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How Healthy Are Your Bones?

Story ID:5394
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various USA
Person:Michael Castleman
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Is there a calcium crisis in the US? What an intriguing question - one which
I have answered for myself a long time ago because I have Osteopenia - a
precursor to Osteoporosis.

Mel of Care2 with her wonderful choices of cross posts from Natural Solutions
always finds the answers I basically already know -but which are reaffirmed
for me and others who are open to different views. This post - "The Calcium
Myth" was written by Michael Castleman and he tackles so well all the "sacred
cows" related to this subject as to the importance of milk and dairy in our

For a very long time we have been told by teachers, doctors, and advertisers to
drink more milk and dairy for strong bones and we still hear this. Every major
US health agency endorses this concept. Long ago I gave up reading what the
National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends for strong bones because I
knew that milk and dairy were not the answers I needed to make my bones

I suggest that they, the Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health just consider the effects of
consuming a lot of milk and dairy in these countries: the US, Australia, New
Zealand, and most Western European nations. They have the highest fracture
rates-- while the people in most of Asia and Africa who consume little or no
milk, dairy products, and calcium supplements have fracture rates 50-70 percent
LOWER THAN the countries who rely on milk and dairy for strong bones.

If nothing else would be written on the subject re the need for milk and dairy,
this observation should be enough for the major US Health agencies to give
serious consideration to finding better foods to address our bone health needs.
They will find them if they would take the time to read Michael Castleman's post.

In it Castleman further notes: "The latest research shows that our bones need
more than just calcium. It turns out that the way we eat-along with our life
choices and stress levels-can actually contribute to bone depletion, no matter
how many calcium supplements we take or glasses of milk we drink.''

He and Amy Lanou, PhD.- an assistant professor of health and wellness at the
University of North Carolina Asheville, came to this realization after reviewing
1,200 studies on the dietary risk factors for osteoporosis. Their rather radical
conclusion: .... "The calcium theory is bankrupt. The better solution? Eating a
LOW-ACID diet, which strengthens bones much more effectively and, as a
growing number of bone-health researchers agree, holds the key to preventing

Thank you Castleman and Lanou! Alternative medicine doctors have been
telling us all along that we should take a simple acid/alkaline test with strips
designed to measure it - showing whether our systems are basically acidic or
alkalinic. The more acidic we are - the more prone we are to disease, and per
Castleman and Lanou- to developing osteoporosis. As we age -becoming more
acidic is often a given unless we try to avoid acidic foods while incorporating
those foods which are more alkaline. Internet sites provide charts of foods
according to their acid and alkaline content for anyone wishing to use this
knowledge for their health.

In his post, Castleman also lists the 16 nutrients we need for healthy bones and
the foods which provide them. The 16 nutrients all come from fruits and veggies.

Not surprisingly- meat, fish, poultry, and dairy -while containing a lot of protein
contain very little alkaline material whih makes the blood's acidity level skyrocket.
So the body reacts by looking to our bones for calcium to neutralize it. In other
words - THESE FOODS LEACH CALCIUM FROM THE BONES. I've heard this before
and am glad that vegans can realize this medical plus.

His article contains much more interesting and important information on this
topic, but I find condensing any article that LESS IS MORE. People uninterested
will dismiss my post almost outright. For those interested, I hope I have wetted
their appetite for more which only the author himself can provide. "The Calcium
Myth" by Michael Castleman can be easily found on the internet.

However, if you search no further, I hope that you have come away with these
three interesting bits of information:

1. Milk-drinking countries have greater incidences of bone fractures then
the countries which consume little milk or dairy products.

2. We need more than calcium for healthy bones. We need a low-acid diet
and the 16 nutrients which fruits and veggies contain.

3. Meat, poultry, fish, and dairy have very little alkalanic properties which
may cause a spike in acidic level in our bodies and a leaching of calcium
from the bones.