How to Keep Steel Hard Bones without Calcium Pills

Health Alert 26

Did you know that calcium supplements won’t save you from developing the bone-breaking disease osteoporosis? The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that almost 44 million Americans have decreased bone density. That’s half of all men and women over age 50!

The medical community has ingrained into all Americans that the best way to treat and prevent osteoporosis is by taking lots of calcium. This simply isn’t true. Osteoporosis isn’t caused by a lack of calcium.

* Bone Shattering News *

Results from two recent studies come to the same conclusion: calcium intake does not prevent fractures due to bone loss.

The Harvard Nurses’ Study is one of the most complete and well-conducted studies in science. The study followed 77,761 nurses. For 12 years, researchers examined the association between dietary calcium and bone fractures.

Results showed that there was no protection from fractures with any dose of calcium intake. Nurses who had the highest calcium intakes actually had an increased risk of bone fracture. 1

An Australian study confirms the result of the Harvard Nurses’ Study. This study also looked at the association between calcium and fracture risk. The study looked at lifetime calcium consumption in over 400 elderly participants. The study concluded that calcium consumption in early adulthood actually increased the risk of bone fractures as the person aged. 2

Calcium supplements also interfere with the absorption of other minerals like magnesium. Taking calcium can then create deficiencies in these other minerals that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

Moreover, calcium is abundant in the diet. Even some of the worst junk foods are loaded with calcium. Your risk of developing osteoporosis increases as you age. But you don’t suddenly stop ingesting calcium. It develops as a consequence of aging but not all people get it as they age. If we are to prevent it, we must understand why. Then you can prevent it naturally. And you don’t have to take 1500mg of calcium a day to do it.

* Give Your Bones the Signal to Get Stronger *

You play the key role in determining what happens to your bones. But you must get to the root of the problem. So, what controls bone loss? Hormones and exercise.

Bone building is hormonal. In women, estrogens are the main regulators of bone breakdown. Progesterone controls the rate of new bone deposition. But the most powerful bone builder in both men and women is testosterone. Testosterone is central for achieving maximal bone mass and strength.

Maintaining healthy levels of hormones in your body will keep your bones strong.

There is an easy and inexpensive hormone precursor that has been shown to improve the levels of other sex hormones. It’s called DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone). It is involved in the manufacturing of most major sex hormones in the body, like estrogen and testosterone. DHEA treatments are becoming more common.

You can purchase it over the counter but I don’t advise that anyone take DHEA without having their blood levels checked. You will have to ask your doctor to measure it. You just can’t count on maintaining good bone health without good hormonal health.

Hormone levels should be measured with each bone density measurement.

Physical inactivity will lead to weakening of your bones. Bones need to bear weight in order to become strong. When you do weight bearing activities, you are telling your bones that they must become strong in order to continue these activities. You do this by encouraging them to push more weight. Therefore, weight bearing is crucial. Walking, cycling, weight training or playing tennis or golf will help.

In addition to the right hormonal signals and exercise you need Vitamin D to absorb calcium and incorporate it into the bone. Milk and dairy are the best sources. If you don’t regularly consume these, take a vitamin D supplement at 400 IU per day.

*And one more reason not to load up on the calcium: New evidence has shown that men who take high amounts of calcium have an increased chance of developing prostate cancer. The prestigious Physician’s Health Study found that men who consumed over 600 mg of calcium had a 32% higher risk of prostate cancer. 3

Al Sears, MD

1Freskanich D, et al., Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study American Journal of Public Health 1997 Jun; 87(6): 992-997

2Cumming RG, et al., Case-control study of risk factors for hip fractures in the elderly American Journal of Epimediology 1994 Mar 1; 139(5): 493-503

3Chan JM, et al., Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physician’s Health Study American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001 Oct; 74(4): 549-554