Osteoporosis is a condition, in which our bones become thinner, less dense, and can fracture easily. In osteopenia, the protein and mineral content of bone tissue is reduced, but less severely than in osteoporosis.
You may ask yourself, how menopause is related to osteopenia or osteoporosis. Well, the reason is the drop in estrogen levels that occurs around the time of menopause. There is an estimation that women lose up to 10% of their bone mass during the first years after menopause.
Actually, women reach peak bone mass around the age of 25 to 30 years, when the skeleton has stopped growing and bones are at their strongest and thickest. If your bone mass before menopause is less than ideal, any bone loss that occurs around menopause may result in osteoporosis. This is why it is so important, to start doing a variety of regular exercise in younger years.
Usually we are told to increase our intake of calcium and vitamin D, in order to slow down the deterioration of our bone density. An excess of calcium, however, may obstruct the walls of our blood vessels, our muscles and the valves of the heart, which then can result in cardiovascular disease. However, if you ingest enough vitamin C (bone mineralization and bone formation, synthesize of collagen), D (bone mineralization) and K2 (cardiovascular health and bone restauration), your body will take care that the calcium goes to your bones where it belongs!
How much vitamin C do I need?
You need 2000 – 5000 mg per day of vitamin C (in form of sodium ascorbate, liposomal vitamin C, ascorbic acid, Ester-C)*
How can I get enough vitamin D?
Your body can produce vitamin D through the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Unfortunately, we rarely get enough vitamin D – at least in the spring, autumn and winter months.
If you expose your body to sunlight (without sunscreen) for about twenty to thirty minutes, three to five times per week during the early morning or in the late afternoon, during four to five months a year, this should be enough to keep your bone mass. If possible, full body exposure, ladies!
If you don´t get enough sunlight, you must try to get enough vitamin D through your diet.
Good sources of vitamin D are liver, cod liver oil and egg yolks.
If you need to take a vitamin D supplement, you should take 2,000 – 10,000IU per day, preferably during meals that contain some fat, to ensure proper absorption.
How can I get enough vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 can be found in meat, fermented foods, eggs, cheese and other dairy products, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chickpeas, kale and seeds.
If you need a supplement, you should take 180mcg per day (Menaquinone-7 or MK7)
There are many triggers, responsible for weakening our bones by demineralization, such as:
- Lack of activity
- Debilitated immune system
- A diet rich in acid foods
- A diet poor in nutrients
- Intake of steroid drugs
- Hormonal imbalance
On the other hand, we still have the option to turn the wheel around and to stimulate bone formation:
- Regular exercise (weightlifting exercise)
- Vitamin D
- Nutrient-rich-diet (green leaves….)
- Spend time in nature and get enough sunlight
- Cut back or eliminate alcohol and caffeine
- Quit smoking
In her book “The Wisdom of Menopause”, American author Christine Northrup offers a daily supplement program to avoid or combat osteoporosis or osteopenia. She even recommends these daily supplements on top of a healthy, balanced diet.
- 400 – 1.000 mg Manganese
- 500 – 1.200mg Calcium
- 2,000 – 10,000 IU Vitamin D
- 1,000 – 5,000mg Vitamin C
- 2 – 9mg Boron
- 6-50mg Zinc
- 1-15 mg Manganese
- 1-2mg Copper
- 0-180mcg Vitamin K2
- 60 – 70 mg Isoflavones
- Drink Green Tea (phytohormones & Antioxidants)
- Exercise minimum 3 times a week (Pilates, Yoga…)