Thursday, 2 March 2017

March 2017: osteoporosis


While osteoporosis can have multiple causes and is partly inherited, lifestyle changes, made early, can prevent osteoporosis later. Diet and exercise will even slow down bone loss after it’s been diagnosed.
Osteoporosis is not caused by loss of bone mineral itself, but by loss of the collagen scaffolding on which the minerals should be deposited. This network provides resistance against fracture. Unfortunately, ageing and disease affect it.
There are two types:
Postmenopausal osteoporosis commonly affects women after the menopause, when they are producing less oestrogen. Bone material starts breaking down, often resulting in fractures of the wrist and spine.
Senile osteoporosis happens after age 70. The hard outer layers and the spongy interior of bones get thinner, which may cause hip and spinal fractures.
Men, too, can get it, and one of the causes can be medications. For how and why, see [0].

  • Milk and osteoporosis are linked but not in the way most people have been led to believe. Milk can actually be a cause of osteoporosis [1]! 
  • Too much animal protein in general, can leach calcium from our bones [2]. 
  • high-acid diet, which is common and easily avoided [3]. Foods that promote low body pH levels, such as refined foods, sugar, coffee, soft drinks, table salt etc., also leach calcium out of our bones. If we don’t eat enough vegetables or fruit; if we have stress, hyperinsulinemia or poor digestion, our bodies will become too acidic. 
  • Medications may cause osteoporosis [4]. One of them being Fosamax, an osteoporosis prevention drug …. [5]. Contraceptives, immunosuppressants, PPIs, hypothyroidism drugs and many others, also weaken bones. See [6].
  • Fluoride in drinking water. Fluoride collects in the bones, and although technically it increases bone mass and density, the evidence is very strong that fluoride intake can actually double the incidence of hip fractures [7].
  • Lack of essential fatty acids. Gamma Linolenic Acid we can get from the oils of evening primrose, hemp, blackcurrant seed and borage seed; also from oats, barley, spirulina, avocados and peanuts. Eicosapentaenoic Acid is in coldwater fatty fish and shellfish [8].
  • Lack of weight-bearing exercise.
  • Insufficient nutrientsmagnesium and vitamin D3 [9], phosphorus [10], vitamin K [11] and boron [12] in our diet. However, if we eat plenty of vegetables, nuts and seeds, (fatty) fish eggs and whole foods, we need not worry in that respect.
  • Smoking!

Milk is not the friend we thought it was.
”To assume that osteoporosis is due to calcium deficiency is like assuming that infection is due to penicillin deficiency .... it's not that our bodies don't get enough calcium, rather that they excrete too much of what they already have .... The most important culprit is almost certainly the overconsumption of protein. High-protein foods such as meat, eggs and dairy make excessive demands on the kidneys, which in turn leach calcium from the body. One solution, then, isn't to increase our calcium intake, but to reduce our consumption of protein, so our bones don't have to surrender so much calcium. Astonishingly, according to this newer, more critical view, dairy products almost certainly help to cause, rather than prevent, osteoporosis.” [1]
So instead of drinking lots of milk, it’s best to:
- consume fresh and organic greens, plenty of root vegetables; fruits
- avoid simple carbohydrates
- make soup stock [13]
- have colloidal minerals or mineral rich herbs
- plenty of pure water
- onions and blackstrap molasses [14].
Avoid "white foods": white sugar, white flour, white pasta, white rice and any foods containing them. Choose whole grains such as whole wheat, barley, spelt, quinoa, kamut or brown rice; and pasta or bread made with any of those [3].
Varying weight-bearing exercises are very important: walking, aerobics, tennis, jogging, bouncing and ballroom dancing - do them all, if you can! See also [15]. 

