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Maintain Strong Bones with Vegetable Protein

Elderly women who get too much protein from animal products like meat and cheese risk fractures and bone loss. Improving bone health can be as easy as using vegetables as a great source of protein.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who received a higher ratio of their protein from meat or dairy products rather then vegetables, had three times the rate of bone loss.

Researchers gave more than 1,000 women a questionnaire, which covered 64 different kinds of foods. They then broke the results down to show how much of each group the women ate and looked at how much protein the women got from animal products and how much from vegetables. They were then categorized by intake level of animal protein.

Vegetables have some acid, but they also have a substance called base (a biocarbonate), which neutralizes acid. Our bodies don't like too much acid, like the levels found in meat/dairy protein, so our kidneys help us adjust by excreting acid in urine. Because we get older, our kidneys become less and less capable of excreting the acid. As a result, bones, which are partly made up of base, step in to try to neutralize the acid. Over decades, this process causes the bone to dissolve, causing it to lose bone mass and calcium, which increases the risk of fractures.

The point is not to stop eating meat and cheese, but to eat more fruits and vegetables instead. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about the basics of a healthy, balanced diet. For online information on nutrition, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/nutrients.html.

Reference:

Sellmeyer DE, Stone KL, Sebastian A, et al. A high ratio of dietary animal to vegetable protein increases the rate of bone loss and the risk of fracture in postmenopausal women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001:73, pp. 118-122.


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