Bone density

Any queries about vegan diet, nutrition, dieting, bulking and healthy eating in general. Diets and food from vegan perspective.

Moderators: hardcore iv, fredrikw, JP, stateofflux, bronco

Bone density

Postby PeeJay » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:06 pm

Hi all, this is my first post on here after introducing myself in the new member section.

I'm currenly layed up after breaking the neck of my femur 7 weeks ago after slipping on black ice while walking. Happened so quick, it was cold -5ish but dry so wasn't expecting any ice, landed like a sack of spuds on my left hip, don't think I even had time to get my hands out my pockets to break the fall!. It was a heavy fall, but I cant believe I've broken it - I'm only 42!.

I'm now the proud owner of a Dynamic Hip Screw expertly installed by the amazing Docs at the Derby Royal Hospital, was operated on the same day and home 2 days later. My recovery is going well and I'm all set to get back cycling again in about 8 weeks time, walking without crutches may take a little longer, but I should make a full recovery.

The main reason for my post is to talk about bone density and what can be done to improve it. Because I broke my hip while so young (42 is young for falls from a standing height) the docs sent me for a bone density (DEXA) scan on my hips and lower spine. The results from this shows that I have Osteopenia.

I haven't yet been to see the bone specialists yet, but I'm sure they're gonna want to talk to me about my diet and I'm sure there's gonna be eyebrows raised when I tell them I'm vegan. I've always thought I ate well as far as bone health goes, I eat plenty of calcium rich foods, eg broccoli, kale, oranges, almonds and I take a Solgar vm75 multi vit which has 400UI of vit D in it. I also try and get out in the sun as much as possible - not that easy in the UK! and I don't drink much alcohol or coffee, which apparently leeches calcium from the body.

I don't do a lot of weight bearing exercise and have an office job, my main sport is cycling & I don't lift weights, but I do walk a lot, and run maybe 1-2 times a week. So maybe I could improve here, but I'm sure I do lots more than sedentary people?

I guess I'm just wanting some opinions about what everyone thinks about calcium and its absorbtion, I've read lots on the net, and I've seen a Harvard study ( http://pubget.com/paper/3794834/Calcium ... teoporosis ) showing a plot of various countries calcium consumption and amount of hip fractures, the countries with the highest hip fracture rate also have the highest calcium consumption (presumably from cows milk). So maybe it's not as simple as just calcium consumption?

There's also the role of vit K2, am I right in saying that while vit D increases calcium absorbtion it's vit K2 that shunts this into the skeleton and stops calcium build ups in the arteries? I've read that K2 MK4 is converted from regular vit K, but K2 MK7 comes from food, vegan sources apparently are sauerkraut and natto, maybe I should be starting to eat these, or take a supplement?

Anyway, sorry for rambling on for so long,

any thoughts?
PeeJay
New Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:12 am
Location: Derby UK

Re: Bone density

Postby JP » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:18 pm

i cant comment much on the vit intake side of things, but you might be pleasantly suprised about there not being so much prejudice against vegan diet among bone specialists as there used to be. I have heard a few anecdotal stories of vegans being told that its all ok, and that vegans often have healthy bone density due to the acidity of animal protein leeching calcium off the diet, or something like that.

but yes, you are correct about the calcium not being the only factor in this story, and your overall intake of vit d and others are important too. But others will know more about this :)

exercise helps bone density too :)
User avatar
JP
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19190
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:14 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Bone density

Postby XindestructibleX » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:26 pm

[quote="JP"]vegans often have healthy bone density due to the acidity of animal protein leeching calcium off the diet, or something like that.

This is how I´ve understood it too, something like that.

Sorry about your accident, wish you good healing and that you´ll bounce right back.

Also check out
http://www.vegsource.com/news/2011/05/s ... cture.html
INDESTRUCTIBLE
XindestructibleX
Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:26 pm
Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Re: Bone density

Postby Pottsy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:41 pm

Don't know a lot on the subject but I know that 400ui of vitamin d is too little to have much effect. A good amount to take would be 4000-5000ui a day in winter but it could be a lot more if you are deficient. You can get this in drop format for the best value for money. If it is a case of you not absorbing calcium due to a lack of vitamin d then this is the first thing I'd start with. It may even be worth getting you're blood checked for vit d levels. There is alot of good info here about it http://www.mercola.com/article/vitamin-d-resources.htm
You might be doing this already but some kind of resistance training (bodyweight, isometrics, yoga etc)would help to build bone density.
Pottsy
New Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:13 pm

Re: Bone density

Postby baldy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:57 pm

[quote="PeeJay"]
I haven't yet been to see the bone specialists yet, but I'm sure they're gonna want to talk to me about my diet and I'm sure there's gonna be eyebrows raised when I tell them I'm vegan.

Sounds like you have had a rough time, good that your already on the mend and starting to exercise.
I would not be so quick to assume it is a diet related thing, specifically a vegan issue. Wait to see what the bone specialists says and go from there.

On side note I read something about cycling having no effect on bone density, rowing only improving density around hip area and of course weight lifting giving an overall increase. The people in the study where long term in the specific sport though and I cant find a link to the study, so not really any use. :)
"A wise man once said, "It's easier to buy smaller clothes, than to put on 5kg." ... Buzz
User avatar
baldy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7374
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 10:23 am
Location: St Albans UK

Re: Bone density

Postby ninearms » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:52 pm

[quote="baldy"]On side note I read something about cycling having no effect on bone density, rowing only improving density around hip area and of course weight lifting giving an overall increase. The people in the study where long term in the specific sport though and I cant find a link to the study, so not really any use. :)


It's mentioned in one of Brian's newsletters if you've still got it. Can't remember which one but it was while I was still in Guildford so probably late 2011.
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end. Then stop.”
User avatar
ninearms
Perked Member
 
Posts: 6045
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: Leicester, UK
Top

Re: Bone density

Postby kallefs » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:07 pm

From what I understand impact sport help with bone density so running would help while road cycling would not and mtb somewhat. Very short version and I do not even know if it is correct so....
Dum di dum!
User avatar
kallefs
Active Member
 
Posts: 1574
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Re: Bone density

Postby Lordmuppet » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:35 pm

[quote="XindestructibleX"][quote="JP"]vegans often have healthy bone density due to the acidity of animal protein leeching calcium off the diet, or something like that.

This is how I´ve understood it too, something like that.

Sorry about your accident, wish you good healing and that you´ll bounce right back.

Also check out
http://www.vegsource.com/news/2011/05/s ... cture.html


Hmmm myself i dunno. Jack Norris has actually challenged (rejected i think) the popular 'animal protein acid and calcium leaching' thing

http://jacknorrisrd.com/?p=2136

bunch of other good articles on vegans and bones here

http://jacknorrisrd.com/?cat=29

also where is Beforewisdom? I thought linking to Norris was his job? :wink:
JS - They think it will open the door to folk like LordMuppet campaigning for a threeway?
User avatar
Lordmuppet
Muppet Moderator
 
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:19 pm
Top

Re: Bone density

Postby Linnéa76 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:44 pm

Hi PeeJay! Your current diet seems to be ok in terms of bone density, but if it was insufficient when you
were younger and you've never done any sports that put a load on the skeleton, chances are your bones
never grew very dense to begin with. As you may know, soft drinks aren't good for bone health either.
So like you've suggested, maybe the way you exercise is where there's room for improvement. The general
rule is, the heavier the load on the skeleton, the better for bone density. So cycling is pretty useless
in that respect, walking and running helps somewhat, while weight lifting and jumping (e g tennis) would be optimal.
-Talk is cheap-
User avatar
Linnéa76
Moderator
 
Posts: 1885
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:34 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Bone density

Postby PeeJay » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:36 am

Thanks ever so much for all your replies.

Good to hear that I might not be in for a rough ride from the bone specialist when I tell him/her that I'm vegan. It'll be interesting to hear what they think - I'll report back. It might be a while, I've not even got the appointment yet.

I've been a bit sceptical on the acid alkaline balance thing and its effect on bone density, I only seem to read about it on raw food websites and similar and it doesn't seem to have gained much traction with the mainstream docs.

As you can imagine, it was really disappointing to learn about my Osteopenia, and breaking a hip is a tough way to find out! I've always thought about what I eat, never eaten junk or processed food and always tried to do the right thing for my health. And I've been proud to be vegan and (what I thought) was healthy, this has kicked me in the teeth a bit. I've even kept quiet about the bone density results with my cycling mates because I don't want them to jump to the conclusion that it's my diet, because it might not be.

While my cycling is no good as a weight bearing exercise, I still get a fair bit of other exercise, probably more than the general population (and most my age don't have bone problems). But there's definitely improvements to be made once I'm up and about. In the meantime, I'll get a stronger vit D supplement and also look into K2 some more.

