Studies have shown that greater milk consumption during childhood and adolescence contributes to peak bone mass, and is therefore expected to help avoid osteoporosis and bone fractures in later life.
But that’s not what researchers have found.
It appears that the extra boost in total body bone mineral density from getting extra calcium is lost within a few years, even if you keep the calcium supplementation up. This suggests a partial explanation for the long-standing enigma that hip fracture rates are highest in populations with the greatest milk consumption.
The human body is a finely-tuned organism that works best under certain conditions and is very sensitive to any changes in those conditions. One of the most important characteristics is a stable balance between acid and alkalis in the blood. Everything we eat or drink is either acid or alkali forming. When it’s acid that’s formed, the body needs to employ one of its buffer systems – the skeleton – to neutralise the acid by releasing calcium. Both calcium and acid are then excreted in urine and only a fraction of the used calcium can be returned to the bones.
Of course we need calcium to have healthy bones but most of all we need the right acid-alkali balance and, as many studies show, the benefits of eating vegetables and fruits will protect your bones.
For instance, there is a study that shows children who ate a diet which included dark green and yellow vegetables had better bone mineralisation and had better bone density later in life.
Another study – called the Scarborough Fair Study – had a look at which vegetables, fruits and herbs that reduced the bone turnover and loss of urinary calcium in post-menopausal women. It turns out that the vegetables increased the intake of polyphenols and potassium.
As you can see, as many studies show, fruits and vegetables help to provide the whole ‘package’ of nutrients needed for healthy bones. These include vitamins A, C, K and the B group as well as important minerals – calcium (enough for our daily needs), magnesium, potassium, selenium, boron, iron, copper, zinc, etc.
Science is rapidly coming to the conclusion that a diet high in vegetables and fruits, coupled with regular weight-bearing exercise, is the way to grow healthy bones and preserve them.
At the end of the day, if your diet is varied, it is unlikely that you will become deficient in calcium as a result of what you are eating. We’ll go into more detail in next week’s blog – so stay tuned!
If you have any questions on this blog or would like to find out what dietary help might be right for you, get in touch with us on the following number: 01722 512 043.