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The Nutrition InvestigatorThe health and nutrition blog by Dr. Roc Ordman.

Nutrition for Osteoporosis

Nutrition for Osteoporosis

by Roc (click here for full post)


Summary as of 2014 – Point 1: Blueberries every day; Point 2: Weight bearing xercise daily; Point 3: 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily; Point 4: 500 mg of vitamin C twice a day; Point 5: 500 mg Calcium from daily diet is plenty, more may be hazardous.

Point 1: July, 2014 – How blueberries eaten daily may prevent osteoporosis! There has been a lot of research conducted by Wang et al showing that in cell culture and animals blueberry consumption has many benefits that will reduce the risk for osteoporosis. Reading the references explains the biochemical mechanisms by which this happens. Here are a few titles: *Blueberry consumption prevents loss of collagen in bone matrix and inhibits senescence pathways in osteoblastic cells.*Feeding blueberry diets in early life prevent senescence of osteoblasts and bone loss in ovariectomized adult female rats. The biochemical mechanism of these benefits has been shown in other publications, and clinical trials are being designed now to show this benefit in humans. See references 1-7 below.

Point 2: [Weight bearing] Exercise is important, calcium beyond a normal diet is not:See a research poster on osteoporosis here, which shows that in India people get little calcium, lots of exercise, and have little osteoporosis. FROM LINUS PAULING DIET AND OPTIMAL HEALTH MEETING MAY 18-22, 2005, one of the best professional meetings for M.D. and Ph.D. professionals involved in nutrition. Dr. Weaver’s speech on Bone Health. Increasing calcium intake for girls 11-16 who were getting exercise from 1000 to 1,300 mg/day increased bone mass 4%. However, increasing calcium intake from 830 to 1,830 per day did not increase bone mass, so key is exercise. In another study, calcium alone did not help, only milk.

Point 3: Get 2,000 iu vitamin D/day: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 6, 1657-1662, December 2007 ”concentrations between 20 and 75 nmol/L (vitamin D insufficiency) have more recently been suggested to have an adverse influence on the skeleton (1, 2). Vitamin D insufficiency in the elderly is associated with low bone mass due to secondary hyperparathyroidism and, as a result, a higher incidence of fractures (2-4). It has also been appreciated that sufficient vitamin D may be just as important for other nonskeletal effects, such as the improvement of the immune system and the prevention of certain cancers (5)…There is an emerging consensus that 25(OH)D concentrations >75 nmol/L may be optimal for bone health and extraskeletal effects (7-12). Heaney (13) recently described that an oral intake of 55 µg/d (2200 IU/d) may be required in addition to the prevailing intake of vitamin D to raise 25(OH)D concentrations to near 80 nmol/L or higher.”

Point 4: Get 500 mg vitamin C twice a day: Antioxidants and physical performance in elderly persons: the Invecchiare in Chianti (InCHIANTI) study Matteo Cesari et al Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Feb 2004;  79:  289 - 294. - Background: Muscle strength and physical performance in old age might be related to the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Design:986 Italians aged 65 y Conclusions: Plasma antioxidant concentrations correlate positively with physical performance and strength. Higher dietary intakes of most antioxidants, especially vitamin C, appear to be associated with higher skeletal muscular strength in elderly persons.

Point 5: Calcium supplements may be hazardous, and 500 mg daily obtained in a normal diet is plenty according to Harvard top nutrition expert Walter Willett.

Fruit for strong bones :http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/80/4/1019 – Bone Mineral Density was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at the nondominant forearm and dominant heel in a random sample of 12-y-old boys (n = 324), 12-y-old girls (n = 378), 15-y-old boys (n = 274), and 15-y-old girls (n = 369). Conclusion: High intakes of fruit may be important for bone health in girls. It is possible that fruitÕs alkaline-forming properties mediate the bodyÕs acid-base balance. However, intervention studies are required to confirm the findings of this observational study.

Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General; October, 2004 – Calcium, vit D, Potassium, and Protein Intake – Osteoporosis on the rise – by 2020, half of Americans over 50 will be at risk for osteoporosis.  A report by the Surgeon General suggests simple steps like getting 30 min of exercise per day will maintain bone health.  -

How much calcium? [AJCN 2001: 74: 571-3 (2001)] – “The calcium intake of much of the world…is low by American standards yet these populations develop and perform well without obvious signs of deficiency and are in calcium balance…it is ironic that as we encourage people [in the US] to consume more calcium their calcium requirement – as defined by calcium balance – increases, with no end in sight.” Studies have failed to show a link between calcium intake and fractures from osteoporosis. Administration of vitamin D has been shown to inhibit bone loss in northerly climates, but this may not affect fractures.

Western diets are also high in protein. There is an associaton between protein intake and fractures. Acid urine from high protein intake promotes calcium loss, which is an argument against following the Atkin’s diet for very long. Potassium supplements improve mineral balance, increase bone formation, and might explain the benefit of fruits and vegetables for strong bones, because they provide a lot of potassium with taking a supplement.

1. Blueberry consumption prevents loss of collagen in bone matrix and inhibits senescence pathways in osteoblastic cells.
Zhang J, Lazarenko OP, Blackburn ML, Badger TM, Ronis MJ, Chen JR.
Age (Dordr). 2013 Jun;35(3):807-20. doi: 10.1007/s11357-012-9412-z. Epub 2012 May 4.

2. Feeding blueberry diets in early life prevent senescence of osteoblasts and bone loss in ovariectomized adult female rats.
Zhang J, Lazarenko OP, Blackburn ML, Shankar K, Badger TM, Ronis MJ, Chen JR.
PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24486. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024486. Epub 2011 Sep 2.

3. [Chemical principles and bioactivities of blueberry].
Chen CF, Li YD, Xu Z.
Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2010 Apr;45(4):422-9. Review. Chinese.

4. Dietary-induced serum phenolic acids promote bone growth via p38 MAPK/β-catenin canonical Wnt signaling.
Chen JR, Lazarenko OP, Wu X, Kang J, Blackburn ML, Shankar K, Badger TM, Ronis MJ.
J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Nov;25(11):2399-411. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.137.

5. Combining fructooligosaccharide and dried plum has the greatest effect on restoring bone mineral density among select functional foods and bioactive compounds.
Arjmandi BH, Johnson CD, Campbell SC, Hooshmand S, Chai SC, Akhter MP.
J Med Food. 2010 Apr;13(2):312-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0068.

6. Blueberry prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Devareddy L, Hooshmand S, Collins JK, Lucas EA, Chai SC, Arjmandi BH.
J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Oct;19(10):694-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2007.09.004. Epub 2008 Mar 6.

7. Review: Dietary Polyphenols, Berries, and Age-Related Bone Loss: A Review Based on Human, Animal, and Cell Studies, Antioxidants 2014, 3, 144-158  www.mdpi.com/2076…/pdf

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