Subscriptions
  • Join our People's Pharmacy Page on Facebook
  • Follow JoeGraedon on Twitter
  • Follow Us
  • Free email newsletter

Print This Page

752 Bone Vitality (Archive)

  • Currently 4.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
Did you enjoy this radio show? Average rating: 4.6/5 (459 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

Click the arrow to play audio file:

click here if you cannot view audio player: BB-752.mp3

For years, women have been admonished to drink milk and eat yogurt so that they will have enough calcium to keep their bones strong. Calcium supplements have become big business, and foods like orange juice have been fortified with calcium.

How good is the science supporting all this calcium to fight bone loss? We talk with a medical writer and a top nutrition scientist about a different dietary approach to osteoporosis prevention.

Guests: Michael Castleman is a medical journalist and author of more than a dozen books. His latest, co-authored with Amy Joy Lanou, PhD, is Building Bone Vitality: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis.

Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, is Chairman of the Department of Nutrition and Frederick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard University's School of Public Health. The photo is of Dr. Willett.

Buy This Show On CD or MP3
  • Currently 4.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
Did you enjoy this radio show? Average rating: 4.6/5 (459 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

69 Comments

| Leave a comment

Sounds like a good show; sorry I can not listen to it live.

I have been taught that calcium does NOT work with OUT adequate magnesium; I have also heard that we need to add vitamin D-3 to that.....

A nutrition-based-famous-neurologist-surgeon-developer of TENS-machine, etc. says calcium alone is a waste with out the other ingredients; Maybe your guest can tell us other things to do; (I NEVER take my 1000 mg calcium-citrate without 500 to 700 mg Magnesium citrate and 4000 Vit D-3.)

I love your column and website!

This was one of the best ! Thank you again for your wonderful shows !

Excellent program.

I listened to your segment on the role that fruits and vegetables play in fostering good bone health. Some of Michael Castleman's comments ring true to me as they correlate with information presented in a well researched book called "One Circle - How to Grow a Complete Diet in Less Than 1000 Square Feet" by David Duhon. (Published by Ecology Action in Willits, California) In his book, Mr. Duhon challenges some of the current thinking concerning diet. He discusses some of the history of the development of the current Recommended Daily Allowance. He also references the lower protein and calcium consumption of many eastern cultures.

His discussion leads one to understand several concepts: 1. We generally eat more protein than is required for good health 2. Our high protein consumption changes our requirements for other nutrients, such as calcium. 3. We can get enough protein if we eat sufficient whole foods (grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts) to meet our caloric requirements. 4. By doing so, we utilize fewer land resources than production of the typical American diet demands. None of this information is new. This book was written over 25 years ago so the research data has been available for a long time.

Though I would not expect everyone to rush out and try to grow all of their own food, his approach to eating is adaptable for those who's source of food is the supermarket and by my calculations, you would spend a whole lot less on food as well.
I enjoy your show.
Sincerely,
Ken S.

Regular periodic monitoring of my aortic stenosis (echocardiograms) always show prominent calcium deposition on the valve and when x-rays are taken to check the status of my two total knee replacements, the radiologist comments about the calcium seen in both femoral arteries. I have been taking 1200 mg of calcium ( with 400IU vit D) per day as recommended by my Primary health care provider.

When I ask my doctors if calcium supplements could be contributing to the aortic and femoral artery Ca deposition they don't have a clue!. Please let me know if you or your distinguished guests today have information pertaining to my comments and question.

WE enjoy your programs very much,

Fred Zechman

Regarding bone-building vitamin K, dark leafy green vegetables, and coumadin, I have input that goes against what most people, including Terry, seem to think.

My husband is vegan, and we eat a lot of vegetables, including green leafy ones. When it was realized that due to an inherited blood clotting disorder he will have to take coumadin for the rest of his life, our family physician did NOT tell him he couldn't eat vitamin-K-providing dark green leaves. What our doctor did tell him to do was to be very consistent in what he ate (and drank, i.e. alcohol): after all, whatever dosage of coumadin a person starts on, it always has to be regularly monitored and adjusted as necessary. So one might as well eat healthy salads and then have the dosage adjusted accordingly.

