Letter from Dr. Janson
Overcoming Osteoporosis -- Natural Remedies
to Preserve Your Bones
In the Health News
By the Way
Let's jump right in to what you need to know to enhance your
health, and prevent illness and degenerative disease through
diet, lifestyle habits, and dietary supplements.
Although the weather here in the northeast has been
unusually warm this year, the stress of winter is bound to
take its toll on our immune systems. We are living indoors
more, exposed to overheated, dry air, going back and forth
from hot buildings to cold outdoors to hot cars, living with
less light, and not getting as much physical activity as we
do in summer. At the same time, we are in closer quarters
with others, exposed to more viruses transmitted by hand-to-hand
contact, sneezes, and coughs and those the kids bring home
from school. What you need to know is how to protect yourself
from all these sources of stress and viral exposure.
This is not too difficult with some basic principles of good
health. Don't give up on your exercise program just because
it is winter. It's important to your immunity, and you have
access to many exercise machines, health clubs, aerobics programs,
and even at home floor exercises that can give you a pretty
good workout. You can try something as simple as jumping rope,
which is excellent if you do it slowly enough so you don't
become short of breath, and it is easy equipment to carry
with you. You can follow the exercise programs on TV, and
record them to fit your busy schedule (I know you can program
your VCR). Exercise enhances the activity of our white blood
cells, and this increases our resistance to infections, including
that flu-bug that seems to be "going around."
In addition to exercise, you need to maintain your healthy
diet year-round (in 15 minutes last night I put together a
quick yellow split pea soup with sauteed onions, garlic, celery,
and carrots, some curry powder, thyme, and dashes of soy sauce
and balsamic vinegarof course, I had to let it simmer
for an hour, but I was out running by then).
Remember to wash your hands frequently, as hand-to-hand contact
is the most common way of transmitting a virus (you would
be surprised how often you rub your eyes, and those hand-carried
viruses readily enter through the tear ducts). Also, wipe
doorknobs, telephones, and even TV/VCR remote controllers
with alcohol. All this helps when we can't keep our resistance
at its peak.
Avoid those over-the-counter remedies and fluid replacement
drinks; they are full of sugar and other undesirable ingredients.
Sugar decreases the activity of your white blood cells. Instead,
try some of the herbal teas that are available, or simply
boil some ginger and add a touch of lemon.
Supplements also help immune function. You all know the importance
of vitamin C (I recommend about 4000 to 6000 mg daily) and
Vitamin E (800 IU dailyI like those with high levels
of mixed tocopherols for their extra beta, gamma, and delta
tocopherols, in addition to the basic alpha.
Standardized extract of echinacea can help fight colds and
flu, especially in the early stages of an infection (you can
take standardized extract, 250 mg capsules 2 to 4 times a
day, or for a faster response try the tincture, one or two
droppers 2 to 4 times a day.)
Transfer factor is an immune-enhancing substance derived
from colostrum, the "first milk" produced during
nursing. Transfer factor is remarkable in its ability to reduce
infections because it provides an immediate immune response
instead of having to wait for the white blood cells to "learn"
how to fight a specific bug. For example, in one study from
Mexico with severe, complicated measles, which has a high
mortality rate, eight of nine patients recovered completely.
Evidence is strong that it also helps other viral illnesses
(such as Herpes, HIV, and flu), chronic fatigue, cancer, and
autoimmune diseases. The typical dose of transfer factor is
600 to 1200 mg daily.
Beta-1,3 glucan (or lentinan) is a chain of glucose molecules
that also helps to build immunity. In a Brazilian study of
trauma patients, who are prone to infection, patients on beta-1,3
glucan supplements had one fifth the rate of pneumonia, one
third the rate of blood infections, and only one fifth as
many patients died. In another study on patients with metastatic
prostate cancer, beta-1,3 glucan prolonged average survival
by one third, and five-year survival by 50 percent. The typical
dose of beta-1,3 glucan is 100 to 300 mg daily.
Many other supplements support immunity, but perhaps most
important is stress reduction, either through some form of
meditation, visualization, breathing exercises, yoga, and
Calcium D-glucarate is a safe, natural compound that is produced
in small amounts in the body and is present in all cells,
and in some vegetables and fruits. It is especially important
for the organs of detoxification, such as the liver, spleen,
and kidneys, and for the intestinal lining, breast, and endocrine
glands. It is converted in the body into a potent cancer protective
compound called D-glucaro-1,4-lactone. Many toxins and carcinogens
such as pesticides, PCBs, hydrocarbons, and drugs are eliminated
from the body by attaching to a substance called glucuronic
acid. However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can block
this detoxification, but D-glucaro-1,4-lactone counteracts
this process and facilitates the elimination of the chemicals.
If toxins and used hormones are not broken down, they then
promote tumor formation and tumor progression. Calcium D-glucarate
is unlike most anticancer supplements in that its activity
against cancer is not related to antioxidant activity, but
to this influence on enzymes. As a supplement it is used in
general detoxification health programs. The main research
on calcium D-glucarate is in animals, in which it inhibits
a variety of tumors, but it is such a safe compound that it
is a good idea to include it in any cancer treatment program,
and also for people who are at increased risk of developing
The typical dose of calcium D-glucarate is 500 to 1500 mg
daily for general detoxification, and up to 3000 to 4500 mg
daily for people who already have cancer or are heavily exposed
to environmental toxins.
