can take to support optimal bone health and prevent osteoporosis. Let’s get to it!
Eat the rainbow, including plenty of greens
We often think of bones as these inert structures – rigid and solid, not really changing after we are finished growing. In reality, our bones are extremely metabolically active and in a constant state of flux depending on our body’s mineral needs. Whenever something is metabolically active, free radicals form – this means that we need a good supply of antioxidants to help stabilize them before they can do any lasting damage. Eating a colourful diet full of all the orange, red, blue, and purple foods is key to providing your body with a wide variety of antioxidants to help prevent oxidative damage to our bones. And don’t forget to include greens and sea veggies regularly to ensure you are building up alkaline reserves to protect your bones. When the diet is too acidic, minerals are drawn from bones to maintain a proper blood pH. Formulated with green, orange, red, blue and purple foods, plus alkalinizing sea veggies, greens+ is the only superfood that’s been proven to balance pH.
Reduce intake of calcium inhibitors
Did you know that many staples in the North American diet can also inhibit calcium absorption? To maximize calcium absorption it’s not just what we eat, but what we don’t eat. Here’s how to maximize the calcium that you do consume: Avoid excess protein, sugar, grains, salt, alcohol, black tea, coffee and soft drinks in the diet, which have all been shown to deplete the body of its calcium stores, and weaken bone tissue.
Mind your gut
Nobody’s perfect, and even some of the healthiest foods out there have a flaw: anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients are compounds that can block the absorption of important bone-building minerals. Nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes are the biggest offenders, but by sprouting, or better yet fermenting these foods – you unlock their nutrient potential and break down those pesky anti-nutrients. Additionally, maintaining a proper colon pH by consuming probiotic rich-foods or a probiotic supplement will aid in mineral absorption.
When we think of bone building nutrients, the first thing that often comes to mind is calcium. While our bones definitely need it, calcium is only one piece of the puzzle – calcium needs a team of other nutrients to assist with its absorption and utilization. One scoop of greens+ bone builder provides your body with alkalizing greens, PLUS key bone nutrients and phytonutrients that have been shown to protect bone from damaging oxidative stress and curb osteoclast activity. In one study conducted at the University of Toronto, greens+ bone builder showed a 12% reduction in CTx, a major marker for bone destruction and fracture risk, while levels remained unchanged in the placebo group. We know that calcium does better with friends and this is where greens+ bone builder really shines – it contains a bone building blend, including vitamin D3, magnesium, folic acid, lysine, lycopene and 3 forms of calcium, that, when combined with the alkalinizing and nutritious greens+ formula, stimulate the growth of new bone up to 20x more than calcium alone!
Another powerhouse for bone health is collagen! Collagen is responsible for the strength and stability of body tissues. Similar to the way that we start to lose bone mass in our 30s, our collagen production begins to decline in our 20s. This loss of collagen can affect our bones—but supplementing with clean collagen, a hydrolyzed collagen that is easily absorbed can help prevent this loss. One study found that collagen peptides improved bone mineral density and bone markers and reduced degradation in postmenopausal women.
You could be eating a near perfect diet and supplementing religiously, but if you are under constant stress, you may be prone to higher levels of acidity, which we learned earlier can result in bone loss. Also, elevated cortisol levels can initiate collagen breakdown and inhibit osteoblasts, leading to decreased bone density. As long as the body remains under stress, without adequate rest and repair, bone mineralization and collagen formation will be reduced.
We all know that staying active is good for your heart and keeps muscles strong and flexible, so it’s no surprise that your bones love exercise too! But not just any type will do, weight-bearing and strength-training exercise is what our bones really crave. Activities like jogging, walking and stair climbing are great for bones, along with lifting weights, yoga and squats. Keep your joints happy as you move with Genuine Health’s line of natural and effective pain relief products, with three formulas to address different types of pain. All Genuine Health’s pain relief products are made with BiovaFlex® eggshell membrane, which works to help repair and rebuild joints and reduce inflammation for pain relief in just five days!
The time is now to make sure you are optimizing your nutrition and lifestyle to do all you can to protect your bones into your old age.
About the author: Kristen Ragno
Kristen studied holistic nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto. During and after her studies she worked at a local health food store and later as a Certified Nutritional Practitioner in private practice. Kristen is currently part of the Customer Experience and Operations teams at Genuine Health.
Rao, L. et al. Polyphenol extract of greens+TM nutritional supplement stimulates bone formation in cultures of human osteoblast-like SaOS-2 cells. J Herb. Pharmacother. 2008;5:264–282 264-282.
Konig, et al Specific Collagen Peptides Improve Bone Mineral Density and Bone Markers in Postmenopausal Women-A Randomized Controlled Study. Nutrients. 2018 Jan 16;10(1). pii: E97