Sugar Intake and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease of the skeletal system. Bones become porous, leaving them fragile and highly susceptible to fracture. As the world population ages it is becoming increasingly more prevalent each year. There is no cure for Osteoporosis.

There has been no single cause named, but doctors and researchers have discovered several factors that contribute to its onset. Some of these factors are uncontrollable, having to do with genetics and heredity, yet there are many factors that can be changed and have to do with lifestyle. This is why several health care professionals refer to osteoporosis as a pediatric disease with adult onset.

Refined Sugar Blues

By now most people are aware of the walloping amounts of sugar that are consumed in America. Health and Dental professionals have been putting out warnings for years about the harmful effects it has on the body, yet the average American consumes around 150 pounds of sugar every year. On average, sugar accounts for about twenty percent of the daily calorie intake.

Refined sugar contains essentially no vitamins or minerals thereby having no nutritional value. Consumption of sugar depletes overall nutrient intake, resulting in a comprehensive reduction in all vitamins and minerals in our diet of about 20 percent. These vitamins and minerals are essential to the human body for strong bones and teeth. Overall bone health is the best defense against osteoporosis.

The vitamins and minerals that are depleted from the body include Calcium, Phosphorus, Vitamins B, C, & D, Magnesium, Chromium, Zinc and many others, all of which play a significant role in maintaining healthy bones. There are many who believe that aside from Calcium, that diet has little to do with osteoporosis. There have been numerous studies, which have shown a direct link between unhealthy foods and osteoporosis.

Processed Robbery

Processed foods, sugars, and caffeine literally rob calcium from the body causing the body to become overly acidic. Almost all of the bodys calcium reserve is stored in the bones. In an attempt to balance out the acidic environment in the body caused by having a poor diet, the body begins to leach calcium from the bones.

Although it is impossible to determine the exact effect of diet on bone health, there is at inferred evidence that the typical American diet promotes the development of osteoporosis. There was one study done in which 100 grams of sugar, equivalent to about 25 teaspoons was given to healthy volunteers.

The sugar caused a significant increase in the amount of calcium that was excreted in the urine, giving evidence to the theory that sugar robs the bones of the calcium since 99 percent of the bodys calcium is stored in the bones.

When the same amount of sugar was given to people with a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones or to their relatives, the increase in calcium excretion was even greater. So people with kidney stones or their relatives are even more susceptible to the negative aspects that sugar has on the body. Therefore the extent to which dietary sugar affects calcium metabolism is in part genetically determined, just as there is a hereditary component to osteoporosis risk.