Archive for October, 2010

Got Bones?

Recent headlines have reported a correlation between drugs commonly prescribed for osteoporotic patients and certain types of fractures. A few years ago, the revelation that ostoenecrosis (dying bone) of the jaw was correlated with these same types of drugs. Does it seem like these treatments are missing something, chemically altering our bodies’ processes and influencing specific cell behavior for a “cure” to what we perceive as a disease process? Maybe that disease is a symptom of a broader and less easily defined set of malfunctions. To drive any one cellular process to achieve a singular end result could throw a tightly integrated system, like the human body, into a chain reaction with far too many subtle (and not so subtle) effects to ever hope to predict, control or react to. We assume that people lose bone mass naturally and that it is a direct effect of aging. That is probably true to an extent. However, what is often overlooked is the years of abuse our bodies take and the nutritional torture that our modern diet has inflicted on various systems of the body. It is common knowledge that a poor diet can lead to type 2 diabetes, effect heart health, and lead to various cancers, and those are only the pathological processes. The subclinical manifestations of a poor lifestyle can weaken every system in the body as well as create problems that may not be realized for decades when gross pathology arises. By then, rendering the true causes can be lost in the mud of many seemingly unrelated symptoms.

On the topic of osteoporosis, it is known that certain types of diets and particular processed food products have the effect of demineralizing bone, making it weaker. We know that bone is built in response to stress… exercise, movement, creating small stress on the bone signals the body to build more. So it seems that as we become more sedentary we will not build new bone and in fact the body will resorb bone when it isn’t being used. It’s a use it or lose it situation. So maybe as we age we naturally stop doing so many weight bearing activities and thus lose some bone mass, but it’s the excessively sedentary lifestyle that can lead to the amount of loss that seems to require immediate action. We take a chemical that changes the body’s natural process in order to build bone but at the expense of a number of other interrelated systems. This does not seem logical. Maintaining an active lifestyle with moderate weight bearing exercise along with eating a diet heavy in whole, natural, raw foods with very few processed nutrient devoid products would not only allow the natural process of bone maintenance to take place but also reap innumerable other benefits to the person. Bone health is just another attempt to micromanage our health from a reactionary, outside-in approach that simply leads to more dysfunction down the line. The solution is really to back up, look to our daily habits and lifestyle, and proactively build lasting natural health from within. This in turn, will be expressed in a healthy vital life outside.

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