Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Prevent Bone Loss
If asked what they consider to be the primary component in maintaining healthy bones, most people would probably suggest calcium, and lots of it. But like one writer puts it, ingesting calcium by itself is like trying to build a brick wall without the mortar; the other vital components to structural integrity are missing from the equation. Current research is suggesting that maintaining the proper pH level in the blood is the primary factor in maintaining overall bone health, with calcium playing a supporting role in achieving this end.
Maintaining pH balance in the body has become an important subject of modern health research as it is being concluded that general wellness is predicated upon it. The human body is designed to maintain a pH level of roughly 7.3, or a slightly alkaline state, in order to properly assimilate nutrients and fend off disease. Drawing continually from alkaline-forming compound reserves that are maintained through proper nutrition, the body is able to self regulate as long as it is receiving an alkaline-rich diet. Without it, the body can drop into the acidic range with no recourse, making it susceptible to diseases like osteoporosis and cancer.
Dr. Otto Warburg, a medical doctor and one of the leading German biochemists of the twentieth century, won a Nobel Prize in 1931 for discovering that cancer cells are anaerobic, meaning they function without the presence of oxygen. Oxygen actually inhibits the growth of cancer cells and ultimately kills them. Based upon his foundational research, many nutrition-based doctors and scientists have been able to conclude that an alkaline-rich diet is able to keep the blood oxygenated and the cells healthy.
What does all of this have to do with calcium and bone loss? Calcium is an isolated mineral that requires other vitamins and minerals in order to properly assimilate and function as intended. Additionally, only in an oxygen-rich alkaline environment is calcium able to build strong and healthy bones. The problem lies in the fact that the typical Western diet is highly acid-forming, rendering calcium intake largely ineffective.
Most people identify milk and other types of dairy products as the primary sources for obtaining calcium. Dairy products are acid-forming foods that, apart from adequate intake of alkaline-forming foods, can severely compromise pH balance in the body. In the case of a threatening imbalance, the body begins to draw alkaline-forming compounds from the bones, including calcium, to maintain proper pH. As a result, the body can actually leech more calcium than it is receiving, leading to osteoporosis and other serious diseases.
The solution to avoiding pH imbalance and the resulting calcium leeching is to maintain a rich alkaline-forming diet by avoiding excess acid-forming foods. Professor Jurgen Vormanne of the Institute for Prevention and Diet in Ismaning, Germany has developed a helpful food chart that outlines foods and their pH effect on the body. There are also other helpful food charts available online that will assist in understanding acid- and alkaline-forming foods.
Some of the best alkaline-forming foods include most fruits and vegetables as well as certain teas, mineral water, and various fermented foods. Among the best alkaline-forming foods are figs, raisins, lemons, limes, carrot and other legume juices, garlic, stevia sweetener, and sea salt, to name just a few.
It is important to keep in mind the difference between acidic foods and acid-forming foods; acidic foods such as lemons actually create an alkalizing effect in the body while milk and most dairy products, though not acidic in taste, create an acid-forming effect in the body.
Maintaining healthy bones first requires proper nutrient intake in order to maintain a balanced pH level, allowing the blood to effectively assimilate calcium and the necessary nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D which work correspondingly to maintain and fortify the bones. Apart from one another these crucial components will not perform as intended, but together they are a powerhouse of bone-building material and defense against osteoporosis.