Can Juicing Help Osteoporosis Sufferers?

Osteoporosis means “porous bones”. It is the thinning of bone material as the density of the bones gets less, making them brittle. It is actually normal to lose some bone density after about the age of 40, but in osteoporosis, this process is accelerated and bones in the hips, spine and ribs become more brittle. Often, the first sign of osteoporosis is when the person fractures a bone after a minor accident – the kind of accident that would not normally cause a problem. These fractures tend to heal very slowly and can often cause further complications.

The main cause of osteoporosis in women is the reduction in estrogens as she goes through menopause around the age of 50. This also happens in men, though at an older age – around 70, but in his case it is down to the reduction in testosterone.

If you think you are at risk of osteoporosis, there are some lifestyle changes you may want to think about. Stop smoking is the first one. Also caffeine, carbonated drinks and alcohol have all been shown to increase calcium loss from bones. Also, be careful with Aluminium (it’s hidden in all sorts of products including pots and pans you cook with) as that can inhibit the absorption of calcium into the blood.

Another that may not be too popular is to give up animal proteins. According to Gabriel Cousens, M.D. in his excellent book Conscious Eating, animal proteins can make our bodies more acidic (compared to vegetarians and vegans) and to compensate, the body pulls calcium out of the bones to make alkaline salts in the blood. These salts then help to buffer the pH of the blood and reduce the acidity. In addition, animal protein is a richer source of phosphorous, which may contribute to the leaching of calcium from the bones.

Instead of animal products for your protein, eat more soy products like Tofu, soy milk, soy cheese and miso. These are all excellent sources of protein.

Since osteoporosis is closely linked to the minerals calcium and phosphorus as well as other vitamins and minerals, juicing may help to reduce the onset or help relieve symptoms. However, the problem is that by the time you know you have osteoporosis, it’s probably too late because you have already suffered a fracture.

Juices (especially from green vegetables) made from mixtures of chard, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, brussel sprouts parsley, kale, dandelion greens, watercress, spinach, garlic, ginger, turnips, lettuce, etc are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals you need for healthy bone development. These juices will be rich in boron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, silicon, vitamin C, Vitamin K and zinc.

That’s an awful lot of ingredients, so I expect you want to know a few recipes?

Well, my advice is to just pick 4 or 5 of the veggies, and juice away. I have never followed a juicing recipe in my life! As long as you try not to add too much of any one strong flavored vegetable (like water cress, ginger and garlic) you should find most juices taste very nice. To sweeten vegetable jucies, add a few extra carrots, and maybe an orange or two.

Vitamin D, which is not really found too much in plants so cannot really be obtained from juices. You can get it from sunflower seeds and sprouts as well as mushrooms (and some fish).

Below we have listed the articles on our site that refer specifically to osteoporosis:

Vitamin D is the “sunshine” vitamin.

Vitamin D deficiency is more wide-spread than most people realise. In some places of the world, its very difficult for your skin to manufacture this “sunshine” vitamin because of low sunlight levels, people hiding from the heat of the day, or simply because sunblock prevents the UV rays from getting through to your skin.

Calcium for more than just healthy bones & teeth

Besides the obvious bones and teeth, calcium is essential in other processes in the human body such as muscle contraction, hormonal regulation and blood pressure regulation. Read for full details.

Multipurpose Manganese acts as co-factor, antioxidant and more

Manganese is one mineral you are unlikely to have to supplement in your diet. It is involved in many enzyme reactions as it is a co-factor required by the enzyme. It is involved in removing free radicals as well as regulation of sugar release from muscle and liver tissue.