Your bones are not inert calcium repositories. They are dynamic, living tissue, and they respond to a variety of health factors.
That’s why eating more calcium will not give you better bones. And that’s why the strategy for preventing osteoporosis goes way beyond calcium, and way beyond dairy. The strategy is to look at all of the hidden health factors that affect bone health.
Yes, healthy bones need vitamin D, weight-bearing exercise, and estrogen. But there’s so much more to the story. The first step is to avoid the things that are bad for bones.
These 7 things are a problem for bone health
- Gluten. Gluten sensitivity damages bone remodelling cells (osteoclasts) and impairs the absorption of minerals. Every single case of osteoporosis should be screened for celiac disease.
- Stomach medication (proton pump inhibitors or PPIs) prevent the absorption of calcium and magnesium and cause osteoporosis.
- Anti-depressant medication. Excess serotonin suppresses bone-building cells (osteoblasts), which is why antidepressants are even worse for bones than steroid medication.
- Contraceptive injection Depo-Provera causes significant—possibly irreversible—bone loss.
- Insulin resistance causes bone remodelling cells to be replaced with fat cells. That’s why some scientists call osteoporosis “obesity of bone.”
- Smoking. Cigarette toxins deplete the body of estrogen and inhibit the bone-building osteoblast cells.
- Too much calcium. According to a report in the British Medical Journal, there’s no reason to take or eat more than 700 mg of calcium per day. In fact, too much calcium worsens bone health because too much calcium suppresses bone turnover.