A new study from the British Medical Journal in May 2011 shows us why we should stop looking at osteoporosis as a calcium thing. Over 60,000 women were followed for 19 years and their calcium intakes where assessed trying to determine the link between calcium intake and fracture prevention. There was a greater risk between low intake and those in the middle range, but there was no advantage to higher levels of calcium intake.
I continue to be concerned about the heavy focus on calcium supplementation from conventional healthcare providers. Most OB/GYNs and family docs are still telling folks to take 1200-1500mg of calcium supplements daily. The evidence is clearly pointing away from this.
This study actually showed that the highest levels of calcium intake (both food and supplements) had a 19% increased risk of hip fracture! So we need a better framework for thinking about the bones.
To view osteoporosis as a single nutrient deficiency is wrong. We need to start looking at osteoporosis as a manifesation of inflammation. A focus that needs to hone in on the foundation of health: whole foods nutrition, stress management and digestive health. A study in the early 2000's reported that pre-senile osteoporosis was gluten sensitivity until proven otherwise. For many of us, gluten is inflammatory, so this makes sense. Other aspects to focus on are hormone balance, general balance/core strength (the lower risk of fall = lower risk of fracture). Be certain to focus on lots of whole foods like vegetables, beans, lentils, non-breaded fish and regular exercise as the path to strong bones, not Caltrate.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladd graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2001. He then went on to train in family medicine...View Full Bio »