Our experience has been that during the first years, when my husband was using generic warfarin, there was constant adjusting of his dosage. Then he got a bad batch that could have killed him, and we switched to brand name coumadin; at the same time he increased his vigilance regarding how much beer he drank. As a result he has not needed his dosage adjusted in over two years. And we're still eating our salads, broccoli, asparagus...


Hope this is useful.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THIS IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE WAY TO APPROACH COUMADIN MANAGEMENT. NOT ALL PATIENTS ARE GIVEN THIS GOOD ADVICE.

I listened with great interest to the show on bone health, for I take 1200 mgs of calcium a day. To say that it's actually bad for me, is a bold assertion, and one that needs to be clearly supported by the literature. I get concerned when claims are made -- albeit by reputable people, but there are not those present to address the other side of the discussion. With all the listeners that take what they hear on People's Pharmacy very seriously, and many, I would guess, who take calcium supplements, this information about calcium supplements needs more attention.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

You can't get any more of an authority than Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, Chairman of the Department of Nutrition and Frederick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard University's School of Public Health. We could certainly find a manufacturer of calcium to say more is better, but we think Dr. Willett is someone our listeners can trust. He has earned his spurs as one of the world's leading epidemiologists and nutrition scientists.

Thank You for attempting to set the record straight. Fruits, Vegetables, and Exercise to the rescue once again.

Very informative, thanks for a great show, help us women make different and better choices.

Enjoyed the show. Being a vegetarian, fruits & vegetables are part of my main diet. I also eat dairy products and eggs as source of protein. Take fresh juice every morning from cucumber, cabbage, celery, asparagus, ginger, carrots, beets & apple to keep me alkaline. However, I also take 1000mg Ca with 500mg Mg daily twice, and 5000iu of Vitamin D. Walk 4 times/week. Need to add raisins to my daily intake of dried fruits.

I am 68 years old male; what am I missing! My wife does the same thing but her bone density is going down!!!!

Very good show. I hardly listen to your radio show (6am Sat mornings is one reason), but I felt fortunate to have tuned in yesterday. It's been 20 years since I first read about protein taking calcium from the bones. Perhaps that observation is gaining acceptance these days. Also very glad to hear about fruits and vegetables (plus exercise) being the best prescription for keeping bones healthy.

I have been taking 500mg.CA.Citrate for 40years at least and Fosomax for 3yrs. My bone density numbers continue to go down. I have had bilateral knee replacement; both hips and recently a shoulder replacement. My primary MD says that Fosomax or a nasal spray is all there is. Decreasing dairy intake may be the next move. Thank you for broadcasting the untouchable challenges facing patients.

show today very informational to me. just had a bone density test this week and will be talking with the doctor concerning results. this provides some feedback for me.
really enjoy your shows!

I found this discussion interesting and helpful. Would like to have heard if we have any risk of injury from taking way too much useless calcium.

I try to listen to your 6:00 a.m. radio show every weekend but had to miss it yesterday. I have a question based on one of your listener's comments above. My calcium supplement provides 1000 mg calcium, 500 mg magnesium, 400 iu Vitamin D3, and 15 mg zinc. Are these numbers adequate? The listener comment mentions "4000 Vit D" and doesn't mention zinc.


Thanks for this show. Now I can discontinue the excessive amount of milk I am consuming.

I wanted to relisten to part of your show today Dec. 20, 2009. Your remarks after the show led me to believe that I could click on something with my computer and hear it again over the computer right then. Is this possible?

Thank you
Howard W

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

Howard,

Just go to our Web site, look for the most recent radio show with Walter Willett's picture on the left and click the arrow. You will be able to listen to the audio stream.

All shows post on our Web site Monday mornings.

Good to once again hear it underscored the necessity of fruits and vegetables in our diets. I am fearful of the future health repercussions from the high protein/low carbs and sugars diets which discourage daily intake of vitamins and minerals in their natural form.

The fact that this revolutionary info doesn't get any play in the mainstream press shows how powerful the dairy lobby is in this country. This was a wonderful show. I am purchasing the book and hope my daughter will read it, too. She is giving her one-year-old plenty of milk so he will have strong bones! Hopefully she'll listen...

