bone health

  1. Bone health doesn’t start with milk

    Does milk really build better bone?

    The old adage is as true in medicine as it is in politics: Follow the money.

    If you want to get to the bottom of too-good-to-be-true research, just look at where the cash is coming from.

    And in the latest research on bone health, you might say the cash is flowing like milk at a dairy!

    The study finds that folks who drink more milk, eat more dairy products and take vitamin D supplements have stronger bones.

    Specifically, older folks with the highest overall dairy consumption who also take D supplements have higher bone mineral density in the spine, which is a critical measure of bone health.

    They also lose less bone in the hip as they age, cutting the risk of a fracture and the painful disability that often follows.

    But while that sounds good, don't go chugging milk just yet.

    Remember what I said about following the money?

    The study didn't make much sense to me, since dairy is actually NOT the great source of calcium it's been made out to be. Studies even show that folks who consume the highest levels of milk often have WEAKER bone.

    So, I followed the money trail, and I found that the lead researcher behind this study is in so tight with Big Dairy that she's practically milking the cows herself.

    Shivani Sahni reported receiving grants from Dairy Management Inc., which is not exactly an institute dedicated to science. According to its official description, it "was created by dairy farmers to help increase demand for dairy products."

    Yes, friend, it's about marketing... not science.

    She's also a member of another industry-backed group, the National Dairy Council's Nutrition Research Scientific Advisory Committee.

    Trusting a "study" with that kind of cash behind it would be like drinking more beer because Budweiser says it's good for you!

    Sahni's connections don't end there, either. She's even close with dairy's best friend: cereal. Her disclosures list grants from the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.

    Yes... THAT General Mills, the one that makes everything from Cheerios to Lucky Charms.

    So, here's the objective truth behind milk: It's great... if you're a baby cow.

    For a human, it's one of the biggest sources of food sensitivities out there. Close to a quarter of all Americans are allergic, and millions more suffer from milder -- but still unpleasant -- reactions.

    All told, some 60 percent of us have at least some problem with dairy!

    It's better to get your calcium from other sources, including greens such as collard greens and kale as well as nondairy milk substitutes, some of which contain more calcium than milk! (For a full rundown on your options, see this month's issue of my Health Revelations newsletter.)

    That said, there's one thing the new study does have right: Your calcium, no matter where you get it, is practically worthless without vitamin D.

    Make sure you're getting both.

  2. Bone health improves on Mediterranean diet

    This delicious diet is good to the bone

    Ask 100 people what’s best for their bones, and 99 will tell you milk.

    And all 99 of them are wrong!

    Fact is, milk isn’t nearly as good for your bones as advertised. A study in 2014 even found that women who drink three glasses a day have a HIGHER risk of breaks and fractures.

    But there IS something that can protect your bone – and it’s not a single food or drink.

    It’s an entire lifestyle packed with many of the foods you already enjoy, because new research finds that women who follow a Mediterranean diet over the long-term have a lower risk of hip fractures.

    The benefit is relatively small, but very real. For every 342 women who follow the diet, one will be spared the sheer pain and misery of a hip fracture – the kind of bone break that can lead to long-term and in some cases permanent disability.

    The researchers admit to being baffled by the link, because the Mediterranean diet is very low in dairy with little to no milk at all.

    Even in Italy, home of the cappuccino, most folks drink their coffee black. (Trivia: The milk-rich latte was invented in California – some 6,000 miles away!)

    But I’m not surprised at all, because while milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium, that mineral alone isn’t always the best way to protect bone.

    Studies have shown that another ingredient is a whole lot more important than dairy… and it’s one the Mediterranean diet is absolutely rich in: OLIVES!

    Olives may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of bone health, but they should be. A 2012 study found that a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil boosts osteocalcin levels in older folks by 22 percent.

    That’s one of the most important markers of bone health because it’s a sign that your body is regenerating bone – a critical process to ensure it repairs itself and stays strong.

    The olives alone will help protect bone; but like I said, this is about more than one ingredient. There’s another one that’s just as important… and the Mediterranean diet just so happens to be packed with it.

    It’s magnesium, a mineral just as critical to bone health as calcium, even if it doesn’t get nearly as much attention. The leafy greens and crunchy nuts and seeds that are part of the Mediterranean diet are LOADED with the stuff.

    So if you’re not willing to go Mediterranean to protect your heart, cut your risk of diabetes, prevent a stroke, and lose some weight at the same time… do it for your bones.

    Ready to get started? I’ve got everything you need to know in this free report from my House Calls archives.

  3. Vitamin D benefits bones

    Vitamin D can protect your bones -- but only if you get the right amount. New research shows you need a minimum of 1,000 IUs per day, and probably more.
  4. Taking magnesium can reduce your heart risk by a third

    The mineral magnesium can decrease your risk of heart disease by 30 percent, according to new research.
  5. A sucker punch for vitamin D

    After enjoying a shining moment as the darling of the mainstream, vitamin D is being kicked around.
  6. Bad to the bone: Osteoporosis meds linked to fractures

    Women taking osteoporosis meds may be getting the opposite of what they're looking for... because instead of protecting bones, the latest research finds that these drugs could be breaking them.

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