Osteoporosis and Bone Health : Part 2

“To thrive in life, you need three bones. A wish bone, a back bone, and a funny bone”

-Reba McEntire

“Eat more calcium, take a calcium and vitamin D supplement, add some weight-bearing exercise, and if things don’t improve, we will consider a bisphosphonate.”

These recommendations are heard so often in doctors’ offices all over the world when discussing bone density issues that it is a surprise that I am even writing this article.

Yet, while these recommendations provide a scaffolding for a way to prevent worsening of bone density and perhaps even improve bone density, they lack a deep understanding of what the research tells us about the best ways to reverse bone density disorders.

After being given a diagnosis of osteopenia or worse, osteoporosis, we are often left wondering about the real impact of the diagnosis. We are also left wondering about which treatment recommendations are the most effective. After digging into the research, we find that many nutrients, hormones, diet, and lifestyle factors are involved with proper bone remodeling. It’s not a simple cookie-cutter answer. We also find that factors such as muscle mass and muscle quality (see Sarcopenia and Osteoporosis) are significant when preventing consequences of bone density disorders. And, we find that the conventional diagnosis and treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis are fraught with controversies.

In part 1 of this series, we discuss background information o