When human bones start to lose tissue and become brittle, it’s a medical condition known as osteoporosis. There are several reasons why osteoporosis can occur including a hormonal imbalance or deficits in vitamin D or calcium. There are several kinds of medications, prescribed by doctors, that have proven to be helpful in the slowing down and prevention of further bone loss due to the disease.
However, if you’re like a lot of people these days, you would rather use a holistic or natural remedy than take prescription medications. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there when it comes to alternative forms of treatment.
The most effective home remedies for osteoporosis include the use of beans, vinegar, spinach, milk, pineapple juice, salmon, tofu, red clover, black cohosh, yogurt, and calcium supplements, as well as behavioral modifications, including quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and reducing protein intake.
Home Remedies for Osteoporosis
Home remedies for osteoporosis include:
One of the best ways to ensure that your bones stay strong is to increase your mineral intake, particularly calcium. Our bones require nutrition regularly, particularly as we age, and vinegar has been linked to an increase in calcium levels. It is believed that vinegar helps to increase the efficiency of calcium uptake from the other foods we eat, so be sure to pour some of it on your next salad!
It is important that you understand the risks of too much vinegar as well. It’s a treatment option that is recommended only for short-term use. When used for extended periods of time, it can potentially have the opposite effect and lead to low potassium levels which can cause osteoporosis.
Soy is one of the most interesting new frontiers in the treatment of osteoporosis, namely due to its high content of phytoestrogens.
According to a research by the Institute of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milano, these compounds resemble estrogens needed for women to maintain normal hormonal balance, and may also help increase bone density in them. Women are at significantly greater risk of osteoporosis than men, so this is an important new area of research.
Similar to soy products, red clover is a powerful herb that also has certain estrogen-like effects.
One study that was done showed that women that took a red clover supplement had significantly less bone loss in the spinal region than other women who took a placebo giving evidence that the herb does work to help in preventing bone loss. The changes weren’t significant, but they were recordable.
This remedy can effectively prevent osteoporosis, but these compounds are also volatile and not fully understood, so it is important not to combine prescribed medicine with herbal remedies unless you speak with your doctor.
Quite simply, this delicious variety of fish is particularly rich in calcium, vitamin D, as well as beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. So if you want to keep osteoporosis and other chronic conditions at bay, add salmon to your diet whenever possible!
Along with being a food choice that is preferable to reduce and prevent osteoporosis, salmon is full of other health benefits making it a nice addition to any diet whether you have existing medical conditions or not.
One of the richest sources of calcium in the vegetable world, spinach can ensure a constant stream of bone-strengthening minerals to your system. Add a fresh spinach salad to your weekly health regimen (at least one!).
If spinach is one of those foods that you can’t seem to get a taste for, there are plenty of other leafy green vegetables that provide the same nutrients including broccoli, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, and turnip greens.
Arguably the most famous substance to help build strong bones, the calcium found in milk is a wonderful daily bone-boost into your diet. A single glass of milk can represent one-quarter of the recommended daily amount! Other dairy options that are loaded with calcium that are a beneficial addition to your diet are yogurt and cheese.
Black cohosh became a popular treatment option in Europe for women for a plethora of medical conditions back in the 1950s.
Most commonly it is used to treat the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome, painful menstruation, menopause, acne, and for starting labor.
Although research is still in its early stages, this herb has similar phytoestrogen compounds to soy, making it potentially beneficial for women who want to reduce their chances of developing osteoporosis as they age and experience menopause.
Behavioral alterations like quitting smoking are also important. Smoking floods the body with carcinogens and increases the likelihood of chronic diseases. There is no evidence that smoking is beneficial to the body in any way, shape, or form. It also can speed up the arrival of menopause in women, which often marks a significant increase in the risk of osteoporosis. By quitting smoking, women can delay menopause and hold back the onset of osteoporosis symptoms.
Don’t Lose too much Weight
Obesity has long been associated with a high risk of other diseases, but there is nothing wrong with having a bit of extra fat on your body, as long as it is not excessive. When you start dieting and cutting out calories, you are also cutting out the ability to build healthy bones because you are depriving yourself of the minerals and vitamins that your body needs.
Extremely thin people, particularly those who have suffered from eating disorders in the past, have a much higher risk of premature bone degradation, so maintain a healthy weight to keep your bones strong! Before starting any sort of diet plan, you should consult with a medical professional to ensure you aren’t going to do further damage to your bones.
Physical activity helps maintain muscle strength, which helps to boost bone strength and significantly lowers your risk of falling or accidentally breaking a bone. It is estimated that about one-third of seniors over the age of 65 will fall during the year. With each fall comes an increased risk of breaking a bone, especially if they are already weakened due to an osteoporosis diagnosis. Exercising helps to keep the energy levels up and prevent the onset of other age-related disorders.
Cut Back on Alcohol
Alcohol can actually improve calcium intake when consumed in moderation, but there is a clear line. Moderate alcohol consumption for a woman is considered to be one drink per day and two drinks per day for men. Once your consumption is excessive, it has a sharp, negative impact on bone strength and overall health, while also making you less steady on your feet and more likely to fall and possibly break the bones.
Aside from calcium, magnesium is another mineral that is essential for bone health. With the availability and excessive consumption of processed foods in today’s society, magnesium deficiency has become a widespread problem.
One of the newest findings concerning osteoporosis has to do with manganese deficiency, so ensuring a high level of that mineral can seriously help fend off bone degradation. It can prove to be rather difficult to get the recommended dose of magnesium each day through diet alone, but there are a plenty of supplement options available for purchase or prescription. If you would like to try and get as much magnesium as possible through your diet.
Lower Protein Intake
Research has suggested that human beings actually consume more protein than is necessary and the excretion of protein often includes excreting calcium, which compounds the problems of osteoporosis. Speaking to a nutritionist about your protein intake can be a wise way to optimize your diet!
You can find calcium supplements at almost every health food store and pharmacy. This is the most direct way to ensure a healthy calcium intake and prevent osteoporosis or at least delay its onset.
Word of Caution: Excessive consumption of calcium to prevent osteoporosis can cause other problems, like calcium deposition that leads to gout, gallstones etc. Be sure that you speak to a trained medical professional as you age to discuss your diet and lifestyle, and before adding any major home remedies for osteoporosis!
This article is medically reviewed by Dr. Brent Wells, who is an Anchorage, Wasilla and Juneau Chiropractor.