Poor bone health
Aug 7, 2012 / 10:46 am
In last week’s article we learned about the anatomy and physiology of bones. We learned that bones are not purely solid structures. We learned that they are continually being broken down and rebuilt along stress lines by cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts. This explains why weight bearing exercise and physical activity are the most important treatments to improve bone health. In this week’s article, we will discuss the 3 most important causes of poor bone health.
Lack of Exercise and Activity
Exercise and activity, especially movements that put strain on the bones stimulate bone remodeling. People who live a sedentary lifestyle do not challenge their bones as much as people who are physically active and have less bone remodeling. This leads to thinner bone. Bones are similar to muscle in one respect; if you challenge them they will get stronger over time. If you do not challenge your bones they will have no incentive to gain strength, size, or density and will become weaker.
Phosphates are found in high amounts in refined foods, high sugar foods, and especially in soda pop. High phosphate consumption is bad for bone health because it stimulates a process that leaches calcium from the bones.
One rule of the body is that the blood has to be balanced before other areas of the body are balanced. If there is too much phosphorus in the bloodstream from high phosphate consumption the parathyroid gland produces a hormone called parathyroid hormone that pulls calcium from the bones in order to buffer the calcium in the bloodstream. The body sacrifices the health of the bones in order to protect the rest of the body from the immediate dangers of high phosphates in the bloodstream.
As we learned last week, the bones are made of many nutrients including protein, calcium, magnesium, strontium, boron, and many other trace minerals. If the consumption of these nutrients is inadequate the bone created by the osteoblasts will not have optimal integrity. Also, if the absorption of these nutrients is diminished the effects can be the same as if the nutrients were consumed in inadequate amounts.
The three most significant causes of poor bone health are lack of exercise, high phosphate consumption, and nutrient deficiency. Therefore, three of the most important treatments for bone health are to incorporate optimal exercise daily, consume a low phosphate diet, and ensure optimal nutrient consumption and absorption.
In next week’s column we will discuss in more detail the above treatment recommendations and others to promote optimal bone health.
To learn more about bone health or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Barlow please contact the Kelowna Wellness Clinic at 250-448-5610 or visit his website at www.drbrentbarlownd.com.
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