“To attain conscious control of the structural balance of the human body, we must know its component parts, their relationships, and the forces acting upon and within them. We must understand its materials and their functions and behavior.” Mabel E. Todd
To re-build and remodel our bones, we need to become our body’s own architect. To do this, we need to discover what materials are available that will re-build and re-assemble a remarkably strong and sturdy structure.
You’d think the skeleton’s unique honeycomb structure would weigh alot but the fact is, bone is very light, yet it’s strong enough to support and protect our flesh and organs…..that’s remarkable in itself!
A wonderful health magazine http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/ published in Toronto has a wealth of information on many health topics. In November of 2006, Vitality printed with permission, a excerpt from a new book called “The Bone-Building Solution” written by Sam Graci, Dr. Carolyn De Marco and Dr. Leticia Rao. You can view the whole article http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/breakthrough_bone-building_solutions and a snippet of it here….
“Why Grandma and Grandpa Never Experienced Osteoporosis
………Your grandparents’ bones didn’t turn to dust, probably because their diet was similar to the current recommendations in this book. They used cod liver oil instead of pharmaceuticals-grade fish oil, and ate lots of green vitamin K1-rich foods, consumed fermented foods to convert K1 to its biologically active form K2, got natural sunshine on their skin (producing sufficient amounts of vitamin D3), and they walked daily and did manual chores that challenged their bones to adapt by becoming stronger. They also ate a micronutrient diet full of critical, alkalinizing calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and bone-building cofactors. Their diets did not contain all the processed foods — the foods of modern commerce — that make our modern-day diets far too acidifying, which leaches calcium or potassium from the bones to buffer or neutralize the overproduction of acids by acting as acid sponges, leaving weak, porous bones. “
Sam Graci is the creator of the well known greens+ and although the book promotes his products it is very informative on bone health.
Another great read on an upcoming book STRONG BONES by Dr. Michael Colgan is with a great site called VISTA Magazine online. This is the 4th part of the series, but if you scroll down to the bottom, parts 1, 2, and 3 are included. http://www.vistamagonline.com/vista_articles/page.php?tp=&p=&id=&s=strong_bones_-_part_4
The only thing that bothers me about the articles by Dr. Colgan, is he targets mainly ‘older’ women with osteoporosis. I don’t know how old this article is, but he excludes the fact that osteoporosis is now being diagnosed at an alarming rate in men, women and children.
Stress is the most potent toxin producer in the body. Unconsciously stress keeps our body in a defensive mode without us knowing it. In time we begin to experience pain and develop symptoms of illness, from old memory patterns keeping us in a constant up-tight survival mode rather than being in the present moment.
Food takes second place. The ingesting of acid producing fatty foods like bologna, pastries, chips, hamburgers and pizza, is creating a major health issue in our society. The acidity from these foods is a major culprit in bone reduction. Acid eats bone! And we consume too much of these products which consist of meats (including poultry, fish) dairy products and grains. Processed foods are great for people with busy lifestyles but they are laden in Salt. Salt is a major contributor to osteoporosis as well as heart disease, cancer, strokes and more! Salt creates uric acid in the body affecting the liver, kidneys and adrenal function.
There are great books and web sites on osteoporosis which I’ll list at the end of this blog. There are authors out there who are truly open and honest, sharing and interacting their truths and experiences with others. If you find yourself suddenly guided to a certain book or person. synchronicity is at work offering you a message, an insight or realization about your life. Often this creates a shift in your energy that will astound you!
A synchronistic event is where we personally experience an uncanny coincidence that evokes an emotionally charged response that may be felt as chills up the spine, or a sudden revelation (light-bulb effect). Synchronicity somehow links us to a sequence of events that inspire and point us in a new direction.
As I was writing this, I was inspired by a friend to read the lyrics of a song called “Fire” http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/new_direction/fire-lyrics-1168486.html And Rachel found this in a book called Until Today by Iyanla Vanzant. Now that’s synchronicity at work!
I can feel the fire shut up in my bones,
like Jeremiah, it won’t leave me alone.
I can feel the fire shut up in my bones,
like Jeremiah, it won’t leave me alone.
Something down inside of me, I can’t hold me peace, no,
all I know it feels good to me way down in my bones.
