A Surprising Alternative to Calcium for Bone Health

Hi Grand Rapids, Clear Connections is continuing this week with how to keep your bones healthy and strong!

This Month we are educating on the milk myth. We here at Clear Connections Chiropractic believe knowledge is power and you must look at a topic from both sides to make informed health decisions for you and your family.

The words “milk” and ” calcium” are often used interchangeably in the popular press. But while milk is a calcium source, no standard other than that of the National Dairy Council considers it the best calcium source.

The suggestion that you need to drink three glasses of the secretion of a cow’s mammary glands in order to be healthy is a bit outrageous and doesn’t fit the human evolutionary profile. In fact, most humans around the world cannot easily digest cow milk.

Yogurt has more calcium than milk and is easier to digest. Collards and other greens also have about as much or more calcium than milk by the cup. Greens, unlike milk, have the added benefit of vitamin K, also necessary for strong bones. Sesame is also very high in calcium.

When you measure calcium by a cup of the food product, milk is high on the list. When you view it by calorie, though, milk is at the bottom. A hundred calories of turnip greens have over three times as much calcium as 100 calories of whole milk.

Milk does a body good??

The idea that you have to drink milk for strong bones is deeply ingrained – the result of very successful PR by the commercial dairy industry. But what most people do not realize is that pasteurized milk has little to do with strong bones, or good health, for that matter.

The Vast Difference Between ” Milk” and Raw Milk as a Source of Calcium??

Whenever people talk about “milk” they automatically refer to pasteurized milk, which is the only variety you can find in every grocery store in the U.S. However, the drawbacks of drinking pasteurized milk are so many they overshadow any potential benefit from the calcium it contains. And, in fact, there’s serious doubt about the calcium in pasteurized milk because one of the worst side effects of pasteurization is that it renders much of the calcium contained in raw milk insoluble… This can lead to rickets, bad teeth, and nervous troubles, for sufficient calcium content, is vital to children. Additionally, with the loss of phosphorus also associated with calcium, bone and brain formation can suffer serious setbacks.

Pasteurization also destroys part of the vitamin C contained in raw milk and encourages the growth of harmful bacteria. Worst of all, however, dairy products from cows treated with Monsanto‘s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) could sharply increase your risk of cancer and other diseases, especially in children.

These detrimental side effects are not associated with drinking RAW milk, however.
In fact, raw milk is an excellent source of not only calcium but also a number of other nutrients such as vitamins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus. One other significant issue may actually be the species of cow that the milk is taken from. Milk from older cows, Jerseys, Asian and African cows may not cause problems, while milk from new cows like Holsteins, which has a mutation on one of the amino acids of casein, causes many people do not tolerate it well.

Do You Really Need Calcium for Strong Bones?

The Milk Myth…What Your Body Really Needs Part I
This long-held belief may not be as accurate as you’d like to think. Numerous studies have found NO association between high calcium intake and lower fracture risk. As is often the case, modern science may have picked apart and simplified the issue too much. As Dr. Robert Thompson M.D. describes in his excellent book The Calcium Lie, your bone is composed of at least a dozen minerals, and if you focus exclusively on calcium supplementation you are likely going to worsen your bone density, and can actually increase your risk of osteoporosis. Dr. Thompson believes that the overconsumption of calcium with the goal of preventing osteoporosis creates other mineral deficiencies and imbalances that will also increase your risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Gallstones
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes

We know this is a controversial subject for a lot of people and our goal is to provide education on the topic so you can make informed decisions! Next week we will talk about the surprising alternatives to calcium for bone health.

Interestingly, the best practical alternatives are the use of naturally occurring ionic mineral supplements. He believes that almost everyone needs trace minerals, not just calcium because you simply cannot get all the nutrients you need through food grown in mineral depleted soils.
According to Dr. Thompson, unprocessed salts are one of the best sources of these ionic trace minerals that are so vital for strong bones (as well as numerous other biological functions)… such as Himalayan salt.

The Healthy Bone Diet – Going Beyond Milk

Even if you don’t have access to raw milk or other raw dairy products, and have the good sense to avoid pasteurized milk, there are plenty of dietary options to ensure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet.
But first, it’s important to understand that processed foods will produce biochemical and metabolic conditions in your body that will decrease your bone density, so avoiding processed foods is the first step in the right direction.

Additionally, eating high quality, organic, biodynamic, locally-grown food will naturally increase your bone density and decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Aside from that, specific foods that are high in calcium include:

  • Fresh, dark-green vegetables like spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens
  • Dry beans
  • Sesame seeds and almonds
  • Wild salmon and sardines
  • Rhubarb
  • Okra

Another food worthy of mention is onions. They’re high in gamma-glutamyl peptides that have also been shown to increase bone density.

Additional Components Vital for Bone Density

Healthy fats. Along with your basic food selections, your omega 3 intake and the ratio between omega 3 to omega 6 has a lot to do with building healthy bone. Unfortunately, even many nutritionists are unaware of the important relationship between healthy bones and optimal fat intake.
Most everyone needs to take a high quality, animal-based omega 3 fat as it is very deficient in most people’s diet. Dr. Mercola recommends krill oil.
And, to further balance out your omega 3 and omega 6 ratio, you’ll want to reduce the amount of processed vegetable oils you consume. Oils like corn oil, safflower- and soy oil are loaded with omega 6’s. I also recommend avoiding canola oil for other reasons.

Sunshine. Vitamin D is also important for calcium absorption, so along with your raw milk and vegetables, make sure that you are getting plenty of safe sun exposure this summer. Getting your levels up to about 60 ng/ml will help you optimize your bone density.

Exercise. You should also remember that, just as exercise and diet work in tandem to beat obesity, the same can be said for osteoporosis. Strengthening bone mass through weight-bearing exercise, especially during puberty, can build a good foundation that can last a lifetime. Bone-building is a dynamic process, and by exerting force on your bones through exercise such as strength training, you stimulate new, healthy bone growth.

Thank you for tuning in this week and we appreciate you empowering yourself with knowledge in order to make the best health decisions possible! Have a great day and be well!

Yours in Health
Teat at CCC

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