Bones are dynamic, living tissues containing calcium, magnesium,
phosphorus, and other minerals, and they are constantly being
modified and rebuilt through a balance of mineral deposits
and mineral loss. A complex interaction of cells called osteoblasts
that build bone and osteoclasts that break down bone (to move
calcium into the blood) creates this balance, but as we age
the balance shifts toward loss of bone minerals and bone strength.
Early stages of bone loss are called osteopenia, and later
it becomes osteoporosis.
After the age of 30 to 35 men and women lose bone at about
one percent a year. After menopause, bone loss in women increases
to about three percent a year, leading to a 20 percent loss
of bone density within the next five to seven years.
The overwhelming majority of the 25 million Americans with
osteoporosis are women, although men also lose bone every
year (but they start with a higher bone density.) This thinning
or weakening of the skeleton leads to bone fractures, often
the first outward sign that a problem exists. The most common
sites of fracture are the hip, the spine, and the wrist.
Weight-bearing exercise is essential to the prevention of
osteoporosis. It appears that the impact or stress on the
bones increases bone density, so although walking is good,
jogging or sports is probably better because of the extra
impact. If you prefer walking, spend a few moments at a slight
jog several times during your walk
Diet is also critically importance. Milk is not a cure for
osteoporosis. It appears from population studies that milk
does nothing to prevent osteoporosis. This is contrary to
the popular myth fostered by the milk industry. Countries
with the highest milk consumption have the highest rates of
osteoporosis and hip fracture. After weaning, milk is not
a healthy food, but small amounts are not likely to be harmful.
Good sources of calcium are green vegetables such as kale,
collards, broccoli, almonds, navy beans and tofu. (Instead
of milk on cereal, try soymilk or rice beverage.)
Dietary habits that increase bone loss are high amounts of
protein (especially animal protein), phosphorus (found in
milk, meat, and especially sodas), sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Changing this to a mostly vegetarian diet of unprocessed foods
is very likely to help prevent osteoporosis (and many other
While it is important to have adequate calcium, better
diet may decrease the amount needed, and supplements are actually
better than milk. I recommend 500 mg daily of calcium citrate
(the best absorbed form). Another essential is adequate vitamin
D (400 to 800 IU, assuming you are not getting too much from
processed foods with added D). Other important supplements
for the bones include magnesium (500 mg), boron (3 mg), trace
minerals, flavonoids such as proanthocyanidins that promote
good connective tissue strength, and natural progesterone.
Ipriflavone is a relative of the isoflavones found in food
sources such as soybean products. Its chemical name is isopropoxy
isoflavone, and although very small amounts are found in food,
the major source for supplements is synthetic. Recent studies
show that ipriflavone supplements both retard bone loss and
increase bone density up to six percent a year, even in people
who already have osteoporosis. The effective dose of ipriflavone
is 300 mg twice a day.
I recommend this to anyone over the age of 45 for preventive
medicine. Although with proper health habits you don't have
to lose bone, it is such a safe supplement, and bone loss
is so common that I think it is good insurance. I take it
myself, although I exercise and eat carefully.
Physical activity appears to confer benefits to post
menopausal women that goes beyond the help with bone density.
Women who get regular moderate to vigorous exercise more than
four times a week are half as likely to get diabetes as those
who do not exercise. Even less exercise, as long as it is
regular, reduces the risk of diabetes by about 30 percent.
Of course, diet also helps by maintaining a normal weight,
and high fiber helps to control blood sugareven in those
who are already diabetic, a vegetarian diet of unprocessed,
high-fiber foods helps.
We've all heard about red wine and prevention
of heart disease. It turns out that not only the alcohol is
of benefit, but substances in red wine called catechins are
protective, and non-alcoholic red wine confers even more benefits
because of a higher level of catechins (these are the compounds
in green tea that are helpful with heart disease and cancer
prevention). Independent of catechins, up to one alcoholic
drink a day also seems to reduce mortality.
Enhanced nutrition helps critically ill patients. A
study showed that adding the nutrients L-arginine,L- glutamine,
omega-3 fatty acids, and nucleotides (RNA) significantly enhanced
the health of these patients. They had one third fewer infections,
fewer days requiring a ventilator, and shorter hospital stays.
L-arginine, L- glutamine, and omega-3 fatty acids, are available
to anyone wanting to enhance their own immunity and general
It appears that the FDA is now loosening up the restrictions
on health claims for dietary supplements. It will be easier
for you to find out that ginkgo helps memory, that coenzyme
Q10 improves heart function, and that chromium helps diabetes.
This is a breakthrough in informing the public about the benefits
of dietary supplements. Although you can find out much of
this by reading this newsletter, it is better to have as many
sources of information as possible.
Click here to receive the Healthy Living newsletter free.
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