Blog - Osteoporosis; What can cause it and what can heal it

By The Haven Team: 24 Nov 2015

Our bones are at their most dense in our 20’s and after the age of 35, bones gradually loose their density as a natural part of aging. This happens slowly and increases as women go through the menopause. Our bones are continually growing and changing as old bone is broken down and new bone is formed. We can help this process by eating healthy foods to promote bone growth and taking regular weight bearing exercise.

Factors that can decrease bone growth

  • Long term use of corticosteroids used in treating allergies and inflammation
  • Long term use of oral Contraceptives can each folic acid B9 from the body. Folic acid lowers homocysteine which aids the prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Aromatase inhibitors in breast cancer treatment. Aromatase inhibitors lower estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen is essential in bone growth.
  • An overactive thyroid gland disturbs the balance of bone minerals and causing deficient vitamin D in the body and loss of calcium through excretion.
  • Low levels of testosterone possibly caused through prostrate irregularities or cancer. Testosterone is another hormone essential in bone growth.
  • Digestive disorders which decrease your ability to absorb nutrients.

Adding more nutrient dense foods

As with much scientific research, the results of which nutrients help with the building of bone is still inconclusive. We know that Vitamin D and Calcium are the main nutrients required for bone health but there are many others required for bone synthesis that are needed in the body so our best bet is to improve our overall nutrient intake and to make sure we have sufficient quantities of Vitamin D and Calcium.

By reducing sugar, wheat and other  “anti-nutrients” and increasing pure foods ( organic meat, fish, vegetables and fruit) you can triple your nutrient intake overnight!

High quality foods supply greater amounts of essential minerals and vitamins. For example studies show that eggs from pasteurised chickens have twice as much vitamin E and double the amount of omega 3 fatty acids as commercial eggs.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the most significant nutrient necessary for the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D and calcium work together to slow down or even reverse osteoporosis.

Vitamin D comes from two sources. It is made in the skin through direct exposure to sunlight, and it comes from the diet. The body's ability to produce vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and to absorb calcium and vitamin D decreases with age. Getting enough vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and also helps the kidneys break down and incorporate (resorb) calcium that would otherwise be excreted.

Foods rich in Vitamin D

  • Eggs
  • Oily Fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel
  • Liver, Pork

Foods rich in calcium

  • Dairy
  • Oily fish such as Sardines, salmon, mackerel
  • Dark leafy greens eg. Spinach, kale and spring greens.
  • Tofu
  • Dried fruit

Weight Bearing Exercise and Movement to Increase Bone Growth

Short bursts of high impact exercise are the most effect ways of stimulating bone growth. By creating a series of tremors through your body, your bone generates new bone growth. E.g. a short run, weight lifting or rebounding (using a mini trampoline).

If you are new to exercise you could start with power walking or walking quickly up and down stairs. Plus for when you’re feeling less energetic, its great fun to roll around on the floor sending little tremors through your bones. Also a weight bearing activity.

Aim for 20 min’s a day or 1 hour 3 times a week. Your general health will benefit too!!