In this issue I would like to shed some light on Chinese Medicine and it's role in treating osteoporosis. Included in the articles below are some facts that you may already be aware of, as well as some news that just might shock you. Find out why milk may not help prevent osteoporosis and why it could be suspected in causing an increase in risk.
Below you will also find some great ideas on natural ways of preventing this bone thinning disease.
As always, if you have any questions about the information provided, please feel free to contact me at : email@example.com
Midwest Acupuncture Clinic
Dairy Free Strong Bones
Protecting Your Bones
bone-thinning condition called osteoporosis can lead to small and
not-so-small fractures. Although many people think of calcium in the
diet as good protection for their bones, this is not at all the whole
story. In fact, in a 12-year Harvard study of 78,000 women, those who
drank milk three times a day actually broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk.1
Similarly, a 1994 study of elderly men and women in Sydney, Australia, showed that higher dairy product consumption was associated with increased
fracture risk. Those with the highest dairy product consumption had
approximately double the risk of hip fracture compared to those with
the lowest consumption.2
Dairy products do contain calcium, but also included are animal proteins, lactose
sugar, animal growth factors, occasional drugs and contaminants, and a
substantial amount of fat and cholesterol in all but the defatted
Many Americans still consume
substantial amounts of dairy products—and government policies still
promote them—despite scientific evidence that questions their health
benefits and indicates their potential health risks. Milk’s main selling point is calcium, and milk-drinking is touted for
building strong bones in children and preventing osteoporosis in older
persons. However, clinical research shows that dairy products have
little or no benefit for bones. A 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk consumption does not improve bone integrity in children.3
Animal proteins in
fish, poultry, red meat, eggs, and dairy products tend to leach
calcium from the bones and encourages its passage into the urine. Plant
protein in beans, grains, and vegetables does not appear to have this
You can decrease your risk of osteoporosis by reducing sodium and animal protein intake in the diet. Also by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, exercising,
and ensuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as kale,
broccoli, and other leafy green vegetables and beans. You can also use
calcium-fortified products such as breakfast cereals and juices,
although these products provide more concentrated calcium than is
Daily Calcium Recommendations
According to National Osteoporosis Foundation’s recommendations:
Adults under age 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium and 400-800 IU of vitamin D daily.
Adults 50 and over need 1,200 mg of calcium and 800-1,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
People who get the recommended amount of calcium from foods do not need to take a calcium supplement. These individuals, however, still may need to take a vitamin D supplement.
Getting too much calcium may increase the chance of developing kidney stones in some people. According to most experts, the safe upper limit for total daily calcium intake from all sources is 2,000 - 2,500 mg.
To find out more and learn about healthier sources of calcium click HERE.
1. Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer
MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a
12-year prospective study. Am J Publ Health 1997;87:992-7.
2. Cumming RG, Klineberg RJ.
Case-control study of risk factors for hip fractures in the elderly. Am
J Epidemiol 1994;139:493-503。
3 Lanou Aj, Berkow SE, Barnard ND. Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence. Pediatrics. 2005;115(3):736-43。
4. Remer T, Manz F. Estimation of the
renal net acid excretion by adults consuming diets containing variable
amounts of protein. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59:1356-61.
Midwest Acupuncture Clinic
|Acupuncture and Osteoporosis
Can acupuncture help with osteoporosis?
With recent revelations in the news about the possible dangers of long
term Hormone Replacement Therapy, many women are searching for other
possible methods of preventing osteoporosis and other degenerative
diseases related to hormonal decline after menopause. This article
offers one treatment method which may be of interest to such women.
