Question & Answer #1
What do you think of the Ensure products for added protein? There are the high protein shakes with only 5 grams of sugar. Are these acceptable or are they too acidic?
Getting a little extra protein is a good idea, especially if you are active. However, I don’t recommend Ensure, and here’s why. If you take a look at the ingredients, you’ll see that the first five (after water – and it doesn’t even say “filtered water”, so assume it’s tap water) are corn maltodextrin, sugar, milk protein concentrate, canola oil, corn oil, soy protein Isolate, all of which are acidifying. In addition, the corn maltodextrin, corn oil, and soy protein isolate are most likely derived from genetically-modified (GMO) crops. You may not know this, but corn maltodextrin is a refined sweetener similar to High Fructose Corn Syrup, now also called corn sugar (so beware!). As if this were not enough, Ensure contains “natural and artificial flavor.” And there’s no reason to use a protein supplement that contains so much added oil.
To add more protein to your diet, I recommend you use whey protein. It’s alkalizing and bone healthy. If you haven’t yet, read ‘The Whey to Bone Health' where you’ll find lots of valuable info about whey and why it’s the healthiest source of extra protein.
Stay strong and active!
Question & Answer #2
Please comment on agave as a substitute for sugar.
Agave is quite controversial because some brands may contain unbound fructose. And here’s why. In some cases, the syrup is refined, a process that uses chemicals which alters the way fructose is metabolized. The typical organic agave nectar has approximately 50% fructose, as is the case with table sugar or sucrose derived from cane sugar. In table sugar, every fructose molecule is bound to a glucose molecule. When agave is refined, a large number of fructose molecules end up unbound from glucose, and that is a problem (not that sucrose is a good choice either, but I’m using it for comparison purposes). The best way to avoid this issue is to get organic agave and to make sure the brand you get does not use chemicals in processing.
But there is controversy about the nectar's ash residue as well. Some claim it's a low acid food, others claim it's neutral to slightly alkaline-forming. So based on these issues, I recommend honey or stevia as better alternatives.
Stay on track because it’s “sweet” to be healthy!
Question & Answer #3
Dear Vivian, There’s so much confusion regarding Strontium (ranelate, citrate, etc.). Please address the question of whether or not strontium is helpful for bone health and which kind is best.
I don’t recommend strontium, either as a supplement or in its prescription form (strontium ranelate, sold abroad as Protelos and several other names). Strontium competes with calcium absorption, and because it’s denser than calcium, it can skew DXA scan results. It also comes with several potential side effects that can include blood clots and fainting. And strontium can actually reduce the tensile strength of your bones, increasing the risk of fracture.
Because there’s been a lot of confusion about this, I want to emphasize that the small amounts of naturally-occurring strontium found in organic calcium supplements are not a problem. It’s only when strontium is used as a drug or supplement in much larger doses that it becomes an issue.
For the full scoop on strontium, read ‘Strontium Demystified'.
Here’s to getting “unconfused”!
Question & Answer #4
I would like to know what are the best exercises to reduce or stop my bones getting any weaker or thinner than they already have. Are there some good resources out there or do you have advice as to what exercises are best for a person with osteoporosis. I just found out recently I am losing height – it feels like I was robbed! I appreciate any help you can offer.
For strong and healthy bones, you need both weight bearing and resistance exercises. A regular exercise program that incorporates these elements, as well as flexibility and balance, can increase your bone density and prevent falls and fractures.
In case you don’t know this, I’ve just recently released the Densercise System. It is a complete 4-week schedule for only 3 days a week (that’s all you need!), with different weight bearing, resistance and postural exercises for each day. It’s delivered to you instantly as a digital e-book so you can get started building your bones right away. You can get more info here.
To safe and bone healthy exercise!
Question & Answer #5
In addition to osteoporosis in my hips, I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. There is a group of vegetables that, even though they would be helpful to my bones, act as goitrogens and could interfere with what little thyroid function I might still have. Do you know if extracting the juice, as in juicing them, would put them into a “safer” state for me to consume? Thank you.
Great question! There are two main types of foods that are considered to be goitrogens and could potentially interfere with production of thyroid hormones. The first is soy. Due to its phytoestrogen content and the fact that the large majority of soy crops are genetically modified (GMO), you’re actually better off avoiding it altogether.
The second category is cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and turnips. And although they’re not cruciferous, these foods are also considered to be goitrogens: millet, peaches, peanuts, radishes, spinach, and strawberries.
These foods contain isothiocyanates which block thyroid peroxidase, one of the enzymes that is essential to a healthy thyroid. To answer your question, juicing will not reduce the level of goitrogenic substances, but cooking will.
To a healthy thyroid AND healthy bones!
