Osteoporosis And Inflammation

by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP

An emerging area of study is the relationship between bone loss and blood acidity. It has been known for a while that vegetarians and women eating a low-protein diet have a lower rate of bone loss.

New studies are showing that high levels of the pro-inflammatory blood acid called homocysteine double the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is a natural byproduct of digesting protein. It has been linked to other inflammatory conditions like heart attack, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent report published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine asserted the idea that elevated homocysteine levels inhibit new bone formation by interrupting the cross-linking of collagen fibers in bone tissue. It’s also possible that the body tries to stabilize a lower pH (more acidic) blood serum by releasing more bone calcium. Homocysteine levels can also be stabilized by taking a vitamin supplement with folate, B12 and B6.

Other foods that cause blood acidity are refined carbohydrates and simple sugars.

So, if we know that all this and more go into the proper balance of bone formation and resorption—and one function can’t thrive without the other—why is mainstream medicine so skewed to one side?