In the February issue of the Zhong Yi
Za Zhi (Journal of Chinese Medicine, #2, 2001, p. 88), Ou-yang, Gang et
al. discuss "The Influence of Acupuncture on Postmenopausal Female Bone
Density." This article is based on a clinical trial involving 42
postmenopausal women 50-70 years of age, all of whom were seen as
out-patients between Mar. 1999 and Jan. 2000 and all of whom had been
diagnosed with osteoporosis using X-ray examination of the 2-4th lumbar
vertebrae. Women suffering from thyroid function disturbances, diabetes
mellitus, osteomalacia, fibrous osteitis, and osteoblastic diseases,
liver and kidney diseases, and anyone who had used estrogen or
corticosteroids in the previous three months were excluded from this
study. Twenty-five of these 42 women were assigned to the so-called
treatment group, and 17 women were assigned to the comparison group. In
terms of the average age (56 years) and the severity of the
osteoporosis (which was mostly slight), there was no significant
statistical difference between these two groups.
The women in the treatment group were needled at Shen Shu (B1 23), Guan
Yuan (CV 4), and Tai Xi (Ki 3) using two inch, 30 gauge fine needles
which were inserted slowly. After obtaining the qi, heavy thrusting and
light lifting hand technique was used for one minute. Then the needles
were retained for 30 minutes, during which time, the needles were
stimulated one more time. The needles were withdrawn on the patient's
inhalation, and pressure was applied to the needle hole. This treatment
was given once every other day for three months, which constituted one
course of treatment. After a 10 day rest, a second course of therapy
was administered. In addition, one pill of a calcium and vitamin D
supplement was administered orally once per day continuously for six
months. The women in the comparison group were only administered this
same calcium-vitamin D supplement at the same dose for the same length
After six months of the above described therapy, all the women in this
study were examined again by X-ray to measure their bone density. In
the treatment group bone density went from 0.907 [ or -] 0.072 to 0.923
[ or -] 0.070, for a mean change of 0.013[ or -] 0.012 g/[cm.sup.2]. In
the comparison group, bone density went from 0.908 [ or -] 0.072 to
0.913 [ or -] 0.066, for a mean change. of 0.005 [ or -] 0.013
g/[cm.sup.2]. Thus there was a significant difference in increase of
bone density from before to after treatment between these two groups
Chinese authors' discussion
According to the authors of this study, postmenopausal osteoporosis is
categorized in Chinese medicine as kidney vacuity bone wilting and
kidney vacuity lumbar pain. Tai Xi is the foot shao yin kidney channel
source point. Shen Shu is the back transport point of the kidneys,
while Guan Yuan nourishes and secures the kidneys. Therefore,
supplementing these three points has the effect of supplementing the
kidneys and boosting the essence. Modern research has shown that
needling Shen Shu and Guan Yuan is able to increase serum levels of
estrogen, thus inhibiting osteoclastosis and promoting osteoblastosis.
As this study shows, acupuncture at these three points accompanied by
supplementation of calcium and vitamin D is more effective for
increasing bone density in postmenopausal women than supplementation of
calcium and vitamin D alone.
Also, since there are
Chinese medicinal formulas known to have a positive effect on bone
maintenance, the combination of acupuncture, moxibustion, self-therapy,
and Chinese herbal medicine could be even more significant for Western
women searching for alternatives to Western hormone therapy.
For more information on the acupuncture and Chinese medical treatment
of postmenopausal osteoporosis, see Blue Poppy Press's Osteoporosis
Copyright [C] Blue Poppy Press, 2
003. All rights reserved.
COPYRIGHT 2003 The Townsend Letter Group
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group
Midwest Acupuncture Clinic
Tai Chi as an exercise to prevent osteoporosis
Exercise can help to prevent osteopenia conditions
is well known that an healthy diet high in Calcium and vitamin D, and
the use of weight bearing exercises such as walking can go a long way
towards preventing the development of osteoporosis. The use of exercise
can also help to eliminate pain and can help to strengthen bones in
both men and women who are suffering from osteopenia.
One exercise that is carried out by many people over the age of 50 is Tai Chi. This is a
traditional Chinese mind and body exercise that is very meditative in
nature. It has long been practiced by millions of Chinese people who
have found it to be beneficial in the maintenance of health and ones
well being. The art of Tai Chi has become increasingly popular in
the USA in recent years.
conventional medical world has welcomed the use of Tai Chi as they see
it as a safe, low cost meditative exercise with many health benefits.
