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Are you suffering from back pain? Are your teeth becoming loose? Have you noticed a loss of height or an upper back hump? Do you suffer from vertebral collapse or sciatica pains? These could all be warning signs of silent bone loss or osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease that thins and weakens the bones to the point where they can easily fracture or break. It is referred to as the silent thief because bone loss can occur slowly for many years without symptoms, until a sudden strain or pull causes a bone fracture. The good news is, you can prevent osteoporosis with holistic nutrition approach.

Approximately 1.4 million Canadians suffer with osteoporosis. It is estimated that one in four women has osteoporosis and one in eight men. It commonly affects bones in the hip, spine or wrist. Hip fracture is a dangerous result of osteoporosis. Over a quarter million hip fractures occur each year and over 50 percent will result in some form of disability. Hip fractures result in death in up to 20 percent of cases.

The Canadian guidelines recommend that adults over the age of 50 be assessed for osteoporosis and fracture risk. This includes measurement of 25 hydroxy- vitamin D levels in blood and assessment of risk factors.

Risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Family history
  • Northern European, Caucasian or Asian descent
  • Small thin body frame
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High stress lifestyle
  • High caffeine and sugar intake
  • High protein diet
  • Smoking
  • No pregnancies
  • Early menopause
  • Low stomach acid
  • Medical conditions as hyperthytoidism, celiac and Crohn’s disease, uncontrolled high blood sugar, heart disease and obesity.
  • Coticosteroid therapy
  • Depo-Provera (the birth control shot)

How to test for osteoporosis or low bone density?

A DEXA scan (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) to measure bone mineral density (BMD) is recommended if you have several of the above risk factors for osteoporosis. The results are reported as a number, which tells us how far off our BMD is from a healthy adult without osteoporosis. A result of -2.5 SD (standard deviation) or greater indicates osteoporosis. A result between -1 SD and -2.5 SD means there is some bone loss called osteopenia, which often leads to osteoporosis.

What are your bones formed of?

Your bone is a living tissue that consists of a matrix of collagen fibers, hardened with calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, boron and other trace minerals. In order to build healthy bone tissue all these minerals as well as vitamins D, K, C and B6 are required.

The balance between bone forming and bone breaking cells is regulated by the hormones estrogen, testosterone and parathyroid hormone.

After the age of 30, bone loss begins for both women and men. Many factors contribute to and accelerate bone loss including hormonal imbalance, nutrient deficiencies, lack of weight bearing activity, oxidative stress, inflammation, elevated blood sugar and the use of certain medications

How to prevent osteoporosis with holistic nutrition?

Simply boosting your calcium intake by taking the RDA of calcium daily, may not be the only answer to prevent osteoporosis. A holistic nutrition approach to prevention of osteoporosis focuses on changes to stop draining of calcium from your body as well as those that add calcium.

Excess intake of caffeine, soda, sugar, phosphorus, salt and protein as well as smoking and alcohol, medications and mal-absorption problems are all ways that calcium is drained from your body. All these are factors can interfere with calcium absorption by the body or leach calcium from your bones and increasing your demands for calcium. You can increase or decrease the amount of calcium your body requires, by making the right choices.

Top 5  nutrition tips to prevent osteoporosis from an Oakville nutritionist

1-Reduce consumption of caffeine (depletes calcium and magnesium), simple or refined sugars (depletes calcium), salt (increases calcium loss), and alcohol (can lower vitamin D metabolism).

2-Eliminate all soft drinks; they lower calcium levels and increase phosphate levels

3-Eat plenty of dark green vegetables (a good source of calcium and vitamin K). Research shows that vegetarians have higher bone density than meat eaters of the same age

4-Get regular weight bearing exercise activities as walking, hiking, stair climbing or weight training; this helps to stimulate bone building.

5-Eat calcium-rich foods including canned salmon or sardines with bones, broccoli, sesame, sunflower seeds, almonds, dark green leafy vegetables, organic cheese and yoghurt.


You can also consult with a holistic nutritionist to see if more natural or holistic nutrition approaches can be taken to reduce your risk of osteoporosis. This is critical if you have a disease condition (hyperthyroidism, celiac, Crohn’s, diabetes, heart disease, obesity) or take medications that increase risk of osteoporosis (prednisone, depo-provera, steroids, blood thinners and diuretics)

Lastly, don’t wait too far until the age of 50 to apply those tips. Building strong bones in your twenties is crucial to prevent osteoporosis in older age. You can prevent osteoporosis with holistic nutrition intervention early in life and maintain strong healthy bones throughout your life.

If you need help with your health and nutrition, CALL Healthy U Turn at 416 876 4634 to book an appointment OR Sign up for a FREE Clarity Session with holistic nutritionist, Dr Maha Nasr to discuss your health concerns and learn more about how we can help.


  • The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Sherry Torkos, BSc Phm
  • An A-Z Woman’s Guide to vibrant Health, Lorna Vanderheage, MS
Maha Nasr

Maha Nasr, MD (Egy.), PhD, C.H.N.C.-founder and owner of Healthy U Turn-is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and weight loss coach with a strong medical background. In 2016, she was nominated for the first annual holistic nutrition award – “Trail Blazer Award” – for exceptional work in the holistic nutrition industry within Canada. Maha is passionate about empowering women 40+ who struggle with resistant weight loss and underlying hormonal and/or digestive imbalances to get back in shape and reclaim their health naturally without deprivation or struggle. She strives to help them ditch the diet and embrace a natural lifestyle that allows them to stay healthy and fit for life, feel more confident about their bodies and at peace with their health. Find out more about her approach and how she can help at

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