A new book has suggested that the age-old myth of calcium, as milk or as supplements, to strengthen bone health and prevent osteoporosis is plain gibberish.
University of North Carolina at Asheville researcher Amy Lanou and noted health writer Michael Castleman's new book 'Building Bone Vitality' refers to latest clinical studies and medical information to debunk calcium's suggested benefits to prevent osteoporosis.
The book, published by McGraw Hill, hits shelves this month.
It provides readers with practical advice to strengthen bones, reduce the risk of fractures and prevent osteoporosis.
It will also teach readers as to why there is no proof of dairy's usefulness in bone health, despite what doctors say, and why eating low-acid foods and taking daily walks are the most effective ways to prevent bone loss.
The authors' suggest that eating plan includes six to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables and no more than one or two servings of high-protein foods-such as meat, dairy and eggs daily-because protein is composed of amino acids.
They point out that as the body digests high-protein foods, the blood becomes more acidic, leaching calcium from the bones.
According to them, during acid indigestion, its active ingredient calcium carbonate neutralizes stomach acid because it's highly alkaline. To neutralize excess acid in the bloodstream, the body draws the same compound from bone.
They write that a high-protein diet of meat, dairy and eggs draws calcium from bone and eventually causes osteoporosis.
Of course, fruits and vegetables also contain some protein, but much less than meat, dairy and eggs. Fruits and vegetables also contain a great deal of alkaline material.
When a person eats these foods, only a small amount of acid enters the bloodstream along with a great deal of alkaline material, which neutralizes the acid. Therefore, the body does not have to draw calcium compounds out of bone.
"Fruits and vegetables keep calcium in bone where it belongs," said Lanou.
Lanou and Castleman even say that 140 clinical trials have been conducted since 1975 to explore calcium's effects on osteoporotic fracture risk, and that two-thirds of them show no benefit from high calcium intake.
They note that, overall, the clinical trials dealing with fracture prevention run two-to-one against calcium.
They also reviewed research on the impact of exercise on bone health, and found that the consensus of research showed that just 30 to 60 minutes of daily walking was enough exercise to build strong bones.
"The good news is that you don't have to join a gym or sweat buckets. But you do have to walk every day," said Castleman.