osteoporosis treatment naturally

How to prevent and treat osteoporosis with a healthy lifestyle

Osteoporosis (porous bones) has taken on gigantic proportions among the population of industrialized countries. As the mineral composition of our bones is approximately 90% calcium salt, it is a widely held idea today that calcium deficiency causes osteoporosis, along with estrogen deficiency. However, although both factors play an important role in this process, there are many other factors.

In natural medicine, we place special emphasis on reading through bad life habits that contribute to an increased risk of osteoporosis, which we must avoid, both for the prevention and treatment of this disease. This information is of great interest if we consider that modern conventional treatment among many other harmful side effects includes the consumption of synthetic estrogens that can cause cancer.

In this first part, I generally deal with the story of bad life habits and other factors that cause osteoporosis. In the following parts of this text, I will deal with the description of useful foods and supplements for these patients, as well as the presentation of some therapies indicated in these cases.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis means “porous bones”.

It is a multifactorial disease, characterized by long-term loss of bone density, which increases the risk of fractures. It is a disease that generates pain, disability (due to fractures) and death associated with prolonged disability resulting fractures. Although it can affect all bones, damage the spine, hips and ribs.

Osteoporosis involves the complete deterioration of bones, that is, it includes a mineral structure and a part called the bone matrix (which consists of proteins and carbohydrates).

This fact allows us to confirm from the outset that the one-sided emphasis on calcium intake, which has marked medical campaigns against osteoporosis in recent decades, is misleading. In fact, a lack of calcium in the diet generates a disease called osteomalacia, but not osteoporosis.

It is only missing in osteomalacia calcium in bone, on the contrary, osteoporosis lacks various minerals, and the bone matrix also decays.

Unfortunately, modern medical campaigns have focused the public’s attention on calcium and hormones, forgetting the complexity of the problem. In fact, we can confirm that the set of mechanisms that regulate bone health and integrity is still not fully understood. However, various factors have been identified that promote this disease, but the general public has only received the insufficient and misleading idea that milk must be consumed in order to prevent osteoporosis.


bone osteoporosis

Bone is an active tissue, which is constantly being built (which is responsible for cells called osteoclasts) and reabsorbed or self-degrading (which is responsible for cells called osteoblasts).

During childhood and adolescence, we create bone faster than we destroy it, but between approximately 30 and 40, it reverses and we begin to lose more bone than we produce. Thus, building good bone mass in youth is essential to avoiding osteoporosis in old age.

The balance of bone metabolism is a complex process that includes hormonal, digestive, liver and kidney processes and a wide range of nutrients.

Furthermore, it must be emphasized that bone is not only composed of minerals (2/3) but also of the interstitial matrix (1/3), which consists of proteins and carbohydrates. The regulation and intervention of all these factors are only partially understood.

Types of osteoporosis

1) Menopause: associated with hormonal changes, women from 50 to 75 years.

2) Senile: persons older than 70 years (affects twice as many women as men).

3) Secondary: caused by drugs or health problems.

4) Juvenile idiopathic: in children, adolescents and young people, without obvious cause.

Diagnosis of osteoporosis

The most common method is to measure bone density with X-rays.

Two parameters are used in this exam:

T-index (T.score): compares the bone mineral density of a patient with that of a healthy white woman from 25 to 30 years of the same sex as the patient.

Z-score (Z-score): compares the patient’s bone density with the bone density of a person of the same sex, age and ethnic group as the patient.

Values established by the WHO

Greater than -1 T. Normal

Between -1 and -2.5 T. Osteopenia

Less than -2.5 Osteoporosis

Less than -2.5 and suffered one or more fractures of fragility Established osteoporosis.

Incidence of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis has become a pandemic within industrialized countries, and medium- and long-term projections indicate a steady increase in the disease.

For example, in the United States, about 44 million people have osteopenia (a decrease in bone density that can lead to osteoporosis), and 20 million have osteoporosis.

Worldwide, more than 200 million people suffer from osteoporosis and its incidence is increasing.

In the United States, 15 million fractures occur annually due to osteoporosis, and $ 27 billion is spent on their medical care.

In that country, more women die from osteoporosis than from breast and uterine cancer (combined).

Worldwide, osteoporosis affects 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 and 1 in 8 men of the same age range.

Osteoporosis-related fractures occur every 30 seconds in the United States, and hip-related fractures occur every 30 seconds in the European Union.

2007. 200 million women worldwide are diagnosed with osteoporosis. These figures affect the following depending on age:

– 1 in 10 women aged 60 years.

– 2 out of 10 women in their 70s.

– 4 out of 10 women in their 80s.

– and 6 out of 10 women in the 1990s.

In 2006. years, worldwide, there was a general osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds, and a vertebral fracture every 22 seconds. Until 2050. It is estimated that hip fractures in men will increase by 310%, and in women by 240%.


In 2009 At the age of 17, 17% of women and 9% of men over the age of 50 were diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Hip fracture is on the rise:

– 1.2 million in the 90s.

– 2.6 million estimated for 2025. year.