What a splendid program this was! My son is in Medical School and I'll definitely call his attention to this. I wonder whether Dr. Willett thinks children and pregnant and nursing women need three glasses of milk a day? It would be interesting to hear his opinion on the milk requirements for those three groups. Thanks so much for this perfectly wonderful program! Lucy

What an interesting show! I've been chomping on calcium for years and my bone scans have NOT improved. I stopped Actonel a few months ago, disillusioned with the whole big pharma complex and concerned that there are hidden problems with the drug, as with others that have been discovered later.

My husband and I lost weight with South Beach 6 years ago and his cholesterol totally turned around (HDL from 38 to 66). We still eat moderate protein, fruits and veggies, and no potatoes, rice, pasta, bread. We DO eat steel cut oats with nuts, cinnamon and wheat germ, for breakfast.

Lucy,

The book explains the complexity of researching milk consumption after weaning. Page 19: "No experimental animals - rats, dogs, monkeys - consume milk after weaning." It is true that fellow mammals (and marsupials) don't consume milk of other species after weaning. Humans do. Of course, a cat or dog doesn't turn down cow's milk, but milk is not a recommended staple in their diets. Page 134 has advice on shifting kids' diets to low-acid eating, including information for babies. You can preview these pages here: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/249136333 (search is a little slow today), then click on "preview this it item" under the book cover display, then proceed to Google Books. Go directly to these pages, or search on the word baby and look at results #2 and #4. If you want to see which library near you has the book, or the eBook, type the title into the main search box at the Worldcat site (you'll also get links to purchasing the book).

I understand the concept of meat breaking down into amino acids and creating acidic blood, but in the case of milk, would the calcium in milk offset the acidity of the protein and lactic acid making it neutral?

I am a 55 year old woman who drinks several colas each day and have recently heard this can weaken my bones. Any validity?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: ALTHOUGH WE DON'T KNOW QUITE WHY, THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN COLA DRINKING AND WEAKER BONES IS PRETTY CONSISTENT.

EXCELLENT ARTICLE - MANY THANKS

I can't drink milk and didn't drink milk when I was pregnant. I did take calcium and my son is very healthy. I think all the milk drinking was just brought on by the Dairy Association advertising, insisting that we need it to be healthy. There are a lot of cultures that don't and can't drink milk and they all have healthy bones. So why is it just Americans who think they need milk?

His comments on diet, except for his animal consumption, are exactly what the vegans knowledgable about health and diet have been saying for years. My prediction is that he will eventually stop eating animals. He already gets it that animal foods cause the body to become more acidic. Now he just needs to practice what he knows.

Thank you for having him as a guest on your show.

Did not know about the meat/acid blood syndrome. I took calcium 15 years ago when I was having digestion problems from milk. I ended up with lumps on my tendons; very painful. It took much research to find out the cause of the lumps. Just happened to stumble on an article connecting these tendon changes with ingesting calcium in pill form.

Stopped the calcium and the lumps disappeared in a month never to return. Because of high B/P, and reaction to all B/P meds, diet is my only alternative. I don't eat beef because it raises homosystine level. Eat organic chicken or fish once or twice a week, eggs and organic dairy. Am almost seventy and my bone density is normal, better than 15 years ago when I ate meat and drank milk.

Now I eat mixed greens daily(mostly from my own garden), lots of sweet potatoes and winter squash and dried beans as well as other vegetables and lots of fruit. Now I know why my bones are so strong even tho my dairy intake is now usually no more than 1 or 2 servings a day. I get a lot of sun in the garden also. Thank you for giving us all the opportunity to learn about the myriad of minerals that work with calcium to provide bone structure. I'm so much healthier in every way. Still have High b/p but not AS high and I'm never sick anymore. Fresh, non-processed organic food is the answer along with exercise and yoga to helping our bodies maintain health at the optimum level.

This was an interesting program, but I didn't hear anything about the genetic predisposition to osteoporosis. Isn't that also a factor? My father had terrible osteoporosis, and I've also been diagnosed with it. I can't take any supplements, but I have been able to raise my low Vit D level little by little (it's gone from 22 to 27 so far) using a UV lamp 3X a week.

Hi,

This was my first time in actually opening and reading material on your site. I am recovering from a compression fracture in my lower back and have been told by the doctor to take calcium, vitamin D and magnesium. I found the material presented here to be interesting as I was raised on "drink your milk" and I actually like milk. I lived in Greece for 3 years and didn't have a single glass of milk during that time!

