First-time visitors to the Save Our Bones website may find it hard to believe that a nutritional program can replace osteoporosis drugs. It may seem even more unbelievable that the Program can reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia without dangerous side effects – except, of course, for the excellent “side effects” of more energy and better overall health.
The Program is scientifically backed with studies published in mainstream journals, and today I bring yet more studies that show low bone density is not the only condition that responds favorably to food-based treatments. In fact, there are three ubiquitous “diseases” – diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol – that studies have shown actually respond better to specific foods than prescription drugs.
Yet, not surprisingly, the Medical Establishment willfully ignores this…
So today we’re going to look at these three common foods – two of which are Foundation Foods – and the data supporting their effectiveness.
Let’s start with a fruit that many of us know by its scent.
1. Bergamot for High Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Disease
The flavor of bergamot gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor, and bergamot essential oil is used in blends to alleviate anxiety. Both of those forms use the peel of this small citrus fruit; but it’s the juice that contains the highest level of polyphenols, which account in large part for this fruit’s remarkable health benefits. (Remember that polyphenols are essential for preventing bone loss as well.)
In fact, it’s the polyphenolic compounds in bergamot that are responsible for its ability to boost cardiovascular health, an Italian study found. Researchers directly compared the effectiveness of bergamot to a popular statin drug, rosuvastatin : they divided up 77 people into groups which received a placebo, rosuvastatin, bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF), or both rosuvastatin and
BPF for 30 days.
The scientists found that combining the BPF with the rosuvastatin had the most impressive results, with lower total cholesterol and – this is important – an increase in the “good” cholesterol, HDL, keeping the ratio at a healthy level.1 This is not something that statins can do, and bear in mind that HDL levels are actually more relevant than total cholesterol.
In addition, the groups that took BPF had reduced levels of specific biomarkers for oxidative vascular damage, showing that BPF protects against heart disease as well – another area where statins fail.1
The sticking point with bergamot is that it simply is not a widely available fruit that you can purchase and eat as-is. Even if you could obtain this South Asian citrus fruit, which looks something like a yellow-colored orange, its juice is very sour and bitter. For that reason, bergamot extract is available as capsules and tablets.
The participants in the study took 1000mg daily of BPF, and no side effects from the BPF were reported, which is in distinct contrast to statins, whose list of side effects includes muscle damage, muscle pain, liver damage, type 2 diabetes, and neurological effects.
Speaking of type 2 diabetes…
2. Grapefruit For Type 2 Diabetes
In Florida, where I live, grapefruits are plentiful year-round. In the more northern states, grapefruit season is at its peak during the winter months, making this Foundation Food an excellent, alkalizing source of bone-healthy nutrients during the winter season.
In addition to slowing bone loss, grapefruit (a Foundation Food in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program) has been shown to lower blood sugar as effectively as the popular diabetes drug metformin.
When mice were given either sweetened grapefruit juice or sweetened water (so that caloric intake was the same for both groups), and fed either a high- or low-fat diet for 100 days, the results were startling.
The mice that drank the grapefruit juice showed lower glucose on par with the effects of metformin – a 13 to 17 per cent decrease.
As researcher Professor Joseph Napoli said:
“…a natural fruit drink lowered glucose levels as effectively as a prescription drug.”2
Interestingly, the mice that ate a low-fat diet did not have such dramatic results, and the high-fat group of mice did not gain any weight…in fact, they gained less weight than the sweetened water group. And the grapefruit juice group’s insulin decreased by three times, suggesting their bodies had become more sensitive to insulin.
This is great news for grapefruit lovers! Not only does grapefruit build your bones, but it also tackles type 2 diabetes, a problematic and increasingly-prevalent health concern in Western societies. (For those who do take certain medications, it’s wise to make sure that grapefruit is the right choice for you, as it can affect the metabolism of various drugs.)
3. Beet Juice For High Blood Pressure
The humble beet has been enjoyed by people in Eastern Europe for centuries. In the West, many of us only know the canned “pickled beets” that are loaded with added sugar. Now, this deep red root, which is also a Foundation Food, is being brought out into the light and given its rightful place among nutritional disease-fighters.
Beets are full of bone-strengthening phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Their rich color is due in part to betalains, plant pigments that support detoxification. And research shows that the juice from beets has dramatic blood pressure-lowering effects.
Sixty-four people, all with high blood pressure, were divided into two groups: one group was given a 250ml glass of beet juice every morning for 30 days, while the other group received a placebo (beet juice that had its active constituents removed – more on that in a moment). The blood pressure in the first group experienced a significant drop in blood pressure – 8 systolic points – which is more than comparable to the 6.5 systolic drop typically experienced by those who take the diuretic drug HCTZ (hydrochlorothiazide).3
A word about the active constituent in beet juice. The ability of beet juice to lower blood pressure is likely due to its naturally high levels of plant nitrate, which is not to be confused with sodium nitrate, the unhealthy preservative use in cured meats. Plant nitrates occur naturally as part of plants’ absorption of nitrite from the soil, and are perfectly safe…in fact, quite beneficial, as this and other studies show. The placebo beet juice had its nitrate content removed.
The researchers note:
“…that the [beet juice] intervention is well tolerated, safe, and associated with robust BP reductions measured in and out of clinic.”3
Once again, we hear “well tolerated” and “safe” when discussing the highly effective effects of these natural cures.
Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence, chances are you won’t hear anything from your doctor about the power of foods to heal and prevent disease. But…
The Research Is Clear: Some Foods Are As Effective And Safer Than Prescription Drugs
In today’s post, we looked at just three powerful foods and their impact on common health issues. As you consider the whole scope of foods available and the process of reversing osteoporosis and osteopenia without drugs, you may find yourself overwhelmed.
But there’s no need to worry about it being difficult or complicated. The Osteoporosis Reversal Program guides you every step of the way and provides a clear, concise list of Foundation Foods to simplify choosing the right foods that nourish your bones. And the Save Our Bones cookbook, Bone Appétit, makes cooking for your bones easy, delicious, and fun.
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!
To help you even more, Bone Appétit includes the 30 Day Meal Planner, a comprehensive chart that maps out each day’s meals and snacks. This alleviates confusion and sets you on a clear path to bone health success through nutrition.
As always, I love to hear from the Saver community. If you have any thoughts on today’s post, including ideas for preparing the foods discussed, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Till next time,
1 Gliozzi, Micaela, et al. “Bergamot polyphenolic fraction enhances rosuvastin-induced effect on LDL-cholesterol, LOX-1 expression and protein kinase B phosphorylation in patients with hyperlipidemia.” International Journal of Cardiology.December 10, 2013. Volume 170, Issue 2, pages 140-145. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.08.125. Web. http://www.internationaljournalofcardiology.com/article/S0167-5273%2813%2901708-7/abstract
2 Chudnovskiy, Rostislov, et al. “Consumption of Clarified Grapefruit Juice Ameliorates High-Fat Diet Induced Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain in Mice.” PLoS ONE. October 8, 2014. 9(10): e108408. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0108408. Web. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0108408
3 Kapil, V., et al. “Dietary nitrate provides sustained blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients: a randomized, phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Hypertension. Debruary 2015. 65(2): 320-7. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04675. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25421976