I wanna run, I wanna scream, I wanna shout, and throw up my hands,
I’m feeling something special that you may not understand.
“If you want to enjoy your power in life, you must have a plan for your physical body. More important, you must follow the plan. There is divine power in your bones that flows with greater effectiveness when the tissues and muscles surrounding the bones are fine-tuned.” Iyanla Vanzant
MOTIVATION IS THE NAME OF THE GAME
If you are determined to change your eating habits, before you start, ask yourself a motivational question like “why am I doing this?” This type of questioning is one of the most crucial factors in reaching whatever goal you’ve set for yourself. It helps direct you toward a specific purpose and on the alert for new and better ways to improve your health and life.
“Can you imagine what would happen if a drug company came out with a single pill tha reduces the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, PMS, SAD, and various autoimmune disorders? There would be a media frenzy, the like of which has never been seen before! Well guess what” Such a drug exists…….it is the sun.”
M.F. Holick MD, discoverer of Vitamin D3
The main function of Vitamin D is to regulate all mineral and vitamin metabolism, especially the minerals Calcium and Phosphorous. It also controls the levels of Calcium in the blood and influences normal gland function for all the body’s muscles, especially the heart. Vitamin D also helps in the growth, maintenance and repair of all bones and teeth. It also works with the thryoid gland to produce hormones and the parathyroid glands in regulating and distributing calcium throughout the body.
Is it possible Vitamin D could be discovered as a hormone rather than a vitamin? Reason being, it’s produced by the body, through the action of sunlight on the skin. When a body is healthy, it uses the liver and kidneys to convert Vitamin D into an active form the body can use.
The liver and kidneys? Hmm, this was a great interest to me. I’ve been doing an extensive study on the meridians and most recently, the bladder, kidney and liver. The bladder and kidney meridians when imbalanced, have an adverse affect on the bones as well as the teeth, ears, spine and autonomic nervous system.
In the article, by Helke Ferrie, my question wondering if Vitamin D could be a hormone was answered…..
“Vitamin D3 is a prohormone and thus the most important precursor of all hormones, vitamins, and minerals. Without D3, the body’s signal systems (hormones, neurotransmitters), and super-catalysts (minerals), cannot enable all other catalysts (vitamins) to cause the liver to create the 600 vitamin/mineral-dependent enzymes our bodies depend on. And Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorus levels, without which our food cannot nourish us properly.”
“In the 1990’s he [Michael F. Holick] proved that actually every cell in our bodies has D3 receptors, not just the liver and kidneys.” Ohh I didn’t know that! This article IS an excellent read for everyone. It also states….
“The research of the last five years has further shown how D3 works to prevent (and even cure) certain types of liver disease (such as fatty liver), as well as bacterially-caused pregnancy problems, tooth decay, organ rejection in transplant surgery, certain skin diseases (atopic dermatitis, psoriasis), Type I diabetes in children, Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. D3 also reduces the need for painkillers in chronic pain patients.” Add Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Osteoporosis to this list!
“Exposure to the sun for at least 20 minutes twice a week is necessary. In a bathing suit in summer, your skin will produce 10,000 IU in an hour [wow]. In fall, winter and spring, all Canadians should supplement with optimal amounts — especially lactating mothers and their breast-feeding infants, because human breast milk is virtually devoid of D3 and babies generally can’t sunbathe.”
Further on in the article it talks of sunscreen and the chemical properties of these products. “According to www.skinbiology.com: “It now appears that many heavily-used chemical sunscreens may actually increase cancers by virtue of their free radical generating properties. And more insidiously, many commonly used sunscreen chemicals have strong estrogenic actions that may cause serious problems in sexual development and adult sexual function, and may further increase cancer risks……
Adding to the problem is that large amounts of applied sunscreens can enter the bloodstream though your skin. This may be a factor in the large increases in cancer (breast, uterine, colon, prostate) observed in regions, such as Northern Australia, where the use of sunscreen chemicals has been heavily promoted by medical groups and the local governments.” Yikes!