Thank you for this excellent story! Having just finished reading a recent NPR story on how osteopenia became a disease requiring medication (http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=121609815), your story and Building Bone Vitality helps us know what we can do for ourselves. Excellent program.

This is a great show. I have osteoporosis, and my Dr. thinks I should take one of those bone supplements. I really don't want to take pills, as I also have a sensitive stomach. After listening to your show, I have made up my mind to exercise safely, and eat more fruits, and veggies: a lot of green leafy vegetables. I always ate some, but apparently not enough. My last bone scan was down.

I am almost 75,and I do worry about breaking anymore bones. I fractured a wrist from a fall 3 yrs ago, not fun. I thought taking all that calcium, and drinking milk, eating yogurt, and cheese was gonna help, but it sounds like it is not. Thank you for any information you can give me. sincerely Katherine

What is the diet that they talked about that was used in previous research?? Was it DASH? What's that about and where can I find out more about it's benefits?? Thanks for a fabulous show and so glad you're on twice now on Sundays on my NPR station!

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THE DASH DIET (DIETARY APPROACHES TO STOP HYPERTENSION) IS WELL DOCUMENTED FOR LOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE AND OFFERS MANY OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS. HERE IS THE OFFICIAL SITE: http://www.dashdiet.org/
YOU CAN ALSO LEARN ABOUT THE DASH DIET IN OUR BOOK, FAVORITE FOODS FROM THE PEOPLE'S PHARMACY.

I bought the book and will try vegan with occasional meat. Question is, how can I manage to get adequate amount of protein with this diet style -- especially without meat. Anyone know? Also, how does Quinoa fit in the food types as it has all of the amino acids that meats do? Anyone know? Thanks.

I fail to understand the complacency in all these responses I'm reading. I have been advised for 25 years to take AT LEAST 1800 mg of calcium every single day - by my doctor, to prevent osteoporosis. I have spent HUNDREDS dollars on calcium supplements and don't even want to THINK about what all this (apparently) excess calcium has done to me physiologically.

So, the question becomes: who is responsible for this misinformation (and here I would follow the money). And now, who should I believe from now on out regarding my health?

I'm not familiar with his book, but you can learn a lot by reading books on vegan diets. Some authors to try: Dean Ornish MD, Neal Barnard MD, John McDougall MD. You can easily get enough protein without eating animals. Another resource: VeganHealth.org.

Quinoa is usually considered a grain (although it's not actually a grain).

Re your radio show with Michael Castleman and his theories on osteoporosis. I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and have taken calcium pills for many years. I just "graduated" to osteoporosis from osteopenia. I did purchase the book... but am still confused about his recommendations. I know there was a Harvard professor on the show following Castleman and he generally agreed. I have not read anything else on the subject. Has his claim been verified by others? Many thanks.

Edie

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: DR WILLETT FROM HARVARD IS SQUARELY IN THE MAINSTREAM OF NUTRITION RESEARCH AND NOT A KOOK. THE FACT THAT HE AGREES WITH CASTLEMAN ON THE LACK OF VALUE OF CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS GIVES US A LOT OF CONFIDENCE.

I did not hear the Bone Vitality show, but I have just read through all the comments thereon. Vitamin K is mentioned just once, and from context it seems that vitamin K1 was intended. Highly relevant to problems mentioned by several commenters is vitamin K2, whose effect is to direct calcium AWAY from the arteries and TOWARD the bones. A little K2 is made in the body from K1, and sometimes some is made by colon bacteria. But it seems that most has to come from diet, and butter/cheese from GRASS-FED cows is the principle source. A few supplements can be found online. I'd mention specifics here, but refrain for fear of being seen as a spammer.

Does anyone out there know how much amino acid an adult needs daily?
Also, on the vitamins K1 and K2 which K is in green tea? Anyone? thanks

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: K1 IN GREEN TEA AND OTHER PLANTS.

Very useful show. I bought the book mentioned, Building Bone Vitality, and will be attempting to decrease meat and add fruits and vegetables. However, as a hypoglycemic, I need to watch that I not get too much sugar or, I assume, even too much complex carbohydrate. As I understand it, vegetables turn into sugar, and I've always balanced sugars from natural fruits and vegetables with protein--or else I get the shakes. So I agree with their comment on page 121, desiring researchers get funding to provide an acidity/alkalinity list for every food! Maybe some of my grains (e.g. millet) are high in protein and high in alkalinity.

Two basic questions I don't understand:
1) Why doesn't adding more calcium as a supplement buffer the acid?

2) Why don't we come up with the alkaline nutrients, like in pill form. That would help me with the sugar problem mentioned above.

Just found this link and listened to the stream on Bone Health. I'm 55 and had a simple fall and broke both bones in my leg. After surgery for metal plate and screws I was determined to find out why it was so bad. Not one Dr suggested a bone scan but I asked for one. Turns out I have severe osteo -3. They wanted me to do the once a year reclast but it sounded to drastic to me so they put me on Flosamax. After hearing this show I'm not going to take it, I'm going to try the natural way with more fruits and veggies. They also have me on 100,000 units of vitamin 2x a week and 1200 cal. a day. We have to be our own health advocates. Cheryl

Decades ago my 96-year-old great grandmother, when asked the secret to her longevity, said that it was due, in part, to never drinking milk as an adult. Her diet consisted of berries and fresh vegetables grown in her garden. The berries did end up in some luscious pies.

If you read Sheila H's reply above, you will understand the calcium/magnesium balance need. Dr's don't know this, all they ever recommend is the Oscal type hard-as-a-rock calcium pills, and nobody knows if they even break down and get absorbed. Now they are at least recommending Citracal type calcium. I only buy calcium/magnesium in gelatin caps, this way I know they have a chance of being absorbed.
Twin Labs makes it and also has a Multi-Mineral formula. They also still use glass bottles which I use to store my pills in and other liquid leftovers. Keep reading up on what you take, there is a world of info out there.

Bravo, Sheila - you are one of the very, very few who understand the sooo important
calcium/magn. balance. Dr. R.John Diamond of Reno, Nevada (practicing MD) always said "Calcium strengthens bones and Magnesium knows where to put it". He is one of the most knowledgeable holistic docs I know, including acupuncture, Chinese medicine, NAET, homeopathics.
Thanks for posting your comment.

I've never heard the show, would like someone to tell me what station it is on in Seattle and when..Many thanks...I'm vegan except for eating salmon and sardines and am re-evaluating my intake of calcium.

People eat more Big Mac's & all the rest of fast & unhealthy food because they are cheaper per calorie. This is because they are heavily subsidized. We as a nation, if we want health, need to decrease subsidies to unhealthy food production and increase subsidies on fruits & vegetables.

Two major unanswered questions:

Michael Castleman referred repeatedly to fruits and vegetables. I'm pretty sure I never heard the words whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans. Which of these are included in his recommended diet? I followed a link in this discussion to the DASH Diet and found what seemed to me to be surprisingly low levels of nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Walter Willett talked about excessive Vitamin A but he seemed to make a distinction between "preformed" and beta-carotene, which is found in many supplements. At one time, daily intake of 10-25K units of beta-carotene was recommended. Where do we stand on beta-carotene (and other carotenes) now?

Thank you so much for this really great information. I will be passing it on to my family and friends.

This is in response to a post above. I believe the problem with soda is that it contains phosphoric acid which again raises the acids in your gut which your bobdy may have to take calcium from your bones to maintain a neutral ph.

Please clarify if you were talking about all sodas having an adverse effect on bones or just colas. My husband drinks Mountain Dew and his mother had osteoporosis.

I love your program and I listen to it religiously. I have gleaned many important insights about health, the problems and shortcomings of allopathic medicine, and alternative remedies from your programs.

I have also purchased many of the books written by your guests.
I enjoyed today's show, but alas, your guest is about twenty years behind the times. I have been reading and teachng about nutrition for over twenty years. John Robbins, in his book Diet for a New America (circa 1990) discussed the fact (and cited sources) that the countries with the highest calcium intake also had the highest levels of osteoporosis. He also addresses the question of high protein intake and increased calcium excretion. So, although I enjoyed listening to your guest, there certainly was nothing new about what he presented.

