Osteoporosis is most prevalent in countries that consume the most dairy.
And it’s almost non-existent in cultures who eat mostly whole plants. The simple answer to osteoporosis is the consumption of a whole foods, plant-based diet.
If you score 3Leaf or better on our 4Leaf scale, I doubt very seriously that you will ever be diagnosed with osteoporosis. But I am not a doctor; therefore, I have included content from several medical doctors on this page. I have also provided you with an opportunity to schedule a private telephone consultation with a “plant-based savvy” medical doctor.
Two big myths about our western diet. Most of us grew up believing that the best source of protein was meat and the best source of calcium was dairy. We addressed both of these topics in Chapter 2 of our book. A quote from The China Study in that chapter:
Researchers have found that animal protein, unlike plant protein, increases the acid load in the body. The body does not like this acid environment and begins to fight it. In order to neutralize the acid, the body uses calcium, which acts as a very effective base. This calcium must come from somewhere. It ends up being pulled from the bones, and the calcium loss weakens them, putting them at greater risk for fracture.
Also in Chapter 2, we covered the statistics about osteoporosis and where it is most prevalent — in the countries that consume the most dairy. As a natural plant-eating species, our bodies were designed to get everything they need from whole plants — and that includes plenty of protein and calcium.
Supplements? Some of the MD’s in our book disagree on the topic of supplements or “fortification,” but, personally, I prefer Dr. Campbell’s conclusion—that it might be a good idea to take a little B12 and, if you don’t get out in the sun year-round — perhaps a Vitamin D supplement. That’s it; he said nothing about calcium supplementation.
Which plants have calcium in them? To find out, I went to nutritiondata.com and examined the calcium content of the first ten fruits and vegetables that came to mind. ALL of them had calcium. As Dr. Joel Fuhrman says in the article on his blog (see link below):
Any healthy diet containing a reasonable amount of unrefined plant foods will have sufficient calcium without milk. Fruits and vegetables strengthen bones. Researchers have found that those who eat the most fruits and vegetables have denser bones.
He adds that “green vegetables, beans, tofu, sesame seeds, and even oranges contain lots of usable calcium, without the problems associated with dairy.” He also talks about the problem with our toxic western diet relative to calcium; “Keep in mind that you retain the calcium better and just do not need as much when you DON’T consume a diet heavy in animal products and sodium, sugar, and caffeine.”
Dr. McDougall with some sound advice on this topic (3-minutes)
In closing, I would like to mention the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico; a group of people that enjoy startling longevity, physical endurance and a virtual complete absence of our typical chronic diseases. And their diet consists of nothing but corn, squash and beans. I first learned about these people from Dr. Esselstyn and included them in our book as well.
If they can thrive on such a limited variety of food, people everywhere should be able to thrive on 4Leaf for Life — aimed at helping you maximize the percent of your calories from whole plant foods. And, unlike the Tarahumara, we are blessed with the opportunity to enjoy a plethora of 4Leaf choices — 365 days a year.
Please forward this page to anyone you know that may be interested in learning more about the causes and prevention of osteoporosis. Want to do more reading? Take a look at a few of these links.
- From an earlier blog containing a Boniva video with Sally Field. FDA on Bone Drugs – Taking “confusion” to a new level
- For some real life osteoporosis success stories, take a look at #15 and #69 on this blog. From A to Z (81 successes) from Dr. John McDougall
- New York Times article (5-9-12) New Cautions About Long-Term Use of Bone Drugs
One-on-one MD Help. Sadly, 95% of our medical doctors are not aware of the power of plant-based nutrition to combat many chronic diseases, including osteoporosis. If you would like a second opinion (about osteoporosis) from a medical doctor who truly “gets it” about food, you may wish to visit our MD Help page and schedule a telephone consultation with one of the MDs listed there.
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation