Why are Americans still getting osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is defined as a metabolic disease characterized by the thinning of bones. Caucasians are at greater risk for osteoporosis than African Americans & Latin Americans. Women are 6 times more likely to develop it then men and here’s a kicker--- obesity reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis!

There are numerous other factors as well like being small boned, slim, sedentary, a smoker, a drinker and taking certain medications for extended periods. Excessive hip fractures are used as an indicator of osteoporosis. American women over age 50 have one of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world. (1)

Traditional healthcare professionals encourage us to consume foods high in calcium to help prevent osteoporosis & fractures. Dairy products are rich in calcium & easily obtained so we are told from a young age to “drink milk for strong bones.” However, it appears the opposite is happening. The typical American consumes an average of 2 lbs. of dairy (an animal protein) each day for their entire lifetime yet millions of us still get osteoporosis.

What is going on? Women in countries that hardly consume any meat or dairy, rarely get osteoporosis! Americans consume lots of calcium-rich dairy yet we still are developing osteoporosis...?  

We have evidence for over 100 years that animal protein decreases bone health. It causes an excess of metabolic acid. Methionine, an essential amino acid present in most foods, is higher in animal-based foods. Methionine makes our blood more acidic & our body, to neutralize the excessive acid in our blood & make it more alkaline, leaches calcium from our bones. So the more animal products we consume, the more likely calcium will be taken from our bones and excreted in our urine.

Although there is no one pat answer to disease processes, the research in this area makes for a strong case. A huge study from the University of California San Francisco, Department of Medicine covered 33 countries with over 87 separate surveys comparing the ratio of vegetable to animal protein consumed to the rate of bone fractures. (1) A high ratio of vegetable to animal protein consumption was notably correlated with a virtual nonexistent level of bone fractures!

Savvy media campaigns like “Got Milk” financed by the American Dairy Council plus the animal agriculture industry lobby & their manipulation & support of medical organizations like the American Dietetic Association influences what our healthcare professionals tell us to eat. Unfortunately, what they are telling us is creating the problem, not resolving it.

There is lots of calcium in plant foods. Staying physically active, going vegan, eating a variety of non-processed plant-based foods and keeping salt to a minimum will help us build and maintain strong bones. Our motto should be: “(Eating) plant-based---It does a body good.”

(1) Frassetto LA, Todd KM, Morris C, Jr., “Worldwide incidence of hip fracture in elderly women: relation to consumption of animal & vegetable foods.” J. Gerontology 55 (2000): M585-M592.

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