NUMBERS OF FRACTURES SEEN IN CHILDREN IS GOING THROUGH THE CEILING
If you are as old as I am (born in '67), you remember how different it was being a kid than it is today. There were no internet, cell phones, or video games. TV was 3; maybe four channels if you were lucky. You rode your bike everywhere, all the time. You constantly played outdoors with your friends. Roughhousing was just another part of growing up. You probably didn't know anyone in high school that didn't have a job. Things were different then, and it wasn't a bad thing (something I suppose every generation before us has nostalgically lamented). And despite the bike wrecks, fights, falls, and /asfkfjk, the truth is, most of us turned out OK as far as our bones were concerned.
Today, despite childhoods that are far less 'physical' than ours, what do we see as far as bones are concerned? The newest issue of the medical journal Pediatrics spells it out in a study called Bone Densitometry in Children and Adolescents. Off the get go we learn that, "Children with forearm fractures have been shown to have lower bone mass, a greater percentage of body fat, and less calcium intake than their peers without a history of fracture. The documented increase of 35% to 65% in childhood fractures over the past four decades has raised concern that current lifestyles are compromising early bone health." You see; according to Wolff's Law, the only way to strengthen bones is by stressing them in a mechanical fashion.
Back in the mid 1800's, Dr. Julian Wolff figured out that in order to stimulate OSTEOBLASTIC ACTIVITY (bone growth and strengthening), a person has to "stress" their bones. According to that bastion of truth and wisedom Wikipedia, "The internal architecture of the bone undergoes adaptive changes, followed by secondary changes to the external portion of the bone, perhaps becoming thicker as a result. The inverse is true as well: if the loading on a bone decreases, the bone will become less dense and weaker due to the lack of the stimulus required for continued remodeling." This is why the number one thing you can do (J.O.) is to make sure you are working your bones against some sort of resistance (aka "STRENGTH TRAINING").
All this is great to know, but the real question remains thus far unanswered. What in the world are we as a society going to do about this? Even though dozens of studies show how harmful --- even deadly --- this practice can be (HERE), the study's authors firstly recommended taking more calcium --- lots more calcium. While this is poor advice in most cases, some of the advice was actually good; or at least could potentially be good. They suggested controlling INFLAMMATION (although, unfortunately, diet was not mentioned). They also mentioned WHOLE BODY VIBRATION. Of course, they mentioned bispnoshphonate drugs.
BIS PHOS DRUGS are particularly scary because of the way they work. While it's true that these drugs unquestionably cause bone to grow, the mechanism used to do it is so pathetically devious that, just as I warned two decades ago would eventually happen, people are now warned that these drugs actually cause osteoporosis (HERE). "None of the drugs used to treat bone fragility in the elderly have yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for pediatric use. Nevertheless, therapy with bisphosphonates is considered reasonable for children with moderate to severe osteogenesis imperfecta." OI is a serious and not too common problem. However, mark my words, it's just a matter of time before these drugs are being regularly prescribed for children --- sort of like they've done with PPI'S, ANTIDEPRESSANTS, and any number of others (HERE).
Because osteoporosis is one of the myriad of problems caused by inflammation (HERE), you already know how to solve it --- that is, you know how to solve it if you have regularly been following my blog. Although I do not recommend tons of supplements on my site, CALCIFOOD, along with synergists, can be indispensable.
"When it comes to predicting heart trouble, doctors essentially play a guessing game. So among all the factors they consider --- such as a person's age, weight, family medical history, and cholesterol levels --- it turns out that one of the most reliable indicators may also be a bit unexpected: calcium." Alice Park from the latest edition of Time Magazine (A Smarter Health Test: Screening for Calcium could get Millions off Statins).
