Osteoporosis, characterized by porous, brittle bones, and low bone mass currently affects 54 million Americans – with potentially debilitating consequences. Because these age-related conditions often have no symptoms, many people don’t realize they have them until a sudden fracture occurs.
According to the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation, a staggering one in two women over the age of 50 (and one in four men in that age group) will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in their lives. In fact, people with osteoporosis can experience fractures from seemingly harmless activities such as walking, standing, or sneezing. To reduce your chances of suffering a catastrophic fracture, experts advise consuming a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. In addition, four nutrients, in particular, are believed to help strengthen bones. To discover these essential nutrients – and what each one “brings to the table” – read on.
Curcumin From Turmeric for Bone Health and Protects Against Fractures
For over 4,000 years, turmeric has been valued by natural healers for its ability to reduce inflammation and fight infection. Botanically known as Curcuma longa, turmeric has many antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to its active constituent, curcumin. In addition to its other health benefits, curcumin is believed to help improve low bone density.
Although clinical studies are lacking, promising preliminary research conducted by investigators at the University of Arizona found that turmeric extract helps prevent the development of osteoclasts – specialized cells that facilitate bone breakdown – while protecting trabecular bone, the type of spine, and hip bones most prone to fractures. in menopausal women.
Turmeric is available in powder, tincture, liquid, and capsule form. Look for turmeric formulations that are standardized to contain at least 94 percent curcuminoids, which have been found to be more effective than lower concentrations. Before adding turmeric, however, consult your integrative physician.
Thyme Helps Manage Calcium Levels, Supports Bone Health
Although many know this piquant herb only as a seasoning, thyme has been used by natural healers for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Botanically known as Thymus vulgaris, thyme contains micronutrients that promote bone health – including calcium, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc and manganese.
In addition, thyme’s active constituent, thymol, is believed to inhibit osteoclast formation. An interesting study published in International Journal of PharmTech Research suggested that 1,000 mg of thyme per day for six months increased bone mineral density in postmenopausal women more effectively than calcium/vitamin D supplements. The researchers noted that thyme helps regulate calcium homeostasis, allowing it to have a protective effect on bone.
By the way, studies have shown that thyme is more effective in supporting bone mineral density when it is used wisely with its close “cousin” and rosemary. In other words, the classic folk ballad “Scarborough Fair,” with its references to “parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,” contains a recipe for better bone health … who knew?!
Thyme can be used fresh or dried – and is also available in liquid extract and capsule form. Although amounts found in foods are generally recognized as safe, check with your integrative physician before supplementing.
Don’t Insult Dandelions! Greens Provide the Bone-Strengthening Nutrition Jackpot
Although feared by homeowners and landscapers for its ability to invade lawns, the humble dandelion — botanically known as Taraxacum officinale — is an overlooked and underrated source of nutritional and health benefits. Nutritionists at the renowned Cleveland Clinic praise dandelion leaves as “probably the most nutritious green you can eat, even better than spinach and kale.” (And that’s saying a lot!)
Although dandelion greens are rich in bone-building vitamin K, calcium, and potassium, their real “superpower” is their high silicon content, which has been found to improve bone matrix quality and facilitate bone mineralization.
You can use the tangy-flavored dandelion greens in mixed salads and sandwiches. For a lighter flavor, soak them in cold salted water for ten minutes, then boil them until tender (about five minutes) and season with olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Dandelion supplements are also available, but get the “go ahead” from your doctor before taking them.
More than Half of All Americans Fail to Get Adequate Magnesium, which Supports Bone Health
Various studies suggest that this important mineral contributes to increased bone density and helps prevent the development of osteoporosis. But unfortunately, most Americans don’t get enough in their diet. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, only 48 percent of Americans ingest enough magnesium from food to meet estimated average needs.
You can increase your magnesium intake with green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Pumpkin seeds are the “high ringers” of the seed world, with one ounce of roasted seeds providing 156 mg. And chia seeds, beans, potatoes, and fresh (raw) yogurt are also good sources. The recommended daily dietary allowance for magnesium for adults is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women. Magnesium supplements are also available – but check with your integrative doctor first.
Other common sense techniques to support bone health including: quitting smoking, getting a bone mineral density scan to assess osteoporosis risk, and doing weight-bearing exercise such as walking, stair climbing, gymnastics or weight training. Ask your integrative doctor or health coach for help in designing an exercise routine that works for you.
Remember: Osteoporosis affects one in five women (and one in 20 men) over the age of 50. The right amount of “bone-friendly” nutrients and herbs can help you improve your chances and “stand firm” as you age.
Republished from NaturalHealth365
Sources for this article include: