The Mis-Information Disease

The Wrong Kind of Calcium

Many people are taught to think of osteoporosis as a calcium deficiency disease. Nothing could be further from the truth. The United States has one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world, yet is one of the highest consumers of dairy products, which are noted for their high calcium content. It is not that Americans are not getting enough calcium; the problem is that they are not getting enough of the right kind of calcium.

Dairy Products: Negative Calcium Balance

By consuming high amounts of pasteurized dairy products, Americans are losing more calcium than they ingest – ending up with a “negative calcium balance“. Because of this, osteoporosis kills more women every year than cancer of the breast, cervix and uterus combined. A stunning 25 million people in this country been diagnosed with osteoporosis (with many others undiagnosed).

Weakened Bones

When bones lose density, they are called “porous”, thus the name, osteoporosis, meaning “porous bones.” When bone mass is lost, the bones are weakened and become more susceptible to fracture. Americans suffer more than 1.5 million fractures every year from osteoporosis. It is a widespread disease, affecting both men and women, with potentially devastating consequences. Approximately 25% will never walk again unassisted; 25% will end up in nursing homes and 25% will die within three months of conditions related to the fracture. Like most other chronic, degenerative diseases, osteoporosis is extremely rare among cultures that eat traditional plant-based diets.

Key Factors in Bone Loss

The human body replaces about 20% of its bone mass every year, but with osteoporosis, more bone is lost than is replaced. What accounts for this? If you eat a diet that is high in calcium-leaching foods, such as red meat, pasteurized milk, refined sugar, highly heated salt, inorganic phosphorous and caffeine, as well as a diet low in fresh fruits and vegetables, and don’t get enough exercise, it’s a sure recipe for osteoporosis.

The following are a few key factors that can cause bone loss:

  • Red meat is a high protein product. Animal protein is metabolized by the body to form forming two strong acids, sulfuric and phosphoric. To keep the blood pH slightly alkaline, the body needs to neutralize (buffer) these acids; calcium is the best substance the body has to do this. And the most plentiful source of calcium is, you guessed it, the bones. Animal protein also contains large amounts of phosphorous, which reacts with calcium to form an insoluble compound, which inhibits calcium absorption. If you eat a diet high in animal protein, consuming large amounts of calcium can rarely compensate – bone mass will still be lost.
  • Pasteurized Milk. Consuming pasteurized milk is another key factor in bone loss. Americans are one of the highest consumers of pasteurized milk in the world. If pasteurized milk were really good for bone integrity, Americans would have some of the strongest bones in the world, yet we have some of the weakest! For the same reasons as meat (high protein), the calcium in pasteurized dairy products causes a negative calcium balance; more calcium is lost than is gained. Additionally, the enzymes have all been killed in pasteurized milk, which act as needed co-factors to adequately absorb the milk’s nutrients. Milk is also low in magnesium, a needed co-factor for calcium uptake. To improve your chances of getting osteoporosis, drinking plenty of pasteurized milk will speed you on your way!
  • White Sugar. Another contributor to osteoporosis is refined white sugar. Refined sugar is absorbed quickly and rapidly increases the glucose levels in the cells. These levels increase faster than the cell’s oxygen level, which causes incomplete oxidation of the glucose, forming acids. These acids act to acidify the body, requiring buffering with calcium which leads to bone loss. Just like pasteurized milk, refined sugar strips the body’s stores of magnesium, which is needed for bone re-mineralization. Common sources of hidden refined sugar are breakfast cereals, canned sauces, soft drinks, catsup, canned soups, bread, pastries, bagels, etc.
  • Soft Drinks. Soda drinks containing phosphoric acid also contribute to osteoporosis; once again, the acid must be neutralized with calcium. Although organic forms of phosphorus help mediate calcium levels, diets high in inorganic phosphorus, especially when you’re low in calcium, will lead to osteoporosis. Phosphorus is added to many processed foods today since it helps to retain moisture and acts as an anti-caking agent. (Too much phosphorus in the diet can lead to muscle cramps, mini-strokes, high blood pressure, and soft tissue calcification as seen in kidney stones and atherosclerosis).
  • Smoking, Caffeine, Alcohol, Lack of Exercise. While a major culprit, diet isn’t the only cause of osteoporosis. Bone loss can be also intensified by smoking, lack of weight-bearing exercise, and consuming caffeine (i.e. coffee) and alcohol.

Plant-Based Sources of Calcium

Besides bone loss, lack of bone gain also invites osteoporosis. Adequate absorption of vitamins and minerals are necessary to form new bone. As you might expect, calcium is a big player in this process. It is usable calcium that forms bone. Good sources of bio-available calcium are young grasses (such as barley, wheat and oat grass), many green vegetables (such as broccoli, celery, asparagus) and many fruits (such as mango, blueberries, strawberries). Human mother’s milk contains 33 mg of calcium per 100 grams; compare to oranges (43), spinach (93), and lettuce (68)

The bottom line is that plant-based sources of natural calcium (and especially ionized coral powder) are superior in both absorption and quality to animal protein or rock-based calcium supplements (such as calcium citrate, dolomite or calcium carbonate). Plant-based sources do not have too much protein that can cause a negative calcium balance like pasteurized cow’s milk and other animal products.

Plant-based sources of calcium also naturally contain many other naturally occurring minerals. For example, building bone requires magnesium, which converts vitamin D to its bioactive form necessary for calcium absorption. Exposure to adequate amounts of sunlight will provide with vitamin D. Manganese is another player, needed both for bone mineralization and for synthesis of the organic matrix on which calcification takes place.

A host of other nutrients are essential for strong bones. Natural sources of folic acid, vitamins K, B6, C, and the minerals silicon, boron and zinc also play a major role in bone building. Eating a plant-based diet consisting of a variety of fresh, unprocessed, organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds is a great way to get these nutrients in abundance.

Osteoporosis is an avoidable disease

By adopting healthy lifestyle practices that help prevent bone loss and increase bone health, you can benefit by reducing the risk factors of other chronic, degenerative diseases as well. Along with a healthy diet, weight-bearing exercise, and the avoidance of lifestyle habits that interfere with calcium absorption, you help ensure strong, healthy bones for your entire life.

Drug That Kills Bone Cells


The Drug That Kills Bone Cells To Produce Denser But More Brittle, Weaker Bone

• Does Fosamax (alendronate) really prevent bone loss?

• Is it safe?

• Are there long-term studies?

No Long Term Studies

Two studies reported that the drug, alendronate, prevents osteoporosis in younger postmenopausal women with almost the same effectiveness as hormone therapy. (The New England Journal of Medicine, 1998; 338:485-492; Annals of Internal Medicine, 1998;128:253-261, 313-314.) Although these studies were published in well respected medical journals, it is interesting to note that they were funded by the drug’s manufacturer, Merck & Co.

More Harmful Than Helpful?

Hormone replacement therapy, once considered the “therapy of choice” for menopausal women and widely prescribed by doctors for years, has now been abandoned – having been conclusively proven by long-term medical studies to be more harmful than helpful. What about all the women who faithfully used HRT for years – left like discarded guinea pigs to deal with the negative side effects of the hormone drugs which had not been thoroughly tested in long term studies.

Similarly, alendronate, the drug newly on the osteoporosis scene, is very controversial since no long term studies have been done. Although published studies show alendronate can increase bone density, it does so by abnormally altering bone metabolism — by killing the bone’s normal osteoclastic populations. The medical fallacy is that denser bone means stronger bone. Some researchers believe that alendronate actually worsens bone health. Although the bone may become denser, it is actually more brittle and weaker which can lead to increased risk of fracture.

Is alendronate another fiasco in the making?

Strong Opposition to Fosamax

Various medical researchers are opposed to the use of Fosamax, such as Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. John Lee. Dr. Lee, a well known medical doctor and researcher on women’s hormones and bone density, is very strongly opposed to the use of Fosamax. He believes the key issue is that Fosamax does not stop bone loss or increase bone density in accordance with proper bone physiology – in fact, he finds it worsens bone health by abnormally altering bone tissue which actually becomes weaker as a result of its use.

The Dynamic System of Bone Building

Bone tissue is alive; it is a dynamic, interactive system with inherent self-cleansing and rebuilding properties. It is based on two key types of bone cells: osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The osteoblasts help build new bone; osteoclasts help tear down and replace old bone. In order to stay strong and healthy, bone tissue requires the balanced interaction of both types of these bone cells: both the removal and REPLACEMENT of old bone cells as well as the generation of new bone cells.

Fosamax: Brittle Bone

Fosamax does NOT build ANY new bone. It acts as a metabolic poison that actually kills the osteoclasts (the cells that remove old bone). By killing the osteoclasts, the old bone tissue is not properly removed to make way for new bone cells. Thus, the bone will become denser due to the abnormal buildup of sclerosed, dead-bone tissue, since the bone is no longer able to adequately clear the old bone cells.

Although this bone tissue is denser, it is actually weaker and more brittle because it has not been allowed to renew its bone cells in the normal manner, and thus adequately remold itself and readjust to the forces that are applied to the bones. This brittle bone increases the risk of fracture over time. Fosamax is in the same chemical class (bisphosphonates) that is used in cleaners to remove soap scum from bath tubs.

Fosmax: Weakened Bone

After Fosamax use for four years, the bone has become weaker even though it is more dense and thus more susceptible to fracture.

Fosamax: Side Effects

Some of the known side effects of Fosamax are gastric and esophageal inflammation. Kidney failure, ocular damage, skin reactions, and hypocalcemia have also been reported. The company’s own medical insert warns not to lie down after taking Fosamax for fear it may burn a hole in the esophagus or stomach.

In one reported case, a 77-year old woman developed hepatitis after taking alendronate for two months. (The New England Journal of Medicine, August 3, 2000; 343:365-366.) The authors admit that the mechanism by which alendronate may cause liver damage is not known, although one possibility is that the Fosamax inhibits the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver, which may alter liver function.

The Osteoporosis Solution

Using a toxic chemical to stop bone resorption misses the big picture that osteoporosis is a complex process. Osteoporosis is not just loss of bone density: it is a full body phenomenon. Osteoporosis means diseased bone. In osteoporosis, the bone tissue is sick and has become unable to rebuild and repair itself.

To return to optimal bone health, a comprehensive approach must be used, supporting every aspect of the body’s normal metabolism to restore normal bone metabolism and bone health. When a person has developed osteoporosis, the return to super healthy bone entails several key steps.

  • Stop the Bone Destroyers. The first step is to eliminate the bone destroyers. Substances which help promote rapid bone loss are: coffee, soda pop, refined foods, food chemicals, alcohol, smoking, high protein diet, chronic infections, prolonged emotional/physical stress, etc.
  • Load Up on Bone Builders: Natural-Source Vitamins and Minerals

a) Natural-Source Minerals. In order to reverse osteoporosis or to maintain healthy bones, great quality nutrition is the key. Healthy bones need much more than calcium; they need the full complement of macro and trace minerals in an ideal delivery matrix to achieve rapid recovery of ideal cellular resonance. The best source on the planet for highly absorbable minerals is Sango reef coral (which has not been solvent-extracted). Avoid “rock” forms of minerals (such as calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, etc.) which are not easily absorbed and other forms of coral which have been secretly mined above ground (highly oxidized) and are magnesium-poor.

b) Natural-Source Vitamins. Also, include a full array of natural-source vitamins in your daily nutrient intake. Avoid “chemicalized” vitamins found in products which list the individual vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, etc. These isolated vitamins do not occur in nature and have been mostly chemically synthesized. Although they can initially be helpful, they are nothing like the real thing: naturally complexed vitamins in whole-nutrient concentrates which are capable of the most rapid shift to ideal cellular resonance and function.

c) Natural Progesterone Cream. Dr. Lee proved that using natural progesterone topically can actually increase bone strength and density. Natural progesterone does this by serving as a growth promoter for the osteoblasts (the cells that build bone). The synthetic version of progesterone, Provera, does not provide these benefits. Few studies have been published on natural progesterone because it is a natural substance which cannot be patented and no huge profits can be cornered by the drug companies.

If after using progesterone cream for a month or two and progesterone blood levels are not rising, this may be a consequence of exhausted adrenal glands. In this case, use a complete phytonutrient adrenal complex formula (no animal glandulars) which can rapidly restore adequate adrenal function (3 to 6 weeks) and thereby, promote retention of natural progesterone.

  • Sunshine. A key factor in promoting adequate vitamin D synthesis to create strong, healthy bones is natural sunlight exposure outside (not through a window). Get outside for a minimum of 20 minutes of sunlight daily (and yes, even in the wintertime). Be sure to take your glasses off (or contacts) to get receive a full smorgasbord of healing sunlight factors absorbed via the retina which has been shown to be transmitted to the rest of the body’s organs and glands. If you are not getting enough sunlight, then be sure to take USP-grade cod liver oil to get natural vitamin D (a non-toxic source).
  • Weight-Bearing Exercise. Lack of exercise encourages loss of bone density. Taking a 20-minute walk several times per week is a great way to stimulate bone strength and growth. If walking is too difficult, begin using a rebounder (gentle bouncing) for several minutes daily.



Gaby, Alan, MD, Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis: What You Can Do About Bone Loss, Prima Publishing, Rocklin, Ca, 1994.

Lee, John, MD, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, Warner Books, Inc., 1996.

Lee, John, MD, “A New Study Showing Dangers of Fosamax,” Medical Letter, 1996.

Lee, John, MD. “Throw away your Fosamax: Here’s Why,” Medical Letter, July, 1996