Too often the most commonly accepted advice is straight up bad news.
Eat your oatmeal, hit the treadmill, stick to whole grain bread, these are just a few on the myth busting list.
This time the target is calcium.
Calcium? How could good, old-fashioned calcium be an issue? Well, the concern isn’t so much with calcium as a nutrient but instead calcium as a supplement.
Consistent with our societal outside-in approach to health, the prevailing mindset is that taking more of something that we think may add to our health is always a positive thing to do…
We were told Asian cultures had better health and longer lives so it must be the soy! Next came soy burgers, soymilk, and soy ice cream to help us get our daily dose of longevity. Of course, that was incorrect but you get the point.
When it comes to bone health, it is shocking how much bad advice is offered up… and this is where our friend calcium comes into the picture.
Anytime someone is diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, is a female over 40 or is slightly concerned with their bone health, the typical advice is as follows:
- Take more calcium
- If the condition worsens (because the calcium somehow didn’t work), take a drug.
If this advice was correct there would be no one left with osteoporosis, but unfortunately that’s not the case…
The problem is that the assumed problem is not the actual problem. It is not a lack of calcium. If you eat any green vegetables at all, you are likely getting enough calcium in your diet.
Building healthy bones is such a complex process that it would take a whole textbook to cover all the intricate details.
What if you can’t digest food properly? (Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, IBS)
What if your hormones are out of harmony?
What if you’re in a chronically stressful environment?
These questions are just scratching the surface of some of the complex problems that could be underlying something as complex as osteoporosis.
If there is a possibility that any of the above things are occurring, simply taking more calcium is not going to do anything for you. Not only will your bones not get healthier, but you could be causing serious damage.
The newest and best research supports this message. Calcium supplementation (not consumed through REAL FOOD) can significantly increase your risk of heart attack, does not increase bone density or decrease your risk of fracture.
Building healthy bones and keeping them that way is part of a global process within the body. It is not something that can be done successfully for health by popping a pill or supplement after you’ve done everything wrong for a period of time.
Step one is to start consistent weight bearing exercise in order to create a stimulus for new bone growth.
Step two is having the right fuel for your body to use to build healthy bone – this includes vitamin D from the sun and plenty of micronutrients from food like vitamin K2, magnesium and others.
Both of these steps are accomplished as natural byproduct of following the principles of Eat and Move By Design.