You probably know that calcium and vitamin D are needed to build strong bones. But what you may not know is that there are certain foods in your diet that can actually reduce bone density, increasing your risk for osteoporosis. For even stronger bones, avoid these everyday calcium destroyers.
Caffeine leaches calcium from your bones, reducing their strength. In fact, you lose about 6 milligrams of calcium for every 100 milligrams of caffeine ingested. In a recent study of 31,527 women ages 40 to 76, researchers found those women who drink 330 milligrams of caffeine or more a day – the equivalent of about four cups of coffee – had an increased risk of bone fractures. This risk was especially noted in women who had a lower consumption of calcium.
The good news is that limiting caffeine intake to 300 milligrams a day while getting adequate calcium probably offsets any losses caffeine causes. Therefore, if you can’t reduce the caffeine, make sure you are getting enough calcium.
Too much sodium in your diet can cause you to excrete calcium in your urine and perspiration. Sodium is found in table salt and many processed foods. Studies show that regular table salt, not simply sodium, causes calcium loss, weakening bones with time. That’s important because Americans get about 90% of our sodium through salt.
Americans get about twice as much sodium as recommended. The dietary guidelines for Americans advise limiting sodium to 2,300 milligrams a day. For every 2,300 milligrams of sodium you take in, about 40 milligrams of calcium is lost in the urine.
Many carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which can increase calcium excretion in your urine. And nearly all soft drinks lack calcium. Excess phosphorus promotes calcium loss from the body when calcium intake is low. The occasional soda is fine, but many people, especially women, consume more than an occasional soda.
The only food known to reduce the absorption of calcium when eaten at the same time as calcium is 100 percent wheat bran. If you take calcium supplements, foods containing wheat bran should be eaten two or more hours before or after taking the supplement.
Excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages is associated with lower bone density because alcohol interferes with the absorption of calcium and vitamin D. Alcohol interferes with liver enzymes that are necessary for converting the inactive form of Vitamin D into the active form. Without sufficient active Vitamin D, your body can not absorb calcium from your gastrointestinal tract. To lower your risk for osteoporosis, limit your intake of alcohol to one drink a day.
Balance Your Diet with High Calcium Foods
If you consume high amounts of any of the foods mentioned above, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet to keep your bones healthy. Getting the recommended amount of calcium each day to offset any loss of calcium caused by any other foods you eat will go a long way to preventing bone loss.
Fortunately, there are plenty of good sources of calcium to include in your diet:
low-fat dairy products
dark green, leafy vegetables
calcium-fortified whole grain cereals
Whatever your diet, you should be getting 1,000 mg of calcium daily if you’re under 50(more if you are pregnant or nursing). If you’re over 50, you need 1,200 mg of calcium daily.
If you are looking for an effective supplement to strengthen and protect your bones, we suggest Healthy Choice Naturals Osteocare. It provides you with a rich source of highly absorbent Calcium, Magnesium and important minerals scientifically formulated to support and strengthen your bones.
Frank Darling is a writer for the HealthyChoiceNaturals Health Newsletter. For more information on natural supplements for a healthy lifestyle, visit http://www.HealthyChoiceNaturals.com
WHY READ THIS BOOK? As physicians who have treated thousands of patients, we welcome the accessibility of reliable, accurate information on the internet as well as in print. It is refreshing, and sometimes challenging, to encounter a patient in the clinic setting who is knowledgeable about their options, and can ask appropriate questions. We have put together this osteoporosis guide to act as a personal resource for those interested in this fascinating disease that affects so many of us. If you, or someone close to you, has osteoporosis or is concerned about developing it, this book is for you. Osteoporosis is a progressive, symptomless deterioration of the bone, which leads to an increased risk of fractures, most often in the wrist, spine and hip. Osteoporosis in older women has received a great deal of emphasis, but it is also common in men, and can occur earlier in life. Fortunately, there have been major advances in our understanding of bones, how they normally remain strong and healthy, and what we can do about it if osteoporosis develops. All of this is reviewed in detail so that you will be better able to understand the causes, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. Where controversies persist, and they do, they will be carefully described. You will come to know the full range of what is currently understood and what areas need additional research. As with any disorder, patients do better, both psychologically and often physically, when they understand what is happening. A large part of that is knowing enough to be able to ask questions and take part in the decisions that must be made in osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Can diet (calcium and vitamin D) and exercise prevent or reverse osteoporosis? If my mother or father has osteoporosis does that increase my risk? Should I have my bone mineral density (BMD) measured? How great is my risk of fracturing a bone, especially my hip? If I need drug treatment, how do I choose which one? How do I know if the treatment is working, and what follow-up do I need? The Intelligent Patient Guide to Osteoporosis answers all of these questions, based on the latest scientific information, and on the experience of our many years of treating patients with osteoporosis in university hospital and community settings. This guide is about empowering you to take charge of your health. By picking it up and examining it, you have already taken your first step forward. Congratulations. If you choose to read on you will be that much further ahead. We wish you luck on your journey to good health. Roger A L Sutton and Robert Josse. The Intelligent Patient Guide to Osteoporosis is one of the series of best-selling Intelligent Patient health guides that includes: The Intelligent Patient Guide to Breast Cancer, 4th Edition (0-9696125-8-3); The Intelligent Patient Guide to Colorectal Cancer, 2nd Edition (0-9696125-7-5); The Intelligent Patient Guide to Prostate Cancer, 3rd Edition (0-9696125-5-9);
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