As an anti-aging specialist, I’ve spent a lot of time studying and treating osteoporosis among the many “older” patients who come to my wellness clinic.
Many of them believe they must accept this painful and dangerous condition as an unavoidable part of aging.
This means I also spent a lot of time debunking the osteoporosis propaganda put out by the medical establishment.
I want them to learn about the natural ways they can keep their skeletons strong – at any age!
Osteoporosis is a “silent” disease, because it gives no clue that you might have it until a slight bump or fall produces a nasty, disabling fracture.
The degeneration and weakening of bones – osteoporosis means literally “porous bone” – has become a virtual epidemic in America. Ten million people have developed the disease.1
Another 18 million have been diagnosed with osteopenia, a condition regarded as the precursor to osteoporosis.
And treating these ailments has become a giant cash cow for Big Pharma and the mainstream medical establishment, who hawk their heavy-duty medications to the masses of America’s senior citizens.
Some doctors have even begun prescribing powerful medications to stop or delay the onset of osteoporosis to people as young as in their 30s and 40s.
The side-effects of these drugs can range from hot flashes, leg cramps and nausea to blood clots, strokes and heart attacks.
Some of these drugs have also been linked to breast, uterus and esophagus cancers.2
So instead of putting yourself unnecessarily at risk and lining the pockets of Big Pharma in the process, here’s what I tell my patients: You don’t need risky drugs to keep your bones strong.
This is not about debate or opinion. It’s a fact. Archeological evidence reveals that average humans 7,000 years ago had skeletons so strong they could make a modern orangutan jealous.
And, amazingly, they achieved this without the help of Big Pharma and risky osteoporosis drugs.
These people were Neolithic hunter-gatherers. They weren’t born with bones of steel. But their bones became stronger with age – not weaker.3,4,5
And they developed these near-superhero frames in an environment that would kill most of us today.
Hunters roamed the forests and plains to find and kill game. Sometimes they had to run down their prey. Sometimes, they attacked them with knives and axes, using the power of their own muscles to take down a wild beast.
At the same time, gatherers searched hills and forests for edible plants and berries. They dug roots with their bare hands. And if wolves attacked, these Neolithic hunter-gatherers either ran or fought.
Their bones grew stronger, and their muscles and tendons become powerful on diets that were high in animal protein and on lifestyles that involved running, jumping, twisting and turning daily. And not one shred of archeological evidence revealed the presence of osteoporosis in any of these prehistoric populations.
Their lives of daily activity broke down bone cells and replaced them with more and stronger cells. This idea also explains why serious athletes have stronger bones than do weekend warriors.6,7
When farming was invented, it changed everything.
While it helped sustain larger populations, farming didn’t challenge bones like hunting or gathering.
The bones of average humans – thanks to the Agricultural Revolution and the advent of diets that were lower in animal proteins and higher in processed cereals – became thinner and more porous than those of their hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Millions of years ago, our primitive ancestors came out of the trees and we evolved to become masterful endurance runners. They could not rival lions or antelopes in terms of speed – but over time, human bodies and bones developed the ability and strength to outrun any animal in their African environment over long distances.
We were “built” to run and jump for long periods. But, today, we mostly sit.
As a result, we have become puny weaklings, compared with our hunter-gatherer ancestors. And our bones are getting weaker and weaker with each generation.
But with the right kind of exercise and the right diet, we can rebuild our bone-strength and we never have to worry about being afflicted with osteoporosis
In the past, I have told you how to stay strong with my anti-aging exercise system. It’s called PACE, which stands for Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion. The system features focused bursts of activity that help you replace many of the challenges that civilization has taken away.
But you can’t depend on exercise alone to keep your bones strong. Your bones will continue to deteriorate as long as you eat the average American’s diet.
Big Ag’s grains, oils and sweeteners turn your blood into a low-grade acid and your body into a sugar factory.
This dilute acid leaches the calcium from your skeleton faster than your body can replace it.