I have said it before. Simply taking cheap supplements or drinking more milk is not a good way to get your calcium, nor are these sources going to prevent or reverse Osteoporosis. Studies are bearing this out (HERE). (It certainly wouldn't hurt for you to get involved with a RESISTANCE-TRAINING REGIMEN either). The recent study mentioned above (Dyslipidemia, Coronary Artery Calcium, and Incident Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: Implications for Statin Therapy from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) from Baptist Health South Florida in Miami, spells this out. It was published in the October 20, 2013 issue of Circulation --- the journal of the American Heart Association, and contains some rather frank revelations. The authors found that over 1/3 of the people with calcific build-up in blood vessels that we often refer to as "hardening of the arteries" (Atherosclerosis / Arteriosclerosis) could get off their STATIN DRUGS as long as they have no other overt signs of heart disease. Why is this a big deal? Follow the link. The more you learn about Statin Drugs, the more freaked out by them you will be.
Interestingly enough, earlier this week I received a package in the mail from one Thomas Levy, MD / JD (attorney / cardiologist) from Mississippi. Dr. Levy (along with my cousin, Dr. James Braly MD) is one of the experts on harnessing the incredible antioxidant power of massive doses of IV Ascorbic Acid to help certain classes of chronically ill people. His latest book is called Death by Calcium. Although I only started it a couple of days ago, Dr. Levy's topic and writing style have already drawn me in to the point of no return. I will be doing a review of this book in a few weeks. By the way doc, thanks again for the book! I look forward to finishing it.
BELLY FAT AND OSTEOPOROSIS
A brand new study done by Columbia University's Dr. Adi Cohen and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that pre-menopausal women (ages 18 to 48) with the most belly fat had the greatest degree of osteoporotic changes. In fact, women with the greatest amounts of belly fat had almost 1/3 less bone volume (the bones were more porous --- see the photo above) as well as much greater levels (almost double) of brittleness / stiffness, when compared with women with the least amount of belly fat. This is particularly alarming because of the way science has always viewed the relationship between Osteoporosis and OBESITY.
The women that have always been deemed to be the most "at risk" for Osteoporosis were the tiniest and most sedentary. On top of this, Obesity was actually thought of as a preventer of Osteoporosis because carrying extra weight was considered to be "weight bearing" (WEIGHT-BEARING EXERCISE is the number one way to reverse or stop Osteoporosis --- HERE). No longer. If you are an overweight female and your fat is piling up around your belly, it is imperative that you figure out what you'll have to do to get rid of it. My website is a great place to start (HERE).
And believe it or not, Osteoporosis is beginning to look like an INFLAMMATORY DISEASE (the topic of tomorrow's blog post). Many scientists now think that the adverse effects of obesity on bone growth & development are the result of production of inflammatory chemicals by one's visceral adipose tissue (belly fat). This is certainly interesting, considering that Obesity itself is considered to be one of the more common of the hundreds of health problems that are the direct result of Inflammation. More information on Osteoporosis can be found HERE.
DOES CALCIUM WITH VITAMIN D
Why would this be? With today's huge emphasis on preventing Osteoporosis, why in the world would anyone -- let alone one of our precious governmental health organizations ---- come out against supplementing with Calcium? For one, it increases your chances of developing kidney stones. For another, it simply does not do what it has been touted to do for decades ---- prevent fractures. Listen to the words of co-author, Dr. Virginia Moyer (MD) on the subject.
Due to the lack of effect on fracture incidence and the increased incidence of nephrolithiasis [kidney stones] in the intervention group of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial, the USPSTF concluded with moderate certainty that daily supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1000 mg of calcium has no net benefit for the primary prevention of fractures in noninstitutionalized postmenopausal women.
By the way, there is one Calcium Supplement that is radically different than the rest. This is because instead of being simply Calcium, it comes from raw, cold-processed, organically-raised veal bones. It is called CALCIFOOD, and is an absolutely amazing product that has been around for about half a century.
TOO MUCH CALCIUM DOUBLES RISK OF DEATH
In this latest study that spanned nearly two decades, a team led by Dr. Karl Michaëlsson and his research team from Uppsala University in Sweden followed over 60,000 women. Over the course of this study, they saw 1/5 of them (12,000) die ---- mostly as a result of cardiovascular disease. As crazy as it sounds in our calcium-infatuated society, those with the highest daily calcium intakes (over 1,400 mg /day) died at the highest rates. In fact, the study's conclusion reads as follows; "High intakes of calcium in women are associated with higher death rates from all causes and [most specifically from] cardiovascular disease..." For those who understand why too much calcium is such a bad thing, the study's results should come as no surprise. To everyone else, it is time to learn the truth about calcium. The first thing you need to know is that this is not the first study touting these sorts of results.