– And 110,055 cases by 2050. year, an increase of 431%.

Annual data in the United States

Osteoporotic fractures 1500000

Heart attack 500,000

Emboli 225000

Breast cancer 184000

Cancer of the uterus, ovaries and cervix 76000

Before we move on, a brief comment on this global panorama of osteoporosis is necessary. As the reader sees, the numbers are staggering. The question of the causes of such a disease immediately arises. Modern medicine presents it to us as something simultaneous with the human aging process: hormonal and metabolic changes, and offers us, basically, hormones and calcium for its treatment, plus another series of drugs.

Nevertheless, the evidence speaks against this perspective:

Why does osteoporosis increase and turn into an epidemic? Why does this particularly affect the population of industrialized nations?

If the solution is calcium intake, how to explain that countries with the highest calcium intake, such as the United States, have very high incidence rates of osteoporosis, as opposed to countries and / or populations that have lower calcium intake? ?

It is clear that we need to look at the matter more closely. Fortunately, as we will see, we can do a lot to effectively prevent and treat this disease.

Who is at risk for osteoporosis?

There are several invariable risk factors that affect its frequency:

Age : As we age, we lose bone mass. This begins in the third decade of life: we usually lose between 0.5 and 1% of bone mass per year. Bone loss occurs slowly but continuously, and various factors can lead to osteoporosis. As we age, the absorption of minerals and nutrients critical to the bones in the intestines decreases, and our metabolism functions less and less efficiently.

Gender: Osteoporosis primarily affects postmenopausal women. For example, in the United States, 80% of cases are women. In the early years of menopause, a woman can experience a rapid increase in bone loss (going from 1% annual loss to 7%), but up to 75. years, the risk of osteoporosis is almost the same for both sexes.

Race: White women and Asians have the highest risk of osteoporosis, and black women the lowest.

In the United States, Asian women over the age of 65 have twice the fracture rate of African-American women.

Causes of osteoporosis.

Family background

Having close relatives with osteoporosis significantly increases the risk of the disease, it is estimated that this increase can be from 60% to 80% if they have a first-degree relative who has suffered from osteoporosis.

The effect of weight

Being overly lean, ie having a very low level of body fat, inhibits the synthesis of progesterone and estrogen and contributes to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Causes associated with modern life

So far, a scenario has been established according to which osteoporosis could be considered a pandemic inherent in the prolongation of the average life expectancy in modern society, so it seems to us to be something related to the aging process.

But while it is obvious that osteoporosis is a disease typical of the third stage of life and in which female hormonal changes play an important role, it is necessary to point out that in the modern lifestyle there are various factors that may explain the prevalence of this disease today.

As we will see, there are several factors – in addition to hormonal and age that contribute to osteoporosis, such as tobacco, coffee, alcohol, sugar, excess protein and sodium, etc. But the most important factor of all is physical activity. Exercise is the main factor that determines bone density.

Some studies have noticed that one hour of moderate exercise, three times a week, is enough to prevent bone loss and even help increase it in postmenopausal women.

In contrast, going to the opposite extreme, immobilization doubles the excretion of calcium in urine and feces, generating a serious problem of imbalance in the metabolism of the said mineral.

Even the use of plaster or immobilizers to treat fractures generates bone demineralization.

It is important to note that the type of exercise performed to strengthen the bones should carry body weight (so, for example, swimming has no pronounced effect) and to avoid exercises with a big blow.

Lifting weights can be very helpful, but of course adhering to a moderate routine, which avoids the risk of fractures or injuries due to carrying excessive weights.


Smoking has several negative effects on bone health.

It inactivates the effect of estrogen on osteoclasts, (bone cells responsible for bone resorption. Estrogen normally slows down the process of bone resorption (destruction). In addition, smoking reduces the level of estrogen in the blood.

On the other hand, smoking reduces the excretion of carbon dioxide from the lungs and generates its retention, thus increasing the level of carbonic acid in the blood. The body counteracts this acidity by extracting minerals from the bones, which are then excreted through the urinary tract. Smokers are usually less physically active.

Because of all this, women who smoke generally suffer from osteoporosis earlier than those who do not smoke.

Tobacco is a major source of cadmium pollution, a heavy metal that can affect bones.

In fact, quitting smoking is an essential part of the natural treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis and is essential for anyone who wants to have a healthy bone mass.


Consumption of more than three drinks a day has a negative effect on bones:

Chronic consumption of alcoholic beverages can cause hyperparathyroidism, which in turn accelerates the excretion of calcium from the bones into the blood.

Alcohol inhibits the production of enzymes in the kidneys and liver that act in the metabolism of vitamin D (see below).

Alcohol reduces the action of hormones, especially affecting testosterone, which inhibits the activity of bone production (osteoclasts).

Excessive alcohol increases the production of cortisol, which in turn causes a decrease in bone production and increases bone destruction.

Alcoholism is accompanied by poor nutrition, creates toxic effects on osteoblasts that produce bones, and at the same time accelerates the action of osteoclasts, which are responsible for destroying bones.

