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Osteoporosis Treatment Without Drugs: The Missing Link to Superior Bone Health

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Premature Osteoporosis Causes Early Onset “Dowager’s Hump”

Research into side effects of common drugs provides insights into resistant osteoporosis.

Bone health conversations are typically limited to advice on supplementation with minerals or vitamins or–even worse–prescription bone density drugs. New discoveries highlight what may be another valuable tool to combat osteoporosis naturally: Collagen. Doctors at Orthopedic Hospital in Shropshire, United Kingdom, discovered that a common mood-stabilizing drug called valproic acid also blocks bone’s ability to make collagen by sixty percent, by blocking the action of bone-building cells called fibroblasts.

People who use this drug for more than six months have long been known to develop premature osteoporosis, and have been placed on calcium supplementation and bone density drugs with unimpressive results. This mirrors my own experience. I have met many women in their forties and up who rapidly lose bone mass in spite of high calcium intake, plenty of vitamins D, and K, and exercise. The missing link should really have been obvious, after all, more than 90 percent of bone mass comes from protein.

In my experience in Hawaii treating Filipino women who make gelatinous soups flavored with bone (oxtail soup, fish head soup), or bone broth, on a regular basis, I found very few who had significant loss of bone mass or loss of spinal height before reaching their 80s. Of course, this is just an observation. But because glycosaminoglycans in these gelatinous broths are known to trigger the production of collagen by fibroblasts, I am compelled to believe that the fact that so few Caucasian American women cook with bone broth compared to Filipinos has something to do with their weaker bones.

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Dr. Cate

With over two decades of clinical experience and expertise in genetic and biochemical research, Dr. Cate can help you to reverse metabolic disease and reshape your body.

16 Comments

Nutrition and Beauty Tip: Gelatin Capsules | beautifully bold and eastern bound

January 12, 2015 at 5:15 pm

[…] https://drcateprod.wpengine.com/osteoporosis-treatment-without-drugs-the-missing-link-to-bone-healt/ […]

amy wadsworth

July 18, 2013 at 3:21 pm

how do make broth..do i just buy meat poultryoor fish with the bones ..then slow boil it all? do i also eat the meat..or just drink the broth

Heather Carraher

July 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

I was wondering, Dr. Cate, if you could clarify for me what exactly is gelatin (the powdered stuff). Is it essentially glycosaminoglycans in powdered form? How do the benefits to my collagen from eating jello made from grass-fed gelatin compare with the benefits from eating traditional bone broths (aside from the fact that jello obviously has lots of sugar, from the juice/honey added)? Thanks!

    Dr. Cate

    July 12, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Gelatin is dehydrated bone hydrolysate–what’s released from bones after extended boiling. Unfortunately, sugar blocks your body’s ability to benefit from it.

      Heather Carraher

      July 12, 2013 at 6:56 am

      Thanks for the response. I suspected that was the case. There is so much mis-information out there! I’m very glad to have you as a resource.

IS

February 20, 2013 at 3:16 am

How long do you have to cook soup with bones in it to get the benefits of the calcium etc?

jean finch

August 8, 2012 at 10:25 am

In case it helps anyone I went from – 3 bone density to + 2 1/2 by diet only. Negative while on Fosamax several years. Stopped Fosamax. Started Weston A Price diet which meant no sugar, and soaking any grains or nuts. Made bone broths from chickens weekly. Ate only grass fed beef, lamb, and only marinated pork. I drink raw milk and make my own full fat yogurt. I am very proud of myself and I hope this info helps someone before they break a hip.

Samir Dutt

June 1, 2012 at 10:46 am

Hi Dr. Cate,

Thanks for writing Deep Nutrition, a wonderful book to share with one and all.

I have a question about collagen. Is hydrolyzed collagen, produced by slow proteolytic hydrolyzation, and without the use of heat or acids, acceptable by your lights?

Also, what is the protein content of bone stock that gels nicely in the fridge?

Thanks!

    Dr. Cate

    June 2, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Hydrolyzed refers to the breaking down of a protein by water molecules and the process is facilitated by gentle heat and acid so even broth making which produces the best nutrition for your collagen employs both modalities. Products other than tasty bone broth are potentially beneficial but unlikely to match the quality. Plus they won’t taste so nice!

    The protein content of gelatin depends entirely upon details of your cooking process and is as a guess I would say is likely to be similar to the protein content of various prepared gelatins, which is about 1 gm per 2-4 oz. The benefits of broth go beyond the amino acid counts, however.

Juba

April 11, 2012 at 4:47 am

Thank you for writing Deep Nutrition – a real eye-opener. With regards to CJD, I believe that pasture fed cows can be ‘finished’ ie fed commercial feed before being slaughtered. Since grass fed is often not organic, how can I be sure that they are not fed feed that contains neural tissue (as happened with the spread of mad cow disease)? I live in singapore where there are no local farmers that supply grass fed meat. Is it better to buy organic even if not 100% pasture-fed in that case?

AlisaMarie

March 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Hi Dr. Cate,
I was wondering if there was any benefit from eating chicken necks? I’ve heard of people actually eating the neck bones because they are soft. Or should I just use them for the bone broth?
Thank you!

    Dr. Cate

    March 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Hmmm. I can’t imaging that would be very enjoyable but maybe you can find a recipe and get back to us! Broth will get you lots of benefits, not all the calcium of actual bone, but you will get some calcium, you will get the glycosaminoglycans, and you can get the rest of your calcium from other sources.

Dr. Cate

October 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm

To my knowledge, CJD is only transmitted when an uninfected animal, human or cow, eats intact neural tissue from an infected animal. This is in contrast to scrapie prions, which can be picked up from the dirt.

By this reasoning, CJD is therefore very very unlikely and actually theoretically impossible from a 100% pasture-fed cow.

Neil Hegarty

October 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Hi Cate
One slightly nagging question mark I have regarding bone broths is the risk of CJD. Here in Europe (rare in Ireland but there has been cases) it remains a risk and some studies suggest that meat on the bone increases the risk in the even of eating contaminated meat. It is suggested that just as marrow is nutrient dense it may also be the best place for diseases to propagate. Just wondering if it is an issue you have come across in the US? Neil

Sarah McNulty, Citrus Heights CA

August 13, 2010 at 7:27 am

A mood drug making it so that your bones don’t grown right? Makes you wonder what other less detectable side effects a lot of these drugs might have. Kinda scary.

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