Acidic Diets and Osteoporosis

Acidic diets and osteoporosis

The United States has long pushed dairy products as the primary source of calcium, but oddly enough, it is the people of the United States and other countries with high dairy intakes who have the highest rate of osteoporosis, hip fractures, and other debilitating diseases.  For example, dairy consumption used to be rare in China and so was osteoporosis.  However, this is changing as their diets are becoming more “Westernized.”  The reasoning is that when you eat foods that are highly acidic such as processed foods, fast foods, grains, sugary foods, coffee, sodas, animal proteins and dairy products this will cause the tissues to become overly acidic.  The body will automatically counteract any acidic state by constantly leaching calcium and other minerals from your bones in order to neutralize the excess acid, and it is this leaching process . Over time, this may lead to structural weakness in your bones and teeth.  This is the leading cause of osteoporosis, it is not from any lack of dairy products in the diet.

Acidic diets contribute to osteoporosis

Many people mistakenly believe that milk should be their main source of calcium, however this is not true.  There are many non-dairy sources of calcium which the body can utilize to build strong bones.

Non- dairy sources of calcium include:

  • 2 oz of sardines with bones = 240 mg of calcium
  • canned salmon 1 oz = 77 mg
  • collard greens — 1 cup = 357 mg
  • kale — 1 cup raw has about 90 mg
  • blueberries/Blackberries — 1 cup = 42 mg
  • broccoli (raw) 1 cup = 34 mg
  • bok choy (cooked) 1 cup= 158 mg
  • okra — one-half cup cooked has 90 mg
  • pinto beans 1/2 cup cooked  has 45 mg
  • sesame seeds 1 T =88 mg
  • chia seeds 1 oz = 177 mg
  • figs–  5 have about 68 mg
  • black strap molasses 2 T= 400 mg
  • almonds 3 ounces = 210 mg of calcium
  • orange — 1 medium = 52 mg
  • dates- 5 dates = 75mg
  • Look up the nutritional values of food

What you can do to build strong bones:

  1. Eat fresh, raw, whole foods (preferably organic) that are rich in minerals, giving your body the materials that it needs to be healthy.
  2. Eating leafy green vegetables and juicing wheatgrass.
  3. Eat foods high in silica- this would include cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, horsetail, nettles.
  4. Eat foods high in magnesium- raw cacao, oat bran, frshly ground flax seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, squash, pumpkin are all good sources.
  5. Use unprocessed sea salt such as pink Himalayan salt as they contain 84 trace minerals.
  6. Optimize your  vitamin D3 levels with 20- 30 minutes of sun exposure or with a Vitamin D3 Supplement as nearly everyone is deficient
  7. Vitamin K2 – helps bind the calcium to the bone. This is found in leafy greens, fermented foods, raw cheese or with Vitamin K2 Supplements.
  8. Boron is the missing nutrient in regards to building strong bones
  9. Vitamin C also helps to build strong bones.  Dr Thomas Levy describes osteoporosis as “scurvy of the bone” and recommends that it be addressed with vitamin c supplementation.
  10. Weight-bearing exercises should be done regularly
  11. Minimize consumption of sugar and refined grains.
  12. Avoid low-fat diets
  13. Take a high-quality Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplement
  14. Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night
  15. Find ways to relieve stress
  16. If you do eat meat, make sure that it is organic and preferably free-range
  17. If you drink milk, raw would be the best choice, or from organically-raised, pastured animals.
  18. Locate raw milk in your area
Some calcium supplements are made of limestone

Some calcium supplements are made of limestone

Don’t take calcium supplements that are made from ground limestone

When looking for a calcium supplement, look for those which do not contain calcium carbonate, calcium malate, and calcium citrate as these  contain ground-up limestone.  Inorganic or “elemental” calcium is not bound to the natural co-factors such as amino acids, lipids and glyconutrients and this does not allow the body to utilize it in a biologically appropriate manner. Lacking the appropriate delivery system, the calcium may end up going to places you do not want such as ectopic calcifications.  “The breasts are uniquely susceptible to ectopic calcifications which is why we use x-ray mammography to find them.  Due to the fact that the hydroxylapatitate crystals that are found in malignant breast tissue may act as a trigger that induces cell proliferation, it is possible that certain breast calcifications may be a cause, and not just be an effect, of the tumorous lesions that are found there. This may also explain why women who have the highest bone density resulting from calcium supplementation also have up to 300% higher incidence of malignant breast cancer.”  Link to source article

Best forms of calcium–  while enhancing bone strength is important, it should be done with a form of calcium that is made from bio-available materials that also includes all of the co-factors needed to assimilate the calcium such as vitamin D3, magnesium, and k2 which helps to direct the calcium into the bones where it is needed, not to deposit it in the fatty tissues of the breasts.  Natural plant-based calcium can be found in products such as Raw Calcium.  The next best form of calcium supplement that is easily assimilated is Calcium Orotate with Magnesium Orotate   Additionally, if strong bones is your intention, then take a look at supplementing with Boron which is one of the most important supplements for improving bone density.  Read more about boron here.

Additional Resources

Read more about acid/alkaline balance

Read more about vitamins and minerals

Read more about vitamin D3


  Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Calcium, 120 Capsules

  Life Extension Boron 3 Mg 100 vegetarian capsules

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