Friday, November 28, 2008

Is Alkalinity the Key to Preventing Osteoporosis?

Side effects from popular osteoporosis drugs do not outweigh the benefits says Dr. Susan Lark, a women’s health practitioner and specialist in preventative medicine. Lark believes that all bisphosphonates like Fosamax and Reclast should be avoided because they can cause gastrointestinal side effects, chemical burning of the esophagus, infection and death of bone tissue in the jaw (called osteonecrosis), kidney toxicity, and atrial fibrillation.

The major problem she sees with bisphosphonates is that they don’t increase bone growth, but instead prevent the current bone from being reabsorbed back into the body. Normally bones are in a continuous state of recycling new bone in for the old bone. Drugs like Fosamax and Reclast halt this process, preventing further bone loss, but at the same time preventing bone growth. According to Lark, there are much safer, natural ways to prevent bone loss.

Dr. Lark believes the secret to preventing osteoporosis is maintaining alkalinity. Blood is typically alkaline with a PH of 7.35 to 7.45. Part of the way the body maintains this PH level is by releasing bone minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium into the blood. However as people get older, their PH-regulating system declines in efficiency causing their blood to become more acidic. Over the years, things like an acidic diet, stress, and pollutants all contribute to an acidic blood PH. Eventually body is required to break down more bone minerals to keep a healthy PH level, putting older people at a higher risk for osteoporosis.

To stay alkaline, Dr. Lark suggests four steps. First, cut out acidic foods like red meat, dairy products, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, caffeine, refined sugar, and most artificial sweeteners. Also cut down consumption of acidic fruits, including citrus, apples, most berries, plums, apricots, pineapple, and raisins. Second, Eat more alkaline foods like green vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seafood, eggs, and non-acidic fruits. Third, build up extra mineral reserves by taking mineral supplements like calcium, magnesium oxide, zinc, silica, boron, and vitamins C, D, and K. Finally, you can increase the buffering capacity (alkalinity) of your water by adding sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

What do you think? Please share your experiences and opinions about osteoporosis and the best ways to prevent it!

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