And what to do once you have it
1) The ‘prevention’ diet also helps slow down bone loss when it seems too late [3].
2) Keep moving - but carefully [16].
3) Plenty of drugs are promoted for the management of osteoporosis but they have many and serious side effects and even the benefits are questionable [17]. University of Illinois researchers are saying that an effective strategy to keep bones strong should be to simply increase dietary calcium and vitamin D or take supplements. "For many people, prescription bone-building medicines should be a last resort.” [18] 

See also [19].


broad beans, early carrots, early Brussels, parsnips, main crop peas, radish, spinach (or spinach beet, better value than proper spinach), chard, turnip, lettuce, early/summer cabbage, spring onions, early cauli, bulb onions, beet, celery (late March).
Plant: potatoes, onion sets, shallots, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes.

veg: purple sprouting broccoli, kale, cavolo nero, squash, cauli, spring greens, radishes, rhubarb, leeks, carrots, spring onions, salad leaves, parsnips, cabbage, chicory, sorrel, swede, beet, brussels, rocket, turnips, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, watercress.
fishdab, red gurnard, grey mullet, mussels, oysters, clams, mackerel, herring, megrim, scallops.
meatrabbit, turkey, wood pigeon, beef, mutton, pork, venison.


Purple sprouting broccoli is, of course, flavour of the month. Plenty of recipes using that here: [20].

600g pollack/coley/colin fillets (or cod if you must ...), 4-8 sliced black olives, 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 300g tomatoes, 400g shredded cavolo, (25g capers), chopped chives and parsley.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Place fish on a greased tray. Mix together olives, oil and capers if you use them. Season and spoon over the fish; add tomatoes. Bake for 15–20 mins. Meanwhile, boil cavolo nero for ab. 8 mins. Drain, return to pan. Stir in herbs and fish juice. Divide between 4 plates and top with fish and tomatoes.

NETTLE SOUP (yes, we've had this before, but every year it's a bit different!)
4 large handfuls of nettle tops, 1 large onion, 50g butter, 2 potatoes, 1l stock, 1- 2 tblsp crème fraîche, seasoning, nutmeg.
Strip nettles from thicker stalks, wash. Melt butter and simmer chopped onion until golden. Add nettles and quite finely chopped potatoes and cook for 2-3 mins. Add stock, simmer for 15-20 mins. Liquidize, add seasoning, grated nutmeg and serve with a whirl of crème fraîche.
For the health benefits of nettles, see
600g trimmed spring greens6 tbsp crème fraîche, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and cumin if you have/like it. 
Cut spring greens in half lengthways. Bring wide, shallow pan of salted water to the boil and add the greens. Bring back to the boil and cook briefly, about 1-2 mins, drain (or longer if you like your veg well done!). Mix crème fraîche in a pan with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring almost to the boil. Carefully add the greens so they don’t overlap too much and reheat gently. Stir the cabbage into the creme, sprinkle with pepper, serve immediately.

One 800g butternut squash, 200g mushrooms, 1 large red onion, 100g stilton, 15g thyme, garlic.
Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Cut squashes in half, deseed and make 4 cuts halfway down in the fleshy part. Drizzle with oil, season and place in oven skin side down for at least 50 mins. Chop mushrooms, onion, thyme garlic. Saute onions and mushrooms in a tsp of butter and plenty of olive oil, cook slowly for 8-10 mins until soft. Add garlic and thyme, cook for a min. When squash is ready, scoop out 6 tsp flesh from each squash and add to the stuffing, also the crumbled Stilton. Put stuffing into squashes. Put in oven for 15 mins until brown on top. Or cook for 10 mins and finish on the grill.

For more March recipes see former years. 

Next month: pre-, pro-, syn- and antibiotics.

[5]  Fosamax works by destroying osteoclasts, the cells that remove old bone so your osteoblasts can build new bone in its place. Since old bone is not removed, the result is denser but not stronger bones. See also and
[8]  Essential fatty acids enhance calcium absorption, reduce excretion and increase calcium deposition in the bone.
[11] See and You can get vitamin K from egg yolk, organ meat, and fermented, hard and aged cheeses. Other fermented foods like sauerkraut and the Japanese condiments miso and natto are particularly beneficial.
[14] Onions and blackstrap molasses are excellent foods to help prevent osteoporosis. They also can improve matters once you have it. Onion increases bone density. Blackstrap has an ideal calcium-magnesium ratio: we need lots of magnesium to help absorb similarly large quantities of calcium. Both of these minerals aid development of bones.
[17] Including, ironically, an increase in bone problems such as hip fractures and jaw necrosis.