Simple Nutrient Gives You Bones of Steel

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

Mainstream medicine has missed the boat on this one.

You’re constantly warned about the danger of high-protein diets.

And this is the worst part. They tell you that the reason you have to avoid a high-protein diet is that it weakens your bones.

The truth is the exact opposite. High protein strengthens your bones.

I always knew this to be true. Now I’ve just run across some very interesting proof.

There’s a study that came out in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that shows that people who had adequate calcium and high protein intakes had the highest bone densities.1

It finally proved to the naysayers that when you eat more protein, it helps your body absorb more calcium.

This makes perfect sense. Because think about our native ancestors.

Our native ancestors who ate a diet consisting mostly of animal proteins had strong bones. And they did it without meds, calcium supplements, or drugs.

I’ve seen hundreds of patients strengthen their bones from adding simple nutrients like protein to their diets. It’s the way nature intended for you to eat.

Your bones are complex. They’re comprised of dynamic living tissue that changes and adapts to the demands your body puts on it. A number of nutrients, including protein, are essential to helping make your bones stronger.

And there’s more…

Boosting protein also helps increase growth factors in your body that boost muscle strength, skeletal integrity, and even speed up the healing of your bones.2

In fact, if your body doesn’t have enough protein, it can result in softer, flexible bones. It can lead to osteoporosis, and even make it difficult for you to get around later in life.

I’ve seen many elderly patients wheeled into my office by friends or loved ones because they can’t get around by themselves anymore. Some have lost hope because they have to depend on others for even the simplest things, like going to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment.

Many of them were told by their dieticians and doctors that they need to be careful about eating too much protein.

Don’t listen to that advice. No matter how old we get, we still need our protein.

Several studies have even shown that protein can speed up the time it takes for a fracture to heal. I read one the other day about hip fractures in elderly folks. It said that the patients with low levels of protein took longer to heal, and they had more complications. Some of them even died.3

I came across similar studies on hip fracture patients in Sweden. The first one I read found that patients who took a supplement containing protein had only a 15% rate of complication compared to 70% for those not taking any protein.4

It gets better. Another study from Sweden showed deaths and complications from hip fractures fell by 50%.5

The good news is you can take simple steps now to make your bones stronger.

Here’s what I recommend:

When trying to boost the amount of protein in your body, you want to mimic nature as closely as possible. You can get all the protein you need by eating the right foods.

Eat more fish, lean meats, eggs, organic milk, beans, and nuts. You can eat as much of these foods as you like, but be sure to choose them in their natural forms.

Follow these guidelines for choosing natural, unadulterated sources of quality protein:

  • Choose grass-fed beef
  • Choose free-range poultry
  • Eat wild-caught fish and avoid farm-raised seafood
  • Drink milk from grass-fed cows
  • Make a habit of snacking on nuts. Almonds, walnuts, filberts, pecans, and macadamias are your best nuts for protein.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

  1. Kerstetter,Jane, E., O’Brien, Kimberly, O., Insogna, Karl,L. “Supplements Dietary Protein, Calcium Metabolism, and Skeletol Homeostasis Revisited.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 78, No. 3, 584S-592S, September 2003.
  2. Bonjour, JP Schurch, MA and Rizzoli, R. 1996. Nutritional aspects of hip fractures, Bone, 18:139S-144S; Schurch, MA, Rizzoli, R, Slosman, D, Vadas, L, Vergnaud, P, and Bonjour, JP 1998. Protein supplements increase serum insulin-like growth-factor – I levels and attenuate proximal femur bone loss in patients with recent hip fracture, Ann Intern Med, 128(10): 801-809.
  3. Koval, KJ, Maurer, SG, Su, ET, Aharonoff, GB, and Zuckerman, JD, 1999. “The effects of nutritional status on outcome after hip fracture,” J Ortho Trauma, 13(3): 164-169; New, SA, 2002. The role of the skeleton in acid-base homeostasis, Proceedings of the Nutritional Society, 61:151-164; Bastow, MD, Rawlings, J, Allison, SP. 1983. Benefits of supplementary tube feeding after fractured neck of femur: A randomized controlled trial, BMJ, 287:1589-92.
  4. Eneroth, M, Olsson, UB, and Thorngren, KG. 2006. “Nutritional supplementation decreases hip fracture related complications,” Clin Ortho and Related Res, 451:212-217.
  5. Cederholm, T, Hedstrom, M. 2005. “Nutritional treatment of bone fracture,” Curr Opin Clin Nutrn Metab Care, 8(4): 377-381.
  6. American Gastroenterological Association. “Nonsteriodal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.”