Question & Answer #6
The Dexa Scan T – score of my lower spine reads -4.0. Does this indicate a need for a medication such as Boniva? How would you treat this?
First of all, keep in mind that there is much more to bone health than DXA (previously DEXA) test score results. As I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, bones typically don't break because they are not thick enough; they break because they are not resilient enough. This means that they lack tensile strength, which is the ability to resist stretching or pulling. In the Osteoporosis Reversal Program I point out that less dense but healthy and renewed bones have better tensile strength than thicker and denser bones.
Mainstream medicine focuses so much on density because it needs numbers (i.e. fixed parameters) to prescribe drugs. Generally speaking, doctors prefer to follow a set protocol.
While density is one indicator of bone metabolism, let’s keep in mind that the main focus of bone health should be to prevent fractures. In general, osteoporosis drugs including Boniva, target density while ignoring tensile strength. And osteoporosis drugs also have a long list of side effects.
To find out more about Boniva, read my lighthearted spoof titled ‘Boniva” What If Sally Field Told the Truth?'.
Always search for natural bone health solutions!
Question & Answer #7
Dear Vivian, what are your thoughts on barley grass. Does it help bones and is it easy to grow it at home? Thanks.
Barley grass is a bone healthy and alkalizing plant that’s full of beneficial nutrients, including valuable minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and chlorophyll. It is a very good source of calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C, B-vitamins, and beta-carotene (a Vitamin A precursor). All except the last are Foundation Supplements.
If you have a reasonably green thumb, you shouldn’t have any trouble growing your own barley grass. The growing cycle of barley grass is short, which makes it attractive for do-it-yourselfers. Here’s a link that gives you step-by-step instructions.
Think green for bone health!
Question & Answer #8
I’ve read that antidepressants are not helpful to bone health. I have tried to avoid their use, but circumstances have lead me to a major depression for which I also do counseling and cognitive behavioral groups. Without the use of these drugs, I would not sleep or function. I am post-menopausal and I do have osteopenia -1.9 but have been supplementing and exercising much as you have described. Do you know which type of anti-depressants might not be as ‘leaching’ to the bones? thank you!
First, I’m sorry to hear about your issues with depression, and I wish you the very best moving forward. Unfortunately, all prescription anti-depressants (indeed, all prescription medications) are acidifying.
But here are a few natural alternatives that you might discuss with your medical team. In some studies St. John’s Wort has been found to be as effective as anti-depressants for mild to moderate depression. It may or may not be a viable solution for major depression.
SAM-e (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, both of which are neurotransmitters that can affect mood and depression.
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid that your body can convert to serotonin
You might also look at the following supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and folic acid, all of which are Foundation Supplements as well. And if you haven’t already done so, consider eliminating sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
The above ideas are meant to inform you of natural options. However, it doesn’t mean that you should try them without first talking to your doctor(s). So don’t stop your current protocol until you discuss these alternatives with your health practitioner.
To your brighter future!
Question & Answer #9
I got diagnosed with Osteoporosis several months ago, and my doctor prescribed Fosamax, which I started taking without questioning. Soon after, I started getting pain all over my body and stopped the medicine. That is how I found Save Our Bones, searching the web for something natural to help my bones. Now I would like to get started on the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, but I wanted to tell you that I am quite overweight. My doctor told me that heavy people have denser bones. Is that true? Vivian, I've tried to lose weight many times in my life, but without success. Now I'm thinking maybe it's all for the better. What do you think? Should I stop worrying about my weight? Thanks,
Congratulations on your decision to follow the Program and ditch the drugs! To answer your question, mainstream medical “wisdom” believes that carrying extra weight strengthens bone, but it's not so. If you haven't yet, check out my blog post titled ‘Your Weight Affects Your Bones: True or False?'. In it I explain why this outdated concept is flawed and write about a recent study that separates fact from fiction about this topic. Because the truth is that carrying extra weight is not good for – and that applies to all aspects of health.
So give weight loss a try again – don't give up. Now that you'll get started on the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, pick lots of low-calorie high fiber goodies, and you'll see the results.
To your new-found health!
Question & Answer #10
Last week I had the biggest shock. I had a bone density test and it came back bad, with Osteoporosis. My doctor told me that it's part of aging. He even said, “yes, we're getting old” or something like that. I was very depressed. I also went to the eye doctor, and she told me that I need stronger glasses to read. I am so depressed! I'm 56 years old and feel young at heart. So now I was given Boniva for my bones (which I refuse to take) and have to buy new reading glasses. What do you think?
I say that “age is in the eyes of the beholder”! Because your doctor has it all wrong. As I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, bones are dynamic living tissue that renew themselves regardless of age. So don't be depressed… be proactive! It's good that you are a Save Our Bones community member and will get on the Program.
And remember, always ask questions…