Three years ago, a New Zealand study showed that adults who took 500 mg /day or more of supplemental calcium, increased their chance of heart attack by almost one third. And just last year, a study published in the prestigious medical journal Heart, showed that those who got the majority of their calcium from supplements (as opposed to food sources), had heart attacks at rates that were more than double those of their non-supplementing peer group (gulp!). What gives?
For starters, it seems that everyone has been conditioned --- particularly women --- to believe that you cannot get enough calcium without serious supplementation. You know; the idea that if a little is good, then a lot must be really good. What's even more scary is just how much food is being "fortified" with calcium these days (the most common are milk, OJ, fruit and vegetable juices, soy & rice milk, tofu, and grain-based products such as cereal). But all of this begs the question of why ---- why is taking calcium supplements bad? Listen to what Dr. Bart Clarke of the Mayo Clinic and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research recently told Yahoo's Shine concerning this particular question.
"The bones can’t make use of it fast enough, and then it finds storage in places you don’t want it, such as in the cardiovascular system, or in the urine, which can lead to kidney stones. Calcium seems to be absorbed too quickly especially in the form of supplements. Calcium in the form of diet doesn’t seem to be of increased risk"
Choosing the best Calcium Supplement is just like choosing any nutritional supplement. Calcium, like other minerals, does not appear in living systems as an isolated inorganic compound. Yet this is the sort of calcium supplements that most people are taking. If you are consuming mass quantities of calcium in the form of rocks (limestone or coral) and shells (ground up oyster shells), you are headed for disaster. I get it; these are the cheapest forms of calcium on the planet. Prescribing these makes sense to the uninformed, and purchasing them is even easier. My favorite all time numbskull story on this topic pertains to the brilliant marketing ploy by the St. Louis manufacturer of the well-known product, TUMS. Tums is an antacid. Remember this because it is critical for understanding my point.
I am getting ready to do a blog post on something called HYPOCHLORHYDRIA (diminished amounts or potency of one's stomach acid). Because you should have copious amounts of incredibly strong stomach acid (most Americans do not); Hypochlorhhydria is at the root of lots of different health problems ---- including mineral deficiencies and osteoporosis. You see, all of the alkalizing minerals (the minerals that help maintain a slightly alkali pH in your body --- calcium included), can only be absorbed in an extremely acidic environment. As you should see, telling people to take an antacid made from ground up limestone (my mom was told to do this by her doctor), has to be the height of clinical stupidity. Not only do you dilute the stomach acid with a buffer (calcium), your source of that calcium is about as bad as it gets as far as your health is concerned (chalk / powdered limestone --- calcium carbonate).
TUMS INGREDIENTS: Calcium Carbonate (500 mg), Sucrose (table sugar), Corn Starch, Talc, Mineral Oil, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Adipic Acid, Sodium Polyphosphate, Red Dye #40 Lake, Yellow Dye #6 Lake, FD&C Dye Yellow #5 Lake (Tartrazine), Blue Dye #1 Lake
On top of all this, we have not even addressed the fact that if excess calcium is being deposited in your arteries, it is being deposited in other places as well. Can anyone say "Arthritis"? Arthritis is what happens when calcium is deposited in muscles, ligaments, bursae, tendons, joints, fascia, arteries, organs, and other soft tissues. Excess calcium being deposited in the soft tissues is one of the most common findings we see when we do Mineral Assays of Hair (Hair Analysis). Oh; and don't forget to read about the book I was sent by a cardiothoracic surgeon, DEATH BY CALCIUM.
MY CALCIUM RECOMMENDATIONS
SODA POP AND OSTEOPOROSIS
STOP THE MADNESS BEFORE YOUR BONES CRUMBLE TO DUST!