Unfortuately, as we age. it’s harder for our body to produce Vitamin D3. One possibility is hyperparathyroidism, a disorder of the parathyroids that can cause abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood. The parathyroids function is to release hormones into the blood which balances the levels of calcium released from the bones into the blood stream. When you’re scheduled for your next blood test, or suspect hyperthyroidism, I highly suggest you ask your doctor to check your parathyroids.
A great site http://www.parathyroid.com/parathyroid-disease.htm
Vitamin K is essential in the process of blood coagulation, which takes place in the liver, where the blood is prepared to go to the site of bleeding and form a mesh like substance to stop further bleeding.
An excellent site on osteoporosis, vitamins, etc… http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article1081.html
“Vitamin K helps promote strong bones by binding calcium and other minerals to the bone. The recommended dosage of vitamin K is 150mcg a day. Avoid taking too much vitamin K as high doses can cause flushing and sweating. In addition, if you are taking the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin), talk to your doctor before taking a vitamin K supplement as it may lessen the effects of the drug.”
You really don’t need to take a Vitamin K supplement. If you do increase your fruits and vegetables, you’ll get all the Vitamin K you need and in a lower dosage. You’ll find vitamin K in spinach, lettuce, parsley, watercress, celery, broccoli, beetroot greens, green beans, kelp, cucumber, leek, dandelion, endive, sprouted seeds and all fresh fruits.
Lycopene is found mostly tomatoes. It’s what turns the tomato red and recently has been discovered as a potent antioxidant, helping to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. Usually cooked foods lose large amounts of nutrients…..however cooking tomatoes (tomato paste, spaghetti sauce) helps release the healing power of lycopene.
Check this site out on lycopene http://www.essortment.com/all/tomatolycopene_rmls.htm
We’ve all heard the term ‘free radicals’ that can cause havoc in our bodies. Free radicals cause tissue damage, are responsible for aging, wrinkles and possibly the cause of some dis-eases. Lycopene somehow inhibits these ‘free radicals’ from creating anymore damage. This red pigment also slows down the osteclasts – ‘the cells that break bones’.
This is a good site on understanding how your bones continually remodel themselves… http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/our_beautiful_bodies/116548
This is NOT SALT! Salt is inorganic sodium (chloride) which too much of causes kidney problems, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries.
SODIUM is only valuable when it’s Organic and balanced. Sodium foods like celery, help the body produce saliva, which is essential for carbohydrate digestion. Sodium also maintains the body’s levels of calcium which protects against lose of calcium from the bones! Sodium is an important mineral as it keeps other mineral elements soluble within the bloodstream, preventing a buildup of solid deposits. Celery juice mixed with Carrot is the best natural medicine for eliminating toxic substances that have deposited in various parts of the body.
This excellent site http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones#causeosteo leads us to our next topic…… “Osteoporosis is a disease of calcium loss from the bones, not a lack of calcium intake in the diet. Calcium loss from the bones is due to eating too much protein, especially animal protein, which increases calcium excretion in the urine. Not only does dairy not protect against osteoporosis, it actually contributes to it. Therefore, calcium intake isn’t very important for protecting against osteoporosis and vegans are protected due to the lack of animal protein in our diet.”
ACIDITY AND BONE LOSS
This morning in sync with this topic, I received an email/newsletter from Vivian Goldschmidt, author of The Bone Health Revolution and website saveourbones.com . The article is titled “Can milk damage your body AND bones.” Vivian writes…..
“Mark Hegsted, a retired Harvard professor of nutrition, has said,”To assume that Osteoporosis is due to calcium deficiency is like assuming that infection is due to penicillin deficiency.
Now you may be wondering, like I did, “Milk is rich in calcium; calcium strengthens bones; so milk strengthens bones.” But this is one of the biggest medical myths of our time.
You see, milk is an acidic animal protein. When consumed it imposes excessive demands on the kidneys.
So as a response, our bodies must neutralize all that acidic protein before it reaches the kidneys. It accomplishes that with calcium. Think about Tums or Rolaids–the main ingredient in thetablets is calcium and we take those to neutralize stomach acid.
Our bodies automatically do the same. And which is the most readily available source of calcium? You guessed it–our bones!
So while milk contains calcium, our bodies leech even more calcium from our bones to neutralize the effect of milk in the body.”
