Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

Why Calcium Alone Won't Cure Bone Health

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Naturopathic Fun Facts:


Why Calcium Alone Won't Cut Risk for Osteoporosis

In this week's blog on my main site, I discussed the importance of individualized nutrition. A common misconception is the sole use of calcium for base supplement to improve bone density. This can lead to imbalance in the body, as there are so many other factors including: acid-base balance, absorption, cofactors, and overall mineral status.

Dr. Mercola addressed this concern in one of his highlighted articles below:

It has been estimated, however, that your body excretes as little as 100 mg a day, making the current recommendations by the National Osteoporosis Foundation for women over 50 to take 1,200 mg a day a bit troubling. When we compare our calcium-rich diet to the traditional calcium-poor Chinese peasant diet, which was free of cow's milk and calcium supplements, approximately 250 mg a day of plant-based calcium was all that was needed to fulfill their bodily needs - and this is a culture with no word for "osteoporosis" in its 3,000+ year old language!

Due to the fact that about 99 percent of your body's calcium is stored in your bones and teeth, if you don't get enough calcium, your body will use the calcium reserves in your bones to perform vital metabolic functions. This is where the idea that supplementing with calcium could prevent calcium loss from your bones comes from -- but it is an overly simplified theory that lacks solid evidence to back it up, especially in Western, modernized cultures, which consume unprecedentedly large amounts of dairy-derived, fortification-based and supplemental calcium.

The truth is that taking any calcium in excess or isolation, without complementary nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2, which help keep your body in balance, can have adverse effects, such as calcium building up in coronary arteries and inducing heart attacks. Even taking calcium with vitamin D does not appear to be sufficient to prevent these types of adverse effects.

Source: Mercola. J. New Studies on 3 Important Nutrients. Mercola.com. July 11 2012. Accessed at Mercola.com

How to Decrease Your Risk for Post-Menopausal Bone Loss

Dr. Susan Brown is a medical anthropologist who is an expert in bone health. She discusses the key factors in optimizing bone health Post-menopause in her BetterBones blog:

As an anthropologist, I find it fascinating to study the ways that the different cultures around the world view and react to menopause. In fact, many see menopause as new phase of empowerment, freedom, and wisdom. We have much to learn from these cultures!

I use a lot of their knowledge in my new video "Tips for building bone health during early post-menopause", which includes a combination of the following strategies:

• Taking care of yourself

• Exercising with an eye toward building bone mass

• Reinforcing your nutrition and supplement program

Listen to her 4 minute blog for more information at the link below.

Source: Brown, S. Tips for building bone health during early post-menopause. The Better Bones Blog. Accessed July 2012.

 

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Reisa Mehlman

As a New York State Licensed Aesthetician, New York State Licensed Nail Specialist, and the Director of Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa, Reisa combines her love of spa services and healing arts to achieve optimum skin and nail health, create greater overall wellness and bring forth our optimal, individual beauty.

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Dr. Sarah LoBisco has been involved in wellness for over 8 years. Her experience includes mentoring with holistic practices throughout New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. Read more...