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How to Strengthen Your Child's Bones Naturally



Although calcium usually gets top billing when it comes to bone health, fruits and vegetables may also promote stronger bones in girls, new study findings suggest. The study of 56 white girls ages 8 to 13 found that those who ate at least three servings of fruits and vegetables each day had stronger bones than their peers. Researchers suspect that a produce-rich diet helps limit the body's excretion of calcium from the bones.

(LEI Dr’ s note: this also means that an animal product diet causes bones to lose calcium)

Several studies in adults have tied fruit and vegetable consumption to greater bone density, possibly due to nutrients commonly found in these foods, such as potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and magnesium. There's also evidence that fruits and vegetables lower the excretion of calcium in the urine.

This is because fruits and vegetables act as "base" foods that help counteract the acid that is produced when other foods, such as proteins and grains, are metabolized. It's thought that when a diet lacks such acid-buffering foods, the bases present in bone, including calcium, may have to come to the rescue.

One study has suggested that the vast majority of calcium excreted in urine comes from bone stores rather than dietary intake. But little is known about produce intake, urinary calcium and bone health in children, according to the authors of the new study, led by Dr. Frances A. Tylavsky of the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

She and her colleagues had the girls and their parents record the subjects' food intake on three different days over a one- to two-year period. The researchers also used X-rays to measure the girls' bone size, and took urine and blood samples. They found that compared with girls who ate fewer than three servings of fruits and vegetables per day, those who ate more had denser bone area overall, as well as denser bone area in the wrist. These girls also excreted less calcium in their urine, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers suspect that this "lower calcium output" is the reason for the fruit and veggie eaters' better bones. The study found no difference in protein or total calcium intake between girls who ate three daily servings of produce and those who ate less. Nor were there ANY benefits in the amount of dairy products consumed or the amount of exercise obtained.
SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2004


LEI Doctor’s notes:  Yes, it’s true!  We’ve found that patients who substantially decrease their animal product consumption while increasing their plant based food consumption dramatically increase their bone mass instead of suffering the dreaded effects of osteoporosis.


Shame on the marketers who have been misleading the public into increasing dairy products and protein.


Congratulations again to your grandmother who told you to eat your fruits and veggies!