Holistic chiropractic approach to osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis in Latin means ‘porous bones’ and it results in an increased loss of bone mass and strength. Bones gradually become weaker in Osteoporosis, a progressive disease causing changes in posture, and making one extremely susceptible to bone fractures. The internal structure of the bone weakens as the normal “sponge-like” interior framework of the bone develops larger and more numerous “holes.”

The disease is often painless and presents no symptoms. Many times, osteoporosis is not discovered until weakened bones cause painful fractures in the back, wrist or hips. Adults actually start to develop osteoporosis after total bone mass has peaked—around age 35. In women, the rate of bone loss speeds up after menopause, when estrogen levels fall.

Dr. Davis undergraduate degree was in anthropology, and he always had an interest in native and aboriginal foods and lifestyle which generally led to native peoples having extremely strong bone structures (unless there was protein/calorie malnutrition.) There is one obvious factor in modern times that destroys bone density that was not present in traditional societies – the ever present “soft drink” – a bone’s worst enemy. Why? Commercial soft drinks just wouldn’t taste so “refreshing” if one removed the phosphoric acid. That acid strips calcium from the bones, and limited studies have already shown that. You might just imagine that Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, and other soft drink giants would not support such research!

In 2010 the Los Angeles Times reported a study on just this subject:

“In a large, well-designed study published by Tucker and colleagues in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006, women enrolled in the ongoing Framingham Osteoporosis Study who drank just three or more colas a week had a 3.7% to 5.4% lower bone mineral density in their hip bones when compared with women who didn’t drink the beverage.

The study also showed what scientists call a dose response: The more soda participants drank, the lower their bone mineral density. The effect was seen only with colas — non-cola soft drinks, such as ginger ale and orange soda, had no effect on bone density. That finding led Tucker and colleagues to suggest that the phosphoric acid in cola is behind its bone-weakening effects.

Phosphoric acid is added to colas for its tangy flavor. It’s not normally found in the food chain, Tucker says. When ingested, it causes the acidity of the blood to increase; to adjust the blood’s pH, the body draws calcium out of bones and into the bloodstream.”Dr. Davis clinically discovered a phenomenon that he suspects is also related to why bones become osteoporotic, but he could not find it discussed specifically in scientific literature. His theory is as follows. Healthy bone is laid down by specialized cells in bone called osteoblasts, and unhealthy bone is resorbed by osteoclasts. When the immune system is stressed by numerous factors including damaging synthetic chemicals (xenobiotics) it is possible that immunological cell signaling to the specialized bone cells is disturbed, and either osteoclast activity (bone destruction) is abnormally increased or osteoblast activity (bone regeneration) is decreased. Dr. Davis feels this is just another reason to really focus attention on natural protocols that support healthy immune function. It might actually contribute to healthier bone density! (A technical article mentioning factors related to this theory can be viewed at this link: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

At Davis Holistic Chiropractic Center a high quality nutritional supplement containing calcium and a special part of bone matrix (MCHC) is used to enhance bone density and halt the progression of osteoporosis. The company producing this product, Metagenics, has many studies on file to corroborate the use of their supplement. One of the older studies can be reviewed at this link: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

There are numerous herbs including nettles and comfrey leaf that have the reputation of supporting healthy bone renewal which would stave off osteoporosis.

Last, one of the biggest causes of osteoporosis is the consumption of excessive animal protein. Dr. Davis remembers reading a study many years ago that clearly showed bone loss with consumption of over 90 grams of animal protein per day. Much more recently Livestrong.com published this news:

“Excess protein intake can impact it negatively, leading to lower bone density. A 2010 study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that excessive protein intake, particularly from animal sources, decreased bone mass buildup in individuals with low calcium intake. Most disturbing about these findings is that the participants in the study were pubescent adolescents. Low bone mass density at this age sets the scenario for an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life. Even with adequate calcium intake, excess protein can increase calcium excretion, further complicating this risk.” Read More…

Dr. Davis’ dietary coaching especially addresses nutritional factors to help prevent osteoporosis and to delay its onset.

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