While doing my doctoral work in the early nineties, one of my professor's invited in a guest speaker from the National Dairy Council to class. Having read Diet for a New America (and having reviewed Robbin's sources), I decided to investigate the dairy-osteoporosis connection further. I came across one study, sponsored by the Dairy Council, in which the experiemental group was required to consume an additional three glasses of milk each day (otherwise the diets of the experimental and control groups were similar). The net effect of the additional three glasses of milk was a mere 57mg of calcium. When compared to the current recommendation of 1200mg of calcium per day, this 57mg is neglible.

In addition, the guest speaker informed us that the Dairy Council is a separate entity from the Dairy Board and that their mission was simply to educate the public. When I called the Dairy Council and asked for a copy of their mission statement, I was initially stone-walled; I was asked why I wanted to know this. Eventually, I accessed the mission statement, which clearly indicates that a primary mission of the Council is to help promote the sale of dairy products, i.e. propaganda (no big surprise).

One more thought that your guest failed to mention. I strongly believe that more than two million years of evolution has lead to the development of a body that does not need any milk. We have only been using milk since we became agrarian (approximately 11,000 years ago), which is a fraction of the time homonids have been on the planet. In addition, there is no other creature on the planet that drinks the milk of another species (yes, i know that cats will drink milk, but in nature you would be hard pressed to find a cat milking a cow).

Thus the idea that we need milk/dairy for health or strong bones makes no sense from an anthropological perspective (right Terri?).

Thanks again for the great shows and all of the useful information. There are far too few shows like this on the radio or television.

I'm repeating my question I raised February 14 in hopes that someone can supply the answer. It's similar to the question "Carolyn" had on 9:10 AM, December 22, 2009, which was:

I understand the concept of meat breaking down into amino acids and creating acidic blood, but in the case of milk, would the calcium in milk offset the acidity of the protein and lactic acid making it neutral?

My question is: If something in soda causes the blood to be acidic, why wouldn't taking a calcium supplement help? Wouldn't taking a calcium supplement lessen the body taking calcium from the bones?

Interesting show about finding balance with minerals and vitamins. My mom (58 years young), got diagnosed with osteoporosis a couple years ago; started going to a intermediate yoga class: 2x a week, for a year, and no longer has osteoporosis! About 5 months ago, started receiving Acupuncture regularly. Both alternative therapies may be at play together. However, yoga builds bone density... Amazing and true!
Thank you for your show, Carrie

This was very informative. I am a victim of Fosamax, having had two broken femurs this past year. I am, or course, no longer taking this drug. When people ask me what I am now taking, I tell them nothing. I am, however, search for and reading program.

My 18 year old son lifts weights 4 days/week. He drinks high protein supplements that he mixed with milk. He focuses on protein in his meals. He used to eat a fair amount of fruits and vegetables, but because he takes in so much protein, he often skips the vegetables and fruit at dinner. He had a stress fracture in his back a couple of years ago and has had intermittent problems with pain their since. Do you think he is getting too much protein in his diet?

Thank you so very much for all the much needed information you send our way! I love your program, and always look forward to learning something new, relevant, and helpful!

Mr. Castleman missed the boat on one point, and it's not a trivial one.
He opined that he'd be ok with someone taking biophosphanates while recovering from a fracture. In fact, that would delay healing of a fracture, because those drugs work by stopping bone remodeling (which is how bone heals).

Surprisingly few doctors realize this.

Great show on Bone Vitality.
The human axial skeleton has 80 bones. Just think, if we were all healthy and only a few of those failed, Meredith Willson could re-write the hit song from his 1957 musical, "The Music Man".
How about, "Seventy-six strong bones led the big parade"?

I have primary hyperparathyroidism. They gave me fosomax which gave me horrible reflux and then stopped that and gave me Reclast to which I had a horrible 4 day flu-like reaction. (never again will I do this). If I follow your more fruits and vegetables will this make me have too much calcium since I had the Reclast infusion?

Excellent program - learned a lot I did not know and will now do my research in order not only to change my own eating style but to inform others.

This was one of the best NPR shows and it led to an NPR moment for my wife, who never experienced an NPR moment before. It was actually several minutes in the car while it was very hot outside. After reading the comments, I would recommend another show to address several of the comments.

I have atrial fibrillation and on medication to treat it. I have gained a tremendous amount of weight and was wondering if the meds have anything to do with this. Hypothyroidism was ruled out. However, I have tested positive for too much insulin in blood and polycystic ovaries. My activity level has decreased since I got sick, but I have cut my caloric intake by 500 calories/day, which promises a one pound loss per week. Can you help me?

I may have contributed to the wisdom on this episode because I am a participant in the HARVARD NURSES HEALTH STUDY. I am also elderly, petite, and white. All features of someone prone to osteoporosis. However, my bone density studies indicate only osteopenia (thin bone) and I am really considering the wisdom of taking Reclast. My diet is high in fruits and vegetables, and my exercise program is pretty good so I am probably on the right track without it.

This was a very good show and I think we have learned new things about improving osteoporosis today. I plan to get Dr. Castleman's book. I might have been doing the wrong supplementation for quite a while.

I loved the information in this interview. Is it possible to get a transcript of the interview for informational purposes?
Thanks, Pam

Read this book called by some people as the greatest book ever written so far on nutrition--- you will no longer drink the poison called milk and you will learn just how much Protein a person actually needs.

Not what the billionaire MILK & MEAT INDUSTRIES con us into believing.

The -- CHINA STUDY by Colin Campbell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study

Dr. Willett did not answer the question about how much Vitamin D is too much? We see it added to milk, to multivitamins, and other supplements, not to mention what occurs naturally in food. At what point does it become toxic, and what are the effects?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IT WOULD NOT BE WISE TO EXCEED 10,000 IU A DAY FOR MORE THAN A SHORT TIME. ON THE OTHER HAND, UP TO 4,000 IU A DAY SEEMS TO BE PRETTY SAFE. THE DOSES IN BETWEEN ARE A BIG QUESTION MARK.

Though you should consult your personal healthcare provider, my doctor has instructed me to take 5,000 units per day and that there should be no toxicity issues or side effects. Vitamin D is available in 2,000 unit capsules in my pharmacy so I would think that a dose between 2,000 and 5,000 IU would be generally safe.

What a POWERFUL show today! This information needs to get out more. I can't believe there isn't more being done to correct one of the biggest medical falsehoods are our time.

Even growing up (80-90s), my parents NEVER made me drink my milk, or take calcium supplements like some kids I knew. They did make me take Shaklee multi-vitamin supplements every day just in case I wasn't getting all I needed, but they lived by "Eat whole foods, and get outside to run, climb, and play!" It's really common sense -- green leafy veggies, fruits, etc are the key to health, once again!! You can't get around a good diet by taking pills! When will American's learn!?

I'll add only that, if another show about this is aired again, it needs to *equally* highlight the importance of weight bearing exercises for bone health. I think only the Dr. from Harvard mentioned this, but it needs shouted from the rooftops just as loudly as the diet changes. Remember, it's DIET & EXERCISE... but not just walking; one needs to be working the bones, as well!

Kudos to you for standing up and doing such a gusty show!

Hello,

As a primary care MD, I am very grateful for your accessible presentations of evidence that support lifestyle change over pharmaceuticals (when appropriate, which is most of the time). I frequently send patients to your website and newspaper column.

Reading through the comments on osteoporosis, I can't help noting the frequent anxiety over "bone loss" in patients who are having a hard time giving up their calcium. I thought it might be helpful to remind people that bone loss is not itself a disease, but rather a normal consequence of aging. What matters is the quality of the bone that remains, and as of yet we do not know how to directly measure this.

Bone density tests, and the drugs devised to maintain bone density, were a well meaning attempt by the medical industry to fight fractures in the elderly, which are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. However fighting normal bone aging is not the goal. I would like to reassure listeners that preserving their agility (stretching and yoga are 2 good approaches), getting regular aerobic and weight bearing exercise and eating a healthy plant based diet are the best ways to preserve all around health.

Perhaps it is time to leave bone density tests in the pile of questionable studies, along with PSA and screening mammograms in women under the age of 50.

Sincerely,

Lisa Nelson MD

Dr. Nelson..thanks for your informative post. You sound like a doc we'd all like to have!

Leave a comment

Share your comments or questions with the People's Pharmacy online community. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from other visitors to this web site should not be considered a substitute for appropriate medical attention. Concerns about medications should be discussed with a health professional. Do not stop any medication without first checking with your physician.

Check this box to be notified by email when follow-up comments are posted.