How can we really take care of our bones?
Most of us have grew up hearing that milk is good for our bones – for some of us that’s really all we know about taking care of our bones.
Is that true?
Is calcium the key to strong healthy bones?
Can calcium really repair bone damage?
Let’s get some answers from Dr. Frank Sabatino on the truth about calcium for healthy bones and what we can do for bone health.
Dr. Frank Sabatino:
As much as calcium is part of the architecture of bone, you have two kinds of bone cells. What we call osteoblasts which develope bone and osteoclast which is break bone down. As it turns out when you’re getting osteoporotic, the osteoclast start to win the battle. But normally speaking, you’re shaping and modeling bone all the time.
What’s the stimulation? What’s the thing that inspires those bones to create the symphony of bone production? Weight-bearing activity. And that’s why activity becomes even more important than pretty much any supplementation. And we also know that the other thing that is profound for regulating bone health is, of course, Vitamin D. So if you really wanted to look at the two things that are most important for bone health, they would be ongoing physical activity and Vitamin D levels.
Now yes, do we need calcium in the system? Absolutely. And the truth of the matter is the broad-based diet that we’re recommending with the vigorous amount of greens that are loaded with calcium and magnesium. So the ratio of calcium to magnesium is also important, but I want you to understand that many cultures of the world that have some of the best records of bone health are not countries that consume calcium in huge amounts. They’re countries where women are much more physically active and much more outside. So they’re getting Vitamin D exposure. They’re getting weight-bearing activity.
In our culture, we’ve had this mentality of calcium dominance and understand that that’s not a good thing. That’s the reason why some of the people with the worst records of bone health are the largest dairy consumers on the planet, and they’re consuming huge amounts of calcium, but it’s not getting and maintaining healthy bone tissue.
Now we know that when it comes to supplementation, the ratio of calcium to magnesium should be at least about two to one. So let’s suppose you’re eating 800 milligrams of calcium in a supplement, just for the sake of argument. You want to make sure you’re getting at least 400 milligrams of magnesium, but you want to definitely make sure that you’ve got weight-bearing activity going on. You want to make sure you’ve got Vitamin D levels coming in. All of those things become incredibly important in this story.
Can it be reversed when it does happen? Yes, it has been reversed, but it’s reversed by people that push the weight-bearing activity. And that includes not only aerobic-like activity. It also means weight training-like activity, putting more load on that skeleton. So increasing weight training activity at any age, could even be more advanced ages. It doesn’t matter if you’re losing bone density in the spine. Sometimes we talk about wearing the weighted vest and for our viewers that don’t know what that is, that’s like those old hunting and fishing vests that had all the pockets, except in the pockets we put one and two-pound weights in all those pockets. And then you wear that vest when you’re walking, shopping, whatever you’re doing. They sell them now online as weighted vests, but adding that extra load is important but in the context of eating in a way that’s helping you hold on to calcium.
Remember when you’re eating a lot of refined foods, refined sugar, processed foods, it creates a very acidic environment that tends to pull calcium and magnesium out of bone. So you can be contributing to bone loss while you’re ongoing junk food and processed diet. So eating the diet we’re recommending bloated with a lot of greens, getting physical activity, including weight-bearing activity, getting sunshine, adding supplements like Vitamin D and magnesium if you want, adding that together with something called strontium, which is another micro mineral, a micronutrient that helps bone development and bone health, can help that reversal. And again, those things are the things that will help.
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