Because of its slow and steady movements Tai Chi is thought to be an
ideal exercise for elderly people and as well helping to keep the body supple and maintain balance. Indeed it has recently
been reported by the surgeon general of the USA that the use of Tai Chi
is beneficial to osteoporosis sufferers as it can help to lower
incidents of falls (one of the major causes of fractures in people with
osteoporosis); it is also seen as a safe and effective way for people
to maintain bone density.
Tai Chi helps to maintain balance
to osteoporosis, the use of Tai Chi has been suggested to help maintain
balance and to help maintain bone density; these two things alone has
led to Tai Chi being recommended to the medical community by the
surgeon general in the USA as a way to help osteoporosis sufferers deal
with their condition. In a recent review by Wayne et al the association
between Tai Chi and the maintenance of bone density in post menopausal
women has been investigated. They performed this by taken a look at the
literature available of randomised control studies, cross sectional
studies and cohort studies that had at least one outcome that measured
bone mineral density.
There are many aspects to Tai Chi that make it a great daily exercise for osteoporosis prevention:
-Using different body parts in turn to stabilise the body and move in smooth motions increases balance.
-A slow but even tempo helps to increase the awareness of ones senses.
-Flexing of the knees helps to reduce the body's centre of gravity.
-Shifting weight between legs is thought to facilitate leg strength and increase balance when standing.
-The maintenance of a vertical position with a stretched head and trunk helps to promote an un-flexed posture.
-Diagonal Arm movements promote arm swing and an increase in waist suppleness.
-Smooth circular movements help to promote flexibility in joints.
is thought that the use of Tai Chi will lead to an increase in the
efficiency of biomechanical movements during one daily routine, and
hence may lead to an increase in mechanical load that bones such as the
hip are able to tolerate. It can therefore be seen that Tai Chi may be
an effective exercise for people who may have low bone density mass and
at risk of developing osteoporosis.
For information on Des Moines area Tai Chi teacher email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
et al. The effects of Tai Chi on Bone Mineral Density in postmenopausal
Women: A systematic review. Arch Phys Med rehabil. Vol 88, pp673-680,
Midwest Acupuncture Clinic
|Chinese Herbs and Bone Loss
|Two recent studies in China revealed that Chinese herbal medicines - traditionally used as kidney tonics - may in fact offer a therapeutic aid to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis.
first trial, conducted at the Union hospital, Tongji Medical University
in Wuhan, China. 34 patients participated in a double blind, controlled
study. Seventeen post-menopausal women were given a Chinese herbal formula for bones and a further seventeen post-menopausal women were given calcium
treatment and used as a control group. After three months, the results
showed that 92% of the patients in the Chinese herb group had improved.
Six months after the treatment the bone density of the lumbar vertebrae
of 69% of the patients was significantly higher than before the
treatment and the bone density of the control group was considerably
The researchers concluded that Chinese herbal medicine could prevent and improve post-menopausal osteoporosis by improving bone formation and retarding the decline of bone density.(1)
results were found in a follow-up controlled study at the Tongji
Medical University, Wuhan, China where 43 patients with menopause
within a period of 5 years were randomly divided into two groups; one
group to receive the Chinese herbal medicines and the other used as a control group. The participants’ bone
metabolism, serum estradiol and forearm bone density were taken before
and after treatment. The results showed that five months after the
treatment, the women in the treatment group showed improved bone
mineral content whereas those women in the control group showed
decreased mineral densities. Furthermore, the ratio of fasting urinary
calcium and hydroxyproline to creatinine was lower than before the
treatment and significantly lower than that of the control group. The
researchers concluded that the study results indicate that the Chinese
herbs was linked to a declining of bone mineral loss in post-menopausal
Gui-zhi, Zhong-Lan, Zhou Yong et al. Cathay Herbal laboratories
Newsletter Summer 1996. 5-6.
(2) Shen Lin, jing-yuan, Yang jiayu et al.
Xiehe Hospital, Tongji medical University, Wuhan China Cathay Herbal
laboratories Newsletter Summer 1996 6
Midwest Acupuncture Clinic