Alcohol thus creates a profound imbalance of bone metabolism. By stopping alcohol consumption, osteoblast activity recovers.

Caffeine and stress.

Caffeine has a diuretic effect and increases the excretion of calcium in the urine, caffeine acts for 3 hours, not all day.

This effect of caffeine can be mild if:

  • do not consume more than 400 mg per day
  • if the diet provides enough calcium (600 mg or more per day)
  • A cup of coffee provides approximately 150 mg of caffeine, and a 300 ml Coca-Cola provides 45 mg.

On the other hand, let’s say caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands and contributes to stress. We have already talked about how increasing the production of the hormone cortisol, whose production increases with stress, affects bone metabolism.

Refined sugar

There is a direct correlation between the amount of daily consumption of refined sugar and the level of urinary calcium excretion.

Carbonated drinks

When the level of phosphate rises in the blood and the level of calcium decreases in correlation, the body extracts calcium from the bones to balance the balance of phosphate and calcium, and then the kidneys excrete excess calcium from the blood in the urine.

Non-alcoholic beverages that contain large amounts of phosphate (such as cola) contribute to the imbalance of calcium levels. Large amounts of phosphate are added to these soft drinks to dissolve the excess sugars they contain and improve the taste.

The contribution of soft drink hyperconsumption in Mexico to the osteoporosis pandemic will certainly be pronounced in the coming decades. This is due to the fact that more and more children and young people consume large amounts of soft drinks, which can affect the formation of their bone mass during the first 25 years of life, which is one of the decisive factors, if not the most important, risk of osteoporosis.


High consumption of animal proteins

An association between high animal protein consumption and the incidence of osteoporosis has been observed.

Since the late 1960s, some researchers have pointed out that the body dissolves bones to release minerals into the bloodstream to counteract excessive acidity.

Animal proteins (eggs, dairy products, meat) generate the balance of acids in our body when they are metabolized, on the contrary, fruits and vegetables make us alkaline and fight acidity.

In a large study, a group of researchers compared data from 34 studies conducted in 16 different countries to determine if there was a correlation between hip fracture incidence and animal protein consumption levels, the researchers found a strong correlation between animal protein consumption and hip fracture incidence. , which had no explanation regarding the level of calcium or calorie intake in the diet.

This was confirmed by studies in the Eskimos, one of the nations with the highest protein intake (and the lowest fruit and vegetable intake).

Eskimos consume more than 200 gr. daily protein, Americans about 75 gr. daily, for comparison. this is the probable cause that Eskimos have higher bone loss even at earlier ages than the United States (which has the highest risk of osteoporosis in that country).

However, let us mention that there are at least two other studies that did not find a difference in bone mass or bone metabolism, when comparing women before and after menopause who had a vegetarian diet.

In any case, more studies are needed for confirmation.

However, the two factors that characterize a vegetarian diet, less meat, more fruits and vegetables, naturally have their impact on the prevention of osteoporosis.

It is now necessary at this point to present the works of Evolutionary Medicine, which led to the justification of the Paleolithic diet, which existed for about 2.5 million years. The Paleolithic diet, although it had ecological and cultural variations, presented some contrasting parameters with the diet typical of civilization and even more with the diet typical of the industrial age: dairy products were not consumed, cereals were not consumed. The diet consisted of food of animal origin and a large amount of wild plants. Then we can confirm that it is not only the consumption of significant amounts of animal protein that creates the acid / base imbalance that slowly but systematically demineralizes us, but the high consumption of animal protein accompanied by low consumption of vegetables. Which gives us a basis for the next section.

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Consumption of fruits and vegetables

The modern diet is typically associated with a progressive reduction in fruit and vegetable consumption.

There are some studies that have shown the importance of maintaining a high consumption of fruits and vegetables for bone health.

In a study conducted among the surviving participants of the famous heart health study, known as the Framinghan heart study, the correlation between diet type, supplement consumption and bone mass density, measured in the hip, was the benchmark of this group of elderly people.

Consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with both men and women with higher bone density.

In addition, the decline in bone mass in the following years was smaller in those who consumed this food the most.

A direct correlation was also observed between magnesium and potassium intake and bone density.

Another study examined the past eating habits of premenopausal women and noted that there was a correlation between the history of high consumption of fruits and vegetables and higher bone density of the spine and trochanter.

A possible explanation for these effects lies in the contribution of magnesium and potassium obtained from food. Both minerals have an alkalizing effect, thus reducing bone loss and excretion of calcium through urine. In fact, fruits and vegetables are known to produce an alkaline (antacid) balance in the body, while meat, cheese and fish contribute to the acidity of the body.

Modern diet with high consumption of proteins and animal fats, high consumption of refined and unwanted carbohydrates (also acidifiers) and low consumption of fruits and vegetables, generates progressive acidification of the body, forcing the body to extract minerals from bones to balance PH, with consequent increased excretion minerals through the urinary tract.

We must emphasize that fruits and vegetables also provide a whole range of minerals and trace elements that are necessary for our bones.

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