Antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, and salmon prevent osteoporosis

The acid-alkaline theory of osteoporosis says that the main reason people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables have better bone health than people who don't eat much fruits and vegetables is because dietary animal-source protein makes our blood acidic and forces our bodies to use the calcium in our bones to buffer this acidic blood unless we eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in alkaline potassium compounds, which our bodies would use in place of the calcium in our bones to buffer our acidic blood. Here are 3 PubMed studies that verify the correctness of this widely accepted acid-alkaline theory: However, here are 2 very recent scientific studies shared by PikaB that seem to say exactly the opposite: XNKONGRESS_ID=93&XNMASKEN_ID=900 XNKONGRESS_ID=93&XNMASKEN_ID=900 If the widely accepted acid-alkaline theory is not correct or only a small part of the total reason why predominantly plant-eating humans have better bone health than predominantly meat-eating humans, then what is the main reason? PikaB believes that at least part of the total reason is that many specific fruits or vegetables contain one or more specific, bone-friendly phytochemicals. Alternatively, here are 2 PubMed studies which imply that the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables prevent osteoporosis: Skeptics would argue that the above 2 PubMed studies don't disprove the acid-alkaline theory. They just prove that eating fruits and vegetables, which coincidentally happen to contain lots of antioxidants, protect bone health. They don't prove that the antioxidants themselves would improve bone health. However, the following PubMed study concludes that astaxanthin, the powerful antioxidant most plentiful in wild sockeye salmon, decreased the oxidative damage to osteoblasts from hydrogen peroxide (H2O2): In conclusion, the very same oxidative-stress-inducing free radicals from foods like grilled/barbecued/smoked/broiled meats and salted/pickled/fried foods that cause most human diseases including heart disease, virtually all cancers, stroke, COPD, pneumonia, Alzheimer's disease, etc. might also be damaging our osteoblasts. So don't forget to protect your osteoblasts from oxidative damage. Eat plenty of antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, and salmon. Note: If this osteoblast-oxidizing free radical theory is correct, then it would mean that not all animal-source proteins are equally detrimental to our bone health. Blackened meats, which contain plenty of free radicals, would be the most detrimental to bone health, while antioxidant-rich salmon, boiled without any added salt (nitrosamines), would be the least detrimental and perhaps even slightly beneficial to bone health.

Edited July 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm

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Although this antioxidant-osteoblast theory might partly explain why predominantly plant-eating humans have better bone health than predominantly meat-eating humans, two apparent discrepancies make it unlikely that it is the only explanation for this phenomenon. The first apparent discrepancy is that turnips (white radishes), which are also known by their Japanese name, "daikon," contain substantial amounts of the powerful antioxidant, phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC). So if the antioxidant-osteoblast theory was correct, then turnips should be among the foods that are the most beneficial to bone health. However, the following very recent scientific study shared by PikaB found that root vegetables (including turnips) were somewhat detrimental to bone health: XNKONGRESS_ID=93&XNMASKEN_ID=900 The second apparent discrepancy is that in the following PubMed study first shared by PikaB, the specific phytochemical most likely responsible for making onions extremely beneficial to bone health is "gamma-L-glutamyl-trans-S-1-propenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide (GPCS): However, GPCS is generally never mentioned on the list of antioxidants contained in onions. If the antioxidant-osteoblast theory was correct, then the main reason why onions are extremely beneficial to bone health should be the 3 flavonoid antioxidants contained abundantly in onions, namely, quercetin, kaempferol, and luteolin: In conclusion, because of these two apparent discrepancies, it seems unlikely that the antioxidant-osteoblast theory can be more than just part of the total explanation of why predominantly plant-eating humans have better bone health than predominantly meat-eating humans. Also, we must not forget that undernourished vegetarians tend to be deficient in calcium and protein and tend to have very poor bone health.

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Hi rmchavin,

Thanks for the info. I got some Jade GreenZymes (for acid/alkaline stability, from Nikken) and Salmon oil from Mercola. Looks like they should be beneficial. Just need to start taking them ;-)

<3 Sylvia

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Hi all:
I wish this condition were as simple as eating this or taking that but it is not. Diet alone will not do it. Exercise alone will not do it. But diet and exercise do make-up an important piece of 6 lifestyle areas that are crucial to fixing this condition. The one component I wish more time and energy was placed towards is #3. High stress living has a huge negative effect on your hormones, digestion and metabolism affecting your bone as well as your general health very directly. The 6 lifestyle changes we recommend to our clients are:

1. A diet that contains 50% fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies contain greater amounts of water and minerals with generally lesser amounts of animal protein.
2. Adequate water intake for maximum hydration. Water is very important in helping the kidneys regulate pH and detoxify the body.
3. Daily stress reduction activities. This helps lower cortisol and homocysteine levels reducing calcium loss.
4. Year round vitamin D3 levels in the 50-80 ng/mL (or 125-200 nM/L).
This should be confirmed by 25-hydroxyvitamin D testing.
6. Sufficient weight bearing exercise to stimulate balance and muscle growth which is essential for bone strengthening determined

If you need more specific information you can contact me at anytime time through our osteoporosis lifestyle program at

Woody McMahon

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Hi Woody,
I was wondering if along with the 6 lifestyle changes you suggest you would add perhaps some reading for your clients or readers; I am eating 10 prunes a day (studies indicate that prunes help with building bone density) as well as using a vibrational platform to treat my osteoporosis; I researched the (latest) studies on the internet and it gives me a bit of hope that alternatives to the drugs are indeed a big possibility (for me). Also, I do aqua jogging 3x a week - this doesn't build bone but it allows for flexibility, stress reduction, cardio and is easy on the muscles (I have tendonitis).

Thanks - better bones

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Dear SequoiaHealth:

betterbones has a question for you to answer but I'm not sure if you'll ever see it because he clicked the "Reply" under my post instead of clicking the "Reply" under your post. This is a very common mistake - I frequently click the wrong "Reply" by mistake also.

By the way, I just thought of a good question for you also. I notice that you always forget to use the number "5" when listing your items for bone fracture prevention. In the past, I just assumed that you had made a typing error. However, I now realize that you must be doing this intentionally. I've seen your itemized advice for bone fracture prevention many times now with the number "5" excluded. I know that most hotels don't have a 13th floor because many people consider the number "13" to be bad luck. I'm wondering if you dislike the number "5" for some reason or whether you are superstitious and consider the number "5" to be bad luck?

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NIce pick-up. No just a dumb typo. Woody

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Hi Betterbones:
As you know I view the “fix” for osteoporosis as a mental and physical
process. It is not just what you eat but also how you think (stress management). It is really about changing lifestyles. So my recommendation for reading would spill beyond just the books on osteoporosis (Sara Meeks, NOF and Gillian Sanson) and also include self-help and personal growth books by various authors to get the stress part under control as well.


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Hi Betterbones,

Just wondering how you're doing? I've also been eating prunes every day for bone health, and I wanted to try the vibration platform as well. Have you had your bone density test again recently?


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HI Reeseter,
Re. the bone density - my doc. disappeared (who knows why they don't tell patients when they move or change jobs) and his office can't find my records. Sigh - I have to spend the big bucks to start my new 'base history'. So, to answer your question - my own limited reciepts of my rocords say I am due this summer for the DEXA... but I have to save up for the enormous cost plus the initial exam... which is a crazy amount... just because the doc. office lost my records. I even have to find a new doc. to prescribe my vit. d -- a big challenge not to stress over this. ;) Anyway, thanks for the note - I'm doing great - and hope you are too.
And PS to Woody -- re. my accidently hitting REPLY under the wrong post -- gee, a bit harsh calling me dumb... I'm only human.

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Woody didn’t call you dumb, Betterbones. He was referring to himself re the second part of rmchavin’s post.

“I've seen your itemized advice for bone fracture prevention many times now with the number "5" excluded. I know that most hotels don't have a 13th floor because many people consider the number "13" to be bad luck. I'm wondering if you dislike the number "5" for some reason or whether you are superstitious and consider the number "5" to be bad luck?”

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Dear Verginia... Excluding #5? Um... No, I'm not excluding anything... at all. I guess (#5) is implied so I don't mention it when I re-iterate my advice -- and I reiterate it for those who are new and asking for help. I'm so excited about my improvements and eager to share my good fortune. Nothing to read into here. :0) And re. Woody's comment - ok, all cleared up - again... it's easy to misread things on the internet... absolutely nothing to read into here. No issues, no problems with numbers, people, plants or anything. :)

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