Doctors have a better reason than ever to recommend you modify your diet rather than take an osteoporosis-preventing drug. I don't expect them to do it, but they should. You see, growing scientific evidence is finding that eating more fruits and vegetables increases bone density. Especially fruits.
Take this recent study on the bone mineral status in people of various ages. In it, researchers measured bone density at the hip and spine in teens, young women, and seniors. Then they examined their diets. Their results are surprising. Fruit prevented bone loss far better than vegetables in women.
The benefits of veggies appeared to be age-dependent. Teens who ate the most fruits and vegetables had significantly denser bones throughout their bodies than those on more typical diets. But older women (age 60-83) had greater bone density in their spines when they ate more fruit. In fact, the scientists who conducted this study concluded that if these women doubled their intake of fruit, they would have had an additional five percent increase in their spine!
What's going on? Very possibly it has to do with the body's pH, or acid/alkaline balance. Grains and proteins make the blood more acid, while fruits and vegetables have an alkalinizing effect. The more alkaline your blood, the less you excrete important bone-building substances.
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Or it might have something to do with a diet that contains increased amounts of vitamin K, plant estrogens, or some other substance or nutrient interactions that haven't yet been identified or studied. We don't know how it works, only that it does.
It's easier to take a pill than to modify your diet. But dietary changes don't have the same risks as some pharmaceuticals. I recently uncovered an alarming connection between some osteoporosis-preventing drugs and a serious oral deterioration. Look for an article on this subject in the current issue of my newsletter. This is one you won't want to miss! If you're not yet a subscriber, you may want to sign up for it today. You can do so on my website.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Lanham-New, SA, "Fruit and vegetables: the unexpected natural answer to the question of osteoporosis prevention?", AJCN, June 2006.
Prynne, CJ, et al, "Fruit and vegetable intakes and bone mineral status: a cross-sectional study in 5 age and sex cohorts", AJCN, June 2006.