I'm also going to have to change my cycling behaviour now that I know I'm susceptible to bone fracture. No more mass start road races or cyclo cross (not that I do much of these now anyway) & might have to rethink the club chaingang training rides too, just to reduce the chances of crashing. And as for risking riding to work on an icy morning - no chance!
PeeJay
New Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:12 am
Location: Derby UK

Re: Bone density

Postby JS » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:22 pm

Oo not good PeeJay hope your fighting fit again soon.

I read somewhere that after age 30 all you can do is maintain the bone density you have built up over the years. I have very small bones so a prime candidate for osteo issues as my bones aren't big. I thought Mg and boron also played an important role in Ca absorption/absorbtion?

Anyway I don't think the doc should give you a hard time on the vegan side. I've heard that Ga inatke is usually higher in vegans too :)

Bets of luck.
User avatar
JS
Active Member
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:07 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Bone density

Postby muchluv » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:47 pm

Hi PeeJay,

I'm sorry to hear you are going through this :(. I had osteoporosis as as a child, so I can empathise with you. It can make you feel very vulnerable. If you ever want to chat about it feel free to PM me. :).

One imporant thing is: how long have you been a vegan for?
A few points I mused on. The first could be quite irrelevant (I apologise). As you said, what you had was a heavy fall and you were not even able to break it. If you slipped then you came down fast and that combined with your weight could have made for some high impact. Have you ever watched those scateboarding videos where people injure themselves? There's one called Scarred that was on MTV, and I remember seeing a video of a guy coming off his board, didn't look like he came off that hard neccesaily, but he obviously did as he planted his hand down to protect his fall and snapped his forearm in half. That has to be a difficult thing to do, physically speaking. So I don't know.

I've never heard of the Vit K2 thing. That is something I would like into. People are right in saying though, that there are a whole cocktail of vitamins and minerals that play a part in bone health. I think the thing with vegan calcium rich food is, that you need to eat a whole lot of it. The RDA in the UK is 800mg, in the USA it's 1000mg. Taking one of the highest calcium rich foods - collard greens, contains 266mg of calcium in 190g. So, to get just shy of the 800mg target, you would need to eat 570g of collard greens. That's not easy!. And as I said, collard greens is the highest. Others like kale are quite a lot lower. You mentioned oranges which are a good one. I'm not sure of the type matters - I've heard Navel oranges have about 50mg of calcium in each one. Whether other types vary, I don't know. A couple or oranges are an easy and tasty way to get 100mg. Another good source is Blackstrap Molasses (has to be blackstrap). Which also holds a lot of other minerals. way of taking it is adding a teaspoon to warm water and drinking it like that. Two teaspoons of blackstrap has 117mg of calcium in it. I'm using WHFOODS for my information here, something about that last one is making me think I heard lower elsewhere, but I dunno.

Jack Norris, the dietician referenced earlier always (I think another poster, BeforeWisdom, said this) recommends vegans to take a calcium supplement.

Of course then you have added calcium in soy milk etc :).

I think a lot of people don't eat as much calcium as they should. One of the benefits of being vegan, for me, has been that I've become much more aware to what the body needs in intakes etc. Whereas I think a lot of people have a bit of milk, a few vegetables and think they are okay. I checked once and something like, a glass worth of milk, (say, on cereal at breakfast), a serving of cheese (say in a sandwich at lunch) and a yoghurt (after dinner) still didn't make up to the 800mg. Think it was like 660. So even someone with high dairy intakes may not reach the required amount.

I have heard too, that peak bone density is reached at an earlier stage, as has been said. Also what others have said about weightbearing activity.

Anyway have been yammering on enough :P. I will stop now.

But JS is there any reason you think small bones makes you a prime candidate for osteo issues? When people talk of thinning bones they mean the honeycomb structure rather than the bones actually narrowing.
Although the effeminate nature of my username may suggest otherwise, my gender actually falls into the male category.
muchluv
The VF YouTube Guvnor
 
Posts: 528
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Bone density

Postby PeeJay » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:42 pm

Hi muchluv, thanks for your thoughts. To answer your question I've been strict vegan for about 5 years, but veggie all my adult life, although this was really a slow move towards veganism, eating less and less dairy during that time.

Yeah, it was a heavy fall & maybe someone with 'good' bone density could have broken their hip in such a fall. And the surgeon who operated said my bone seemed fine when he was drilling into it. It's the results from the DEXA scan that indicated that i'd got a problem. I'm sure I'll find out much more when I get my referral to the bone specialists.

In the meantime, I've just ordered some Vitashine vit D3 5000UI (vegan friendly) and some Veganicity vit K2. Because, living in the middle of the UK, I'm quite likely to be vitD deficient - especially after the summer we've just had!

I'm now thