Welcome back to Active Life Health Clinic's August newsletter.
Don't forget to call us at 604-783-2846 or email email@example.com if you would like to book an appointment for a bone density scan Monday,
August 14th. Not only will you get to find out your bone density
and learn how you can prevent or treat osteoporosis, but you also get
to support my patient in her Walk For Breast Cancer fundraiser.
The cost is $30 ($20 to pay the tester and $10 donated to Holly's
walk). You can also feel free to just drop in to ask your health
questions or make your donation in person or online: www.endcancer.ca.
If you have already booked, please
don't miss your appointment as we want to make sure that everyone
gets to benefit from this opportunity.
See you soon!
is bone health important? Learn some low cost ways to protect
your bones. What do fish oils, vegetables, fruits, and fracture rates
have in common?
Helping you help yourself!
To work in partnership with you to bring you to
your optimal health.
Ongoing health, not just temporary relief.
This is active health.
A Silent Problem: Osteoporosis
2004 Standford study found that more than half of people with
osteoporosis have not been diagnosed. Even those who have
already suffered from a hip fracture are often not getting the
bone-building supplements or medications that they need. In
addition, the 2004 Surgeon General's Report on Bone Health states that
most doctors do not discuss osteoporosis with their patients who have a
fracture even though 1.5 million fractures a year in the U.S. are
caused by osteoporosis. What are your odds of having problems
associated with osteoporosis? If you are a woman older than 50,
your odds of having an osteoporosis-related fracture sometime
in your future are 50:50. Men are not immune either with a one in four
Here are some simple things that you can do to help slow down or prevent osteoporosis:
1. Get enough calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. Unfortunately, they are not all created equal.
Calcium citrate and
microcrystalline hydroxyapatite complex (MCHC) calcium are best
recognized as well-absorbed forms of calcium, while calcium carbonate
(usually the cheapest form) is poorly absorbed. In fact, if your
digestion is poor or you are an older adult, you may not be producing
enough stomach acid (HCl). Even if you suffer from heartburn, the
problem may not be excess stomach acid. Remember, it takes very
little acid to irriate flesh and the HCl in your stomach is strong
enough to burn a cement sidewalk. It is the mucus lining
of your stomach that prevents the tissue from being burned. Hence, if you
suffer from ulcers or heartburn, it might be that the lining is
insufficient or that the sphincter that is supposed to prevent stomach
acid from being pushed up into your esophagus is not doing its
job. In addition, calcium requires adequate stomach acid for
proper absorption; calcium carbonate, like that found in the
antacid Tums, will reduce stomach acid.
Vitamin D will help
improve the absorption of calcium as well. The numbers
recommended for vitamin D used to be a standard 400 IU daily, but have
recently been upped to 800-1000 IU daily. A recent study of
postmenopausal women receiving osteoporosis treatment showed 52 percent
of them to be deficient in vitamin D, despite the fact that they had
been told by their doctors to take it in conjunction with calcium. One major
source of vitamin D is from the sun, but you may not get outside
enough or perhaps you live in an area where the sun does not show itself
often enough. Even eating fortified dairy products, egg yolks, fish,
and liver may not give you enough vitamin D and you should consider
supplementing. Look for vitamin D3 as it is the natural form, as
opposed to D2 which is synthetic.
The focus for bone health has long been on calcium and more recently on vitamin D, but greater emphasis is also being
placed on getting sufficient levels of magnesium.
About half of the magnesium stored in your body is stored in
bone. Several human studies have shown that magnesium
supplementation may increase bone density and that magnesium deficiency
alters calcium metabolism. Magnesium oxide is a poorly absorbed
form and is more likely to cause diarrhea, while magnesium citrate is
Other important trace minerals include boron, strontium, potassium, zinc, and silica.
Simply walking as little as 3-5 miles per week can help you maintain
bone mass, but strength training may even help improve bone mineral
density according to results from the Bone, Estrogen, and Strength
(BEST) study funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and
Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).
3. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
Here's another reason to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables:
they can help to increase your bone mineral content. The American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported a cross-sectional study that
examined the associaton between fruit and vegetable consumption and
bone mineral status: read here for details.
How this benefit occurs is unclear, but it is thought that it could be
due to the alkalizing effects of fruits and vegetables on the body, the
vitamin K, phytoestrogens, some as yet undiscovered nutrient, or
perhaps a combination of all of the above.
4. Don't forget about essenial fatty acids (EFAs)
Sufficient balanced consumption of essential fatty
acids found in fish, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and evening primrose oil
can actually help increase bone formation and reduce bone resorption
rates. One of the ways it does this is by helping treat chronic
inflammatory diseases that can interfere with bone growth and
repair. It also contributes to a balanced quantity of a substance
called prostaglandin 2 (PGE2) that in low amounts stimulates bone
growth, but in unchecked high quantities results in chronic
inflammation. (click here if you'd like the details) The body is one complex organism! Omega 3 For Life fish oil capsules and EFAplex oil
5. Acupuncture and TCM herbs!
course I also need to talk about how TCM can help treat and prevent
osteoporosis. According to TCM theory, the Kidneys are in charge of the
bones. It is thus believed that by strengthening the energy of
the TCM Kidneys using herbs and/or acupuncture, the bones will also be
strengthened. For a great article on this topic: TCM Solutions for Osteoporosis and Bone Diseases. In
addition, because osteoarthritis becomes a greater risk for
postmenopausal women, and because TCM can be used as a natural
alternative to hormone replacement therapy to balance the hormones, TCM
can also help to protect the bones.
Whether you are needing to treat osteoarthritis or wanting to prevent
it, the tools are available to you, and these 5 options are just a
beginning! Want to know more or have ideas of your own you want
to share? Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-783-2846.
A healthy and nutritious meal to benefit your bones:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat and saute
onion and garlic until golden, about 7 minutes. Add ginger, lentils,
stock, and coconut milk, cook on medium-high heat, uncovered, until
lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, minced
1 cup lentils
3 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
2 cups light coconut milk
1 lb. firm tofu, drained well and cubed
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
While lentils are cooking, heat remaining oil in a medium, non-stick
skillet, and saute tofu cubes until golden, about 5 minutes. Add cumin
seeds and curry, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Add to
lentils. Stir in cilantro and cook for 5 minutes to blend flavors.
Season with cayenne pepper and salt, and serve hot over rice.
Makes 4 servings.
Active Life Health Clinic
Dr. Melissa Carr, B.Sc., Dr.TCM, R.Ac.
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Regent Medical Building
#410-2184 West Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., V6K 2E1
In appreciation of each of your referrals, Dr. Melissa Carr will offer you 10% off of
your health product purchase, so don't forget to tell your friends,
family, colleagues, and acquaintances to give us your name when they
book an appointment.