And all those sugars and refined carbs have made our nation fat, slow and tired, with all accompanying health crises – obesity, diabetes and numerous cancers, to name but a few.
So if you want stronger bones, eat like a caveman.
Here are some dietary tips I give my patients, who worry about their bones or have already developed osteoporosis and want to reverse the condition.
For a start, eat lots of protein. Many nutritionists dislike meat because it can tip the blood’s pH to the acidic side. But hunter-gatherers overcame this problem without realizing it – they wolfed down big slabs of steak along with quantities of fruit and vegetables.
Modern humans have essentially messed up nature’s plan. Today, we often serve meat with other acid-promoting foods, like white bread, cheese, fries and soda.8,9 The most nutritious protein comes from grass-fed livestock, wild game and wild fish.10
To keep nature’s balance, always load up on vegetables with your protein. The alkaline nutrients from these plants balance the acid in the meat.11,12 Our Neolithic ancestors consumed the equivalent of seven to nine servings of organic fruits and vegetables each day.
Be sure to serve up root plants, like beets, radishes, turnips and rutabagas. By the way, kale and collard greens provide loads of calcium.13,14
Eliminate or cut down acid-makers, like cereal grains, soybeans, oily cheeses, vegetable oils, salts, sugars, syrups, coffee, energy drinks and carbonated soft drinks.
Leave processed and packaged foods off your grocery list. Many of these contain acidifiers, like pesticide-laden, genetically modified foods, trans-fats and hydrogenated fats. They also have saturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids – so my advice is to stay away from them.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1. The American Association of Osteopathic Surgeons. aaos.org. Downloaded on Jan. 20, 2015.
2. Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School. health.harvard.edu. Downloaded on Jan. 20, 2015.
3. University of Cambridge. “Hunter-gatherer past shows our fragile bones result from inactivity since invention of farming.” sciencedaily.com, December 22, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
4. St. Fleurdec, N.”The Future Looks Bleak for Bones.” theatlantic.com. December 23, 2014.Retrieved December 29, 2014.
5. Jared Diamond, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.” Discover Magazine, May 1987, pp. 64-66.
6. Lynch,N., et al. “Older Elite Football Players Have Reduced Cardiac and Osteoporosis Risk Factors.”
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. July 2007;39(7):1124-30.
7. Tenforde, A., et al. “Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.”Participation in Ball Sports May Represent a Prehabilitation Strategy to Prevent Future Stress Fractures and Promote Bone Health in Young Athletes.” December 9, 2014.pii: S1934-1482(14)01415-4.
8. Sebastian A., et al. “Improved Mineral Balance and Skeletal Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women Treated with Potassium Bicarbonate.” New Eng J Med. 1994; 330:1776-81.
9. Sebastian A. “Dietary Protein Content and the Diet’s Net Acid Load: Opposing Effects on Bone Health.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82:921-22.
10. O’Keefe JH Jr, Cordain L. “Cardiovascular Disease Resulting From a Diet and Lifestyle at Odds With Our Paleolithic Genome: How To Become a 21st-Century Hunter-Gatherer.” Mayo Clin Proc. 2004; 79(1):101-8.
11. USDA/Agricultural Research Service. “Neutralizing Acidosis And Bone Loss Among Mature Adults.” ScienceDaily. February 11, 2009. sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090131124439.htm. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
12. Li,J.J., et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Bone Mass in Chinese Adolescents, Young and Postmenopausal Women.” Public Health Nutr. 2013 Jan;16(1):78-86.
13. Tucker KL. “Potassium, Magnesium, and Fruit and Vegetable Intakes are Associated With Greater Bone Mineral Density in Elderly Men and Women.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 69:727-36.
14. New, SA. “Dietary Influences on Bone Mass and Bone Metabolism: Further Evidence of a Positive Link Between Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Bone Health? “Am J Clin Nutr. 2000; 71: 142-51.