Bone is a living and dynamic tissue that responds to mechanical stresses and loads by becoming stronger. This is why lack of weight-bearing exercise ---- STRENGTH TRAINING (not a lack of dietary calcium) is considered to be the number one cause of osteoporosis. And we all know that there is not a more sedentary people on the planet than Americans.
But let's move beyond this issue of "sedentary" for a moment and talk about the effects of acidity. Your body likes a pH of about 7. This is smack dab in the middle of a pH chart, and considered "neutral" (see chart below). As an over-generalized rule, most healthy foods tend to be alkali (above 7), while most unhealthy foods tend to be acidic (below 7) --- the more acidic a food is, the worse it is for you. This is a big reason that sick people are almost always acidic. The chart below comes from the University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry, and is a list of the most acidic brands of soda.
Be aware that a pH scale is analog. This means that each number is a factor of 10 times greater or less than the numbers next to it. For example; milk is 10 times more acidic than pure water, and the banana is 10 times more acidic than milk. This means that a banana is 100 times more acidic than pure water. What can we say about soda pop? If it is, on average, pH 3, then it's 10,000 times more acidic than pure water. If it is pH 2.5, it will be about 50,000 times more acidic than pure water. Why am I talking about 2.5 pH soda? Stay with me for a moment.
EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT SODA POP DOES TO TEETH
IT DOES THE SAME THING TO BONES!
Many of us have used vinegar to clean mineral (calcium) deposits from our shower heads. Just take a plastic baggie full of vinegar, put it on the shower head, rubber band it in place, let it sit over night, and presto! The next morning the softened calcium deposit wipes off as easily as bacon grease from a stove top! Although this is not the exact mechanism that soda consumption causes osteoporosis, you should be starting to get the picture. Acid dissolves calcium!
BUFFERING STRONG ACIDS:
So, why don't I immediately die when I drink a Pepsi ---- after all, it is 50,000 times more acidic than water? It is because your body was created with a series of internal pumps and buffers to blunt the effects of strong acids. This is because you will die if your body cannot maintain a slightly alkali blood pH of between the narrow range of 7.35 and 7.45. Any higher or lower, and you rapidly run the risk of extreme consequences (including Rigor Mortis!). If you drink just one 12 ounce can of Pepsi or Coke (and in this age of the "Big Gulp", who drinks just 12 ounces any more?), it will take four (4) gallons of alkali water (pH 9) to buffer this acid. I personally don't know very many people who chase their soda pop with a five gallon bucket of water! So what does your body do to survive this acid insult if gallons and gallons of alkali water are not readily available? It has to get buffering power from somewhere else --- quickly. So it steals buffering power in the form of calcium from the easiest available source(s)
Think for a moment. When it comes to heartburn and acid indigestion / reflux, we have all been brain washed to think in terms of Rolaids Spells Relief, and Tums for the Tummy; but what is it in those products that buffers or neutralizes acid? Calcium! Calcium Carbonate --- the same kind of calcium found found in limestone, oyster shells, or egg shells. Calcium Carbonate has another name you might be more familiar with --- chalk. By the way, calcium from rocks and shells is a terrible source of dietary calcium (HERE), unless you enjoy hardened arteries and arthritis. Only use calcium supplements that comes from raw (cold processed) bone (HERE)!
When you drink SODA --- yes even DIET SODA, your body explodes into action to buffer the extremely high acid that is invading the system. It needs buffering power and it needs it quick. Where does it get it? It gets it from the most readily available sources of calcium that it can find ---- calcium from blood, bone, and DNA. So, every time you drink soda (or eat other high acid content foods --- SUGAR, white flour, etc), your body is robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is stealing calcium from vital parts of the body, and using it to buffer the effects of the soda. This is why I urge women (particularly small women, or women who used to be small) to avoid soda at all costs. If you don't, the medical community will use a bone density test to sell you on the fact that you have Osteoporosis, and need one of the so-called "BONE BUILDING DRUGS" --- drugs that actually CAUSE OSTEOPOROSIS!
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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