Last year a friend and I attended an interactive health fair with a wide range of exhibitors displaying their health products. It was wonderful! We saw demonstrations, received samples and talked to health professionals. We learnt a wealth of information that day!
One of the many topics was milk, especially cow’s milk and the acidifying effect on the body. Cow’s milk has more acidifying elements (phosphorus and chlorides) than alkalizing elements like calcium and magnesium.
Back in the days of our grandparents cows grazed on grasses that came straight from untreated soil and were fed foods free of additives. Then milk did have a neutral or alkalizing effect but unforunately not now. Now, protein is added to cow’s feed to increase milk production. Milk from high protein fed cows has a very high acidifying effect on humans.
Osteoporosis develops when the calcium and magnesium supply in our bones is used to neutralize the acid in our bodies. In other words, our bones have to bail us out of the mess caused by our dietary habits. Valuable reserves of alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium in our bones is called upon to neutralize the acid ash from foods. The problem with this, is calcium is supposed to be doing something else, like keeping the bones solid and strong. Most foods aren’t acid when you eat them, but acid ash is left as it’s processed. The more junk food you eat, the more acid buildup in your body.
OTHER ACID FOODS
Our bodies also accumulate excess acids from various sources such as stress, high protein foods (meat), medications and lack of exercise. Just think of the chips, beer and hamburgers you ate on the weekend. These foods can be eliminated through the kidneys and bowels, but the body needs to neutralize the acid first. If acid wasn’t neutralized, it would burn sensitive tissue on its way through the digestive tract. And again, if your alkaline reserves are low, the body will use calcium from your bones to buffer the acid.
This site lists an array of foods that leave an acid ash http://nh1.ccone.com/acid-diet.html
Our bodies are alkaline by design. Your cells work in an alkaline environment, yet acid is produced as they function and cells are functioning all the time. However, this acid is weak by comparison to acid foods and is easily expelled by the lungs.
The acid produced from meats, dairy and grains. can be eliminated but not by the lungs. Dietary acid ash is eliminated through the kidneys and in the process, vital minerals are lost with it. And when the kidneys have too much protein and toxins to eliminate, they become sluggish. Physically, you’ll feel tired no matter how much rest you get. Swollen eyes or rings under them could be an indication the kidneys are under stress. Lower back pain is another issue when your kidneys are worn out or exhausted.
Of the many presentations at the health fair, one was in regard to PH paper. Everyone was given a tiny booklet containing small strips of PH paper. These strips can apparently show you how your body ‘responded’ to the foods you ate yesterday.
We were told that upon awakening the next morning, to catch some urine in a small clean container and test it with a strip of PH paper. We were given a pocket size color chart to test our results. Yellow, orange and red were indicators of acid, green and blue alkaline or neutral. The PH paper registered between PH 5.5 and 8.0. The higher the number, the less acid.
We tried the PH strips in the morning and shared our findings. The first urine in the morning is a great indication of the foods that were processed ‘out’ while you were sleeping. Both of us were very acidic!
This was such an eye-opener for me. Honestly looking at the foods I was eating, there were more meats and grains than fruits and vegetables. And my friend who suffers from allergies was told allergic reactions could be the result of body stress. The more proteins, pastas, cola’s and fast foods we eat, the more toxic the body becomes. The adrenal glands become exhausted from being overworked, which can affect other organs as well as digestive problems and muscle aches.
We were also warned not to drastically change our diet all at once. Unfortunately, I’ve always been one to dive into something whole-heartedly. I shocked my system by flooding it with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Ohhh I’m sure you can imagine what happened! My intestines were in distress!
Adding more calcium to your diet is not the answer to building new bone. Changing the way you eat will. Reducing your meat, dairy products, cereals and grains to 25 % of your daily meal and upping your fruit intake to 75%, will. Don’t do this all at once! Adding an extra serving of vegetables or fruits to the table is a start. For breakfast, instead of having cereal, have a smoothie instead. Greens+ created a delicious tasting instant smoothie……I have one every morning and add a generous amount of my favorite fruits (blueberries, rasberries, blackberries) to the drink. I enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer, and use frozen in the winter.
Slowly reduce your intake of protein foods by serving smaller portions of beef, poultry or fish. Slowly, reduce your intake of salt, coffee, soda drinks and processed foods. Don’t forget you are radically changing the way you eat. It could take up to 6 months to before you’ve found your ‘ideal’ diet. Your body will be the best indicator at how fast you can go.
Use the PH test strips, first thing in the morning, to evaluate the acid in your body. If you’re not comfortable with the urine test, check your saliva instead. Don’t put the strip directly in your mouth, some people are allergic to the dyes. A small amount of saliva on a clean finger will do. Then check your ‘score’. This is one of the most accurate ways of evalutating how well your body is functioning.
What we eat has a definite role in the start of osteoporosis, especially acidic foods such as meat, coffee and soda drinks. Calcium, one of the most important alkalizing minerals in the body and will be taken from your bones, acting as an antacid to reduce acid production. Often the first stages of osteoporosis begins 10 to 20 years before it’s discovered through either a fall or a bone density test.
EXERCISE AND OSTEOPOROSIS
When I started looking at exercises to strengthen bone, I was shocked, surprised to learn that twisting, bending, crunching exercises were not recommended for osteoporosis or osteopenia. Apparently these put too much stress and pressure on the spine. Even carrying the groceries has implications on the spine and I never thought of that! It wasn’t uncommon to see me trudging up the stairs with 5 or more loaded bags purchased from surrounding stores. I considered this to be a a weight bearing exercise of sorts and healthy for me! Now I’ve learnt that this form of slumping forward increases the risk of bone fracture(s). Walking and walking tall helps to prevent joint and spinal compression.
Whatever exercise you do, be gentle with yourself. Never strain or force and always give your body time to warm up at the beginning. Stretching exercises are a wonderful way to begin. This allows your blood vessels to expand, the blood to circulate more freely and enough oxygen to be carried to the muscles. Starting too fast causes anaerobic (without oxygen) combustion which builds up toxic wastes in the muscles, such as lactic acid, and results in pain and strain. Inflammation in the body can actually cause calcium loss/leakage from the bones. Be gentle to yourself!
YouTube has some excellent stretching exercises you can watch and do…. Top 6 Stretching Exercises http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaDXNjFjjnU
Lower body stretch http://exercise.about.com/cs/flexibility/l/blstretch.htm
Five fantastic stretching exercises http://www.halhigdon.com/15Ktraining/Stretch.htm
Weight bearing exercises are great for the bones too. Every other morning I dawn a pair of light ankle or wrist weights (1 or 2lbs each) and do either slow endurance exercises in the home or walk around the block before going to work. Walking sends an electrical impulse to the bones, stimulating bone cells, improves blood flow which then provides healthy nutrients such as calcium to be deposited on the bone. Of course this means I have to wake-up a 1/2 hour earlier, but hey if it improves my health and works the bones, it’s worth it!
Another great exercise to challenge your bones and simple to do is pushing against a wall while lying down on a good floor mat. The floor mat cushions your vertebrae and back from the floor or carpet.
I tried resistant bands and the darn things snapped after a couple of months. Now I use an old pair of nylons and these work just as well if not better. If you don’t have nylons in the house (for the men) they can cost as little as $1 or $2 to purchase.
www.bonesforlive.com teaches classes that improve and stimulate bone health. Watch this excellent video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL53iQtjYU8 and see the coordination and balance improvement of the students who attended these classes.
This website http://www.bones4life.org/ is great for students and teachers.
“Posture and movement are intimately linked to this remodeling. Research continues to confirm that posture affects blood pressure and even our heart rate. Additionally, the way we move makes a difference in the way the body recreates itself.
One way movement impacts us is in bone remodeling. Stress on the bone creates tiny microfractures. In the way that muscle is built, bone can also become stronger by being stressed to the point of an imperceptible fracture (or tear), and lo and behold a new construction crew comes in and repairs it better than before. If this stress is uneven, the bone remodeling is stimulated unevenly. This means strength, size and shape of each bone and joint can be dramatically affected by the way you move.”
The internet is loaded with exercises and self-help programs. Each of us is unique and one exercise that may benefit one may not benefit the other. Let your intuition guide you. IF something feels right for your body, go for it, enjoy it and reap the benefits!
to be continued…