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Building Bone Vitality: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis--Without Dairy Foods, Calcium, Estrogen, or Drugs Paperback – May 22, 2009
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About the Author
Michael Castleman has been called “one of nation’s top health writers” by Library Journal. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Healing Herbs and Before You Call the Doctor, and his science journalism has been nominated twice for the National Magazine Awards.
Top Customer Reviews
The second part of the program to prevent or treat osteoporosis is through weight bearing exercise. They also show the abundance of research that backs this up as an effective method.
A highlight of the book is the discussion about the various types of research that scientists perform with explanations as to the power and strength of each type of research. This includes such research as retrospective and cross-section trials, and prospective studies; bone density studies; meta-analysis, etc.
The book's prescription for bone health is to eat a low-acid diet, one that reduces intake of animal protein while increasing intake of fruits and vegetables. And they suggest simple methods and recipes for how to do this without drastic changes for most people. If you need another reason to reduce or stop eating meat, they include a summary of "Livestock's Long Shadow" to show the huge negative impact on the planet of raising animals for food. It is eye-opening.
Included are tips regarding proper weight-bearing exercise to maximize the skeletal benefit. In addition to the weight-bearing effect of exercise on the bone itself, they point out that it increases muscle strength thereby reducing the risk of a fracture-producing fall.
There is a discussion on the contribution to bone health of many other vitamins and minerals other than calcium and vitamin D which explains how these are a natural by-product of a diet high in fruits and vegetables. No need for supplements other than possibly vitamin B12 for strict vegans.
Although the book shows a preponderance of the research backs the positions the authors recommend, they admit we don't have all the answers yet. There is need for strong clinical research that shows in humans that the low-acid diet and weight-bearing exercise reduce or eliminate loss of bone mineral density, and preferably also increase it. And, most importantly, that the approach outlined in the book also decreases fractures. Ideally doing so equally or better than FDA-approved medications which are expensive and have side effects, some of which are serious.
The book is important and I'd recommend it to anyone with osteoporosis, or who wants to avoid getting it, by using a simple dietary and exercise approach that is based upon scientific research. That research is listed topic-by-topic for you to read yourself if you doubt the authors' conclusions.
Be sure to read Chapter 9, Bricks and Mortar, with care. Then look at the nutrient chart at [...] for a more comprehensive chart of nutrients, with recommended amounts. (Note: this is the web site for Susan E. Brown's older but better written and worthwhile book, Better Bones, Better Body : Beyond Estrogen and Calcium. Also worthwhile: the chapter on osteoporosis in Food and Nutrients in Disease Management.
What's wrong with this book? It's so repetitive that it can be discouraging: I suspect that many readers give up before they get to the essential points about nutrients, exercise, etc. It makes the main point about low-acid diet over and over and over again. It is not as comprehensive as it could and should be about nutritional variety and about exercise. It almost ridicules osteoporosis medications and calcium supplements in the earlier chapters, possibly leading some people to give them up, then toward the end admits that they may help. It does not mention the importance of B12 until late in the book, and doesn't mention vegans' possible iron deficiency. It ignores sugar in all of its charts and discussion.
What's right: a thorough look at research; a great listing of sources; enthusiasm for the important main point.
I hope that a second edition may remedy the faults and give all of us the resource we should have about osteoporosis.