The Dangers of Sugar and Bone Health
The science linking sugar consumption to a decrease in bone quantity and density is clear.
Sugar causes deterioration of our bones and current statistics confirm this.
Approximately, 25% of all men and 50% of women over the age of 50 years, will experience at least one osteoporosis-related fracture over the course of their life. These statistics are on the rise and place a huge burden on individuals who will experience pain, compromised mobility, loss of income/employment, and potentially death.
How exactly does sugar consumption weaken bones?
First, it is highly acidic and devoid of its own mineral matrix and upon consumption requires the body to leach minerals from bones to buffer the PH of our bloodstream. Instead of being replaced upon use calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium are excreted through the urine. Over time our bones become deficient in these essential minerals and become weak, brittle, and prone to fractures.
Second, sugar interferes with the activation of D3 and the intestinal absorption of calcium, both of which are needed to build and maintain strong bones.
Third, sugar decreases the formation of dentin, reduces osteoblast proliferation, and increases osteoclast formation.
Sugar is the real villain in the osteoporosis crisis.
And to think we are told to consume dairy products (most of which we eat sweetened) for healthy bones. Unfortunately, the calcium in ice cream, flavored yogurt, milkshakes, etc cannot undo the damage sugar does.
While the science is complex, the solution is simple.
First, stop eating sugar. Second, eat whole foods and exercise.
The sooner you start, the better.
Children and young adults, in particular, need to be protected from sugar’s assault on bones. While they are growing they need to minimize sugar consumption and get adequate nutrition to build bones that will last a lifetime.
Want to know what is sad? Science has known about sugar’s ill effects on bone health for over 100 years. In fact, in the early 1900’s German Physiologist, Professor Gustav von Bunge (1844-1920), proved sugar to be a “calcium thief”. And between 1920-1930, Japanese scientist Awasi Katase and 40 colleagues conducted research on the impact of sugar on bone health in controlled animal studies and concluded: “The more sugar the animals consumed, the weaker and more calcium depleted their bone mass became… their bones became so weak… they could be cut with a kitchen knife.”
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