‘Vivian Answers Day’ #9: Dowager’s Hump, Chocolate Milk, Soda, Almonds, Cholesterol, Exercise, Reclast, Prolia And More!
Question & Answer #1
I have loved chocolate milk all my life!! So, here is my question:
May I drink ‘raw milk’ mixed with ‘Organic’ Fairly Traded Baking Cocoa, and honey?
The proportions are: 2 cups raw milk, one heaping T. baking cocoa, and 3 T. honey in the blender. It is yummy, and it makes two batches. I drink half now and half later or tomorrow? If this is a yes, how many times a week may I do this? Feel free to share my great recipe if this is a GO!
Your recipe will be just as delicious – and better for your bones – if you replace the milk with almond milk or any other milk substitute. I realize that you specifically mention organic raw milk instead of the “regular” pasteurized and homogenized kind, but it is still a more acidifying drink than plant-derived milk. Based on the Save Our Bones Program, you could have your chocolate treat just as you describe it, so long as you would balance it with other alkalizing foods. But why do that if you can easily make this drink more bone-friendly?
As I explain in a previous blog post titled “Debunking the Milk Myth: Why Milk is Bad for You and Your Bones”, like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn uses calcium – most of which is stored in the bones – to neutralize the acidification. Chocolate is also acidifying, but rich in bone-building polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants. In fact, in the Save Our Bones Program I devote an entire chapter to bone-building antioxidants. So your recipe is a GO! with this minor change to help your bones even more.
Question & Answer #2
I took Fosamax for 8l/2 years, Forteo for 2+ years, and had two annual infusions of Reclast. Prior to taking Fosamax I broke my right hip. Because it was not done correctly it had to be redone. After taking the Forteo I broke the right femur bone and three weeks later the left elbow. I was in rehab four months. Should I now
bother to take the new Amgen drug, Denosumab?
My femur bone was broken in three places so I have a titanium plate and 20 screws there which is in constant pain. What is next? Concerned about breaking the left hip as am putting a great deal of pressure on it.
I hope you have recovered and are now doing well. You have surely paid your dues… and now you most certainly deserve a break… from all the breaks. Pun aside, it seems as though the wide array of drugs you’ve taken did nothing to prevent fractures. While the decision is in your hands, I think it’s time you take a good hard look at how you wish to tackle your bone health next.
You can read about Denosumab in a blog post I wrote titled “Prolia (Denosumab): My Review”, where I explain how this novel drug ultimately acts like bisphosphonates, but with even more potentially serious side effects. And I also recommend that you download (if you haven’t yet) the free Natural Bone Building Handbook then get started on the Save Our Bones Program to accelerate your bone density increase without taking drugs.
Stay healthy and strong,
Question & Answer #3
After taking Fosamax for 20 years, my mother developed a seizure disorder (at 75 years of age). I remember reading that this occurs in a small group of people. What is the pathology that causes this? What exactly does the medication do to the brain to cause a seizure disorder?
My prayers go to your mother and to all the unsuspecting victims of osteoporosis drugs. Bisphosphonates are linked to many side effects, many of which can be life-altering. While seizures linked to bisphosphonates such as Fosamax (alendronate) are fortunately rare, researchers have found the link. It is caused by hypocalcemia or low blood calcium levels. Here’s how this can happen.
It is recognized that at the beginning of bisphosphonate therapy there is a drop in blood calcium levels, which is typically corrected by the parathyroid hormone. An undetected parathyroid abnormality can cause of seizures, but this is rare. Yet even with normal parathyroid activity, this protective calcium-balancing mechanism can sometimes fail, especially if the person is Vitamin D deficient.
A study by Richard J Maclsaac, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine titled “Seizures after alendronate” concludes that low levels of Vitamin D can trigger a cascade of events in the presence of bisphosphonates, which can ultimately lead to hypocalcemia (low calcium levels) and seizures in susceptible patients.
Wishing your mother a full recovery,
Question & Answer #4
Help! I am confused regarding what is a proper diet for me. Aside from needing to build bone, I have cholesterol concerns.
Thanks for any and all help.
I have good news for you. The Save Our Bones Program is specifically created to increase bone density and maintain strong and healthy bones. However, several in our community have written to me that they (and their doctors) were pleasantly surprised to find out that by following the program, their cholesterol levels had dropped significantly. This wonderful unintended consequence of following the Save Our Bones Program is further proof of how our bodies are designed for health and not for disease.
Here’s my advice to you: if you haven’t yet, go through the Natural Bone Building Handbook. Then try the Save Our Bones Program to accelerate your bone growth and know exactly what to do step-by-step.
To our health!
Question & Answer #5
Vivian, In your book it shows that almonds are a very good source of calcium. Does it matter if they are roasted? Actually, I was wondering about a lot of the foods listed in the Save Our Bones Program, and in what way they should be eaten for the most benefit. Roasted or not, cooked or raw? And if you do choose to roast or cook, does that mean that there is no longer any value left in them? Thank you.
Indeed, almonds are a nutritional alkalizing powerhouse and a great on-the-go snack. One cup of almonds has more calcium than one cup of milk – 378 mg vs. 300 mg. Besides calcium, almonds are a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and riboflavin.
Roasted almonds are heated for 10 to 60 minutes. A University of California study postulates – and confirms – that because of their exposure to high temperatures, roasted almonds are more easily digested than their raw counterparts, thus allowing access to more nutrients.
Please note that almonds contain some oxalates, which can slightly impair calcium (and magnesium) absorption. This further points to the importance of having a varied diet, as I point out in the Save Our Bones Program. And raw foods have certain benefits over cooked foods because many of the nutrient components, including enzymes, are destroyed by heat. So try to eat different foods, both cooked and raw, to take advantage of all the delicious bone-healthy benefits foods have to offer.
Question & Answer #6
I am 67 years old and have been faithfully exercising for 30 years. I currently do Zumba (Latin Dance/aerobics) 4 times a week along with weight training. My recent DEXA scan indicates that I have osteoporosis. I take no medication and do not intend to start. Is my exercise going to hurt my condition or help it? Thank you.
Zumba is considered weight-bearing exercise, which is excellent for bone health. Weight training builds muscle, which in turn applies pressure on bone to strengthen it. So you are on the right track, at least as far as exercising is concerned.
Nutrition is equally as important, and since you will not take the drugs, doing nothing in that arena is most certainly not a solution either. If you haven’t yet, I recommend you download the free Natural Bone Building Handbook where you get a great introduction to the natural way of building your bones without taking drugs. Then for the step by step, “take you by the hand instructions”, you can try the Save Our Bones Program.
Question & Answer #7
Can anything be done to stop or reverse a “Dowager’s Hump” that’s developing?
The dreaded “Dowager’s Hump”, also known as Kyphosis, happens because the thoracic vertebrae in the upper part of the spine curve forward excessively. Osteoporosis can lead to this condition. Besides the undesirable aesthetic consequences, including loss of height, the misaligned posture can also cause neck and back pain, and even respiratory impairment.
But the body is very resilient, and posture can be improved at any age. Simple yet effective exercises and posture awareness can greatly help to get rid of this condition for good.
In fact, I recommend you check out Posture Confidence, a series of great workout DVDs which are specifically designed to align your posture in only 10 to 15 minutes a day:
Question & Answer #8
Thanks for all your information and tips. Would there be any connection between having osteoporosis followed by having a degenerative disk?
A degenerative disc can result in pain and decreased mobility, because the discs separating the vertebrae in the spine shrink and become less flexible. Osteoporosis can greatly contribute to the disk anomalies, actually making the condition worse. As with osteoporosis, strength conditioning and stretching exercises, including yoga, are recommended to strengthen back muscles and provide stronger spinal support. And correct posture to keep the spine in the correct alignment is essential as well.
Remember to question everything!
Question & Answer #9
My Internist, my GYN, and a PA have all recommended Reclast for me. I am confused with the “information” on this drug. It seems you either love it or hate it!! I am 61 and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. I have another DEXA-scan scheduled in 2 wks to see what the difference is after stopping Fosamax over a year ago. I appreciate any and all information on Reclast.
Reclast is a intravenous infusion of a bisphosphonate drug thus replacing the typical osteoporosis tablets. Because oral bisphosphonates can cause many digestive problems, the intravenous delivery drug avoids this problem. But the method of action is the same; it alters normal bone metabolism.
You can read about bisphosphonates, and in particular about Reclast in the Save Our Bones Program. I think that you’ll be amazed at the wide array of side effects listed there, including the terrible osteonecrosis of the jaw or rotting jaw. And for a little lighthearted humor, check out my blog post titled “Fosamax: When Good Things Happen to Bad Drugs”.
Always stay informed,
Question & Answer #10
Is it true that soda pop weakens the bones?
Great question! Indeed, soda and especially cola, can deplete the bones of necessary minerals because it is a highly acidifying beverage. The body must utilize valuable calcium typically stored in the bones in order to neutralize the acid attack and maintain the body’s pH. In the Save Our Bones Program I explain in more detail how this process happens and offer delicious alternatives to soda. For example, you can drink seltzer water mixed with your favorite natural fruit juice. Refreshing… and bone-smart!
Keep asking questions,