‘Vivian Answers Day’ #6
Question & Answer #1
What are the natural sources like vegetables, etc. from which one can get calcium and vitamin D? Does yogurt and buttermilk have calcium besides milk?
Thank you for your help,
Your question is very relevant because the best way to get bone healthy nutrients is from foods. Both calcium and vitamin D are Foundation Supplements, and in the Save Our Bones Program you can find a list of Foundation Foods, including these two very important nutrients.
Vegetables that contain the highest levels of calcium are cabbage, broccoli, and lima beans. Yogurt and buttermilk are a good source of calcium, but stay away from milk. You should read my blog post on milk titled “Debunking the Milk Myth: Why Milk is Bad for You and Your Bones”, in case you missed it.
Vitamin D is not found in any veggies; nothing beats the sun to get this essential bone-building vitamin!
Question & Answer #2
After having a colonoscopy my L2 was fractured. Then I bent over and fractured another, anyway for two weeks didn’t know what was wrong. My stomach is extended, like a pregnant belly. I am shorter than I was and weigh only 102 lbs. but all of my pants are tight because of my stomach. Have you ever heard of this before?
I hope you are feeling better. The postural function of the spine depends on a physiological pattern of the spinal curvature. Therefore, a pathological change in the spine compromises posture and may cause compensatory curves.
That is most probably the reason why you are noticing an expanded abdomen. I recommend you consult with an orthopedist (if you haven’t yet), and find out what are your options to correct the abdominal distention. Sometimes traction is recommended to straighten this out. An orthopedist can help you best.
Wishing you a quick recovery,
Question & Answer #3
You seem to be strongly against strontium supplementation. As many other alternative health advisors are in favor of strontium, can you give a detailed explanation why you do not agree?
This is a rich and controversial topic, as you correctly mention in your question. For that reason, in the Save Our Bones Program I devote several pages to discuss the drug Protelos TM (strontium ranelate).
Here are the main points why strontium ranelate (and by extension, any form of strontium, such as strontium citrate, carbonate, or lactate) is not a good choice:
- Strontium has its own long list of undesirable side-effects, commonly ranging from nausea to skin irritation, and less often (fortunately), blood clots and fainting.
- Since strontium is denser than calcium, it is difficult to assess actual bone improvement in a DEXA scan.
- Several studies conclude that strontium causes the outer cortical bone to become thicker, actually reducing tensile strength. This increases the risk of fractures.
- Strontium competes with calcium absorption.
Keep asking questions, always,
Question & Answer #4
Hi Vivian. Thank you for your great book.
I am wondering how to check if I am absorbing my calcium and other vitamins and minerals properly.
Thanks for your help.
I really appreciate your kind words about my work. You can request a blood test to check many vitamins and minerals, so remember this next time you go for a check-up.
To your health!
Question & Answer #5
I was just diagnosed with osteopenia at age 55. When I was 36, I had a hysterectomy and left with one ovary. At age 39, I was diagnosed with a severe overactive thyroid and they used a radioactive treatment to stop my thyroid from making any natural hormones. I also suffer from cluster migraines about every six weeks since 1998.
I take synthroid and cytomel for my thyroid, and imitrex as needed for my migraines. I have been taking calcium chews for the past 3 years. I also started taking B12, D3 and iron this past March as my Dr. did blood work and found my levels on the low side but not out of range. I also take a natural product for menopause, remifemin. My menopause symptoms are mild now, some minor sleep disruptions and mini hot flashes occasionally but 5 years ago they were severe.
I lost 30 lbs in the past 12 months on a new eating regiment which is basically fruit, veggies and protein based. I drink 60 – 80 oz. of spring water a day. I am 5” 9’ and 155 lbs. I golf, walk and play tennis.I also recently quit smoking.
I feel that I am on the right track but I feel tired and have joint pain just about every day, e.g. hip, lower back, knee and elbow…
My questions is based on the aforementioned, do you have experience with other people that your Save Our Bones Program (I’ve read your book recently) may help reverse my osteopenia due to my imbalance of my thyroid and other health issues. I saw many stories about hypothyroid but not hyperthyroid.
Also, the vitamins are quite expensive and I wonder if you have a recommendation as to special brand, where to purchase them in bulk or discounts and do they come bundled?
Please help and thank you in advance,
Thanks for sharing your story with us. First and foremost, Imitrex (sumatriptan) can cause muscle aches and/or cramps, tiredness, and weakness. I recommend you first rule out the drug’s possible side-effects.
Also, I recommend you stop drinking spring water. As I write in The Missing Link, which is part of the Save Our Bones Program, spring water contains inorganic minerals, which are poorly absorbed and can accumulate in the soft tissues and joints, mimicking arthritis symptoms.
The issue with excessive bone loss is present in hyperthyroidism, which is an overactive thyroid. You have the opposite, and I’m sure you check your thyroid levels often. I don’t recommend a particular brand of vitamins. If you live in the US or Canada, you might want to try the retail discount warehouses such as Costco for bulk discounts.
So keep up with the program and enjoy life!
Question & Answer #6
What is the link between strong bones and hormones?
While there are many hormones that can affect bone strength, I am assuming that your question is about female hormones. If you already got the Save Our Bones Program, you know that I am against any type of hormonal supplementation for osteoporosis. It is no secret that the cookie-cutter hormonal treatment of the past few decades is slowly tapering off because very serious side effects linked to hormone supplementation have been reported.
As it relates to osteoporotic fractures, researchers have found that estrogen treatment for bone strength is, at best, an “imperfect solution.” I am quoting from a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism titled “Does Estrogen Adequately Protect Postmenopausal Women Against Osteoporosis?”, by Orwoll and Nelson.
There is no need to tamper with our delicate hormonal balance. The Save Our Bones Program is designed to increase your bone density and improve your bone strength without any hormones or drugs.
So believe in yourself… and believe in your bones.
Question & Answer #7
I believe that the ingestion of Aluminium from cookware /foil /manufactured foods /cans and even things like indigestion remedies are one of the biggest causes of leaching calcium from the body and the bones but no one bothers to pull the research together because they are too frightened of the industry backlash.
Indeed, studies demonstrate that aluminum accumulation in bone causes bone density loss. One such study, titled “Loss of bone resulting from accumulation of aluminum in bone of patients undergoing dialysis” by Faugere, M.C. et al. concludes that:
“Aluminum accumulation in bone is associated not only with disturbed mineralization but also with loss of cancellous bone mass, and that removal of aluminum from bone results in gain in bone volume. The mechanisms of this phenomenon are related to a disproportionately greater effect of aluminum on bone formation than on bone resorption. The negative effect on bone formation is caused by decreased number and activity of osteoblasts, which is reversed by removal of aluminum from bone. In addition, the data show that aluminum induces suppression of bone turnover, with uncoupling between bone formation and resorption whereby the effects on bone formation exceed those on bone resorption.”
Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine. 107(6):481-7. June 1986.
Nothing beats natural unprocessed foods, as advocated in the Save Our Bones Program. And in The Missing Link I explain the importance of cooking with stainless steel cookware, and why to ditch the toxic non-stick pots and pans.
Question & Answer #8
I tried buying the type of calcium you suggest, but can’t find it anywhere.
I tried and can’t do the natural toothpaste due to sensitive teeth that need ProEnamel to be pain free. Any alternatives?
I am a meat girl. I know nothing about those alkalizing proteins or grains listed or what to do with them. How do I even get started making such a change?
If I have one cup of coffee and one cup of tea a day, do I need to drink 6 cups of water?
There are several supplement brands like Algaecal, New Chapter and Vitamin Code that make excellent organic calcium supplements derived from algae. And Tom’s of Maine makes a natural fluoride-free toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
Remember, the Save Our Bones Program does not require you to eliminate any foods; you simply enjoy them in the correct balance. And to get started with the foods you are not so familiar with, you might want to search for recipes online, or the recipe sampler in the Save Our Bones manual. There are delicious pasta dishes to get you started.
In reference to how much water to drink, I don’t recommend counting the number of cups, but it is a great habit, as I write in The Missing Link, to drink plenty of distilled water with a few drops of lemon juice.
So take it easy… and stay on track with these simple bone health solutions.
Question & Answer #9
Is taking coral calcium better than other calcium supplements? I was told that it is more absorbable. If not, what would you recommend? Thank you.
Coral calcium is inorganic, so it can’t be the most absorbable form of calcium. In fact, you can read about oceanic calcium in a blog post titled “What the Oceans Can Teach You About Your Bones”. As I write in the Save Our Bones Program, I recommend organic calcium, and as a second choice, amino acid chelated calcium.
Question & Answer #10
I have osteoporosis (8 years) in my lower spine – T score 3.3 this year (became worse from previous year of 2.8.) I have been on premarin for 15 years and then evista for past 3 years; fosamax for last 8 years … of which I took myself off this May. I was diagnosed with osteopenia in my hip but this year it was normal. I had been seeing a trainer 2xs a week this past year. Doctor wants to put me on Forteo, which I am declining and am treating it now with diet, bioidentical progesterone, and mineral/vitamin supplements. My diet is primarly fruits, vegetables, and grains … no animal products, caffeine, sugar.
What I need to know are safe exercises for my lower spine … I am at high risk for fracture in lower spine. I am currently doing back extensions (on floor with towel or exercise equip. under hip and raising upper and lower body). What else can I do to help this area.
Second question: Do I need to take strontinum. I am currently taking calcium tablets (highest dose 2xs/day) with vitamin D, womens daily vitamin for women over 50 and depending on diet for the other minerals/vitamins needed.
My heart goes out to you: so many years of taking so many drugs… with no results!
You can check out an exercise video in the blog titled “The Spine Strengthener”, where I show how to strengthen the back muscles to support the spine and thus prevent fractures. And I devote an entire chapter to this topic in the Save Our Bones Program.
About your question on strontium, you can check out my answer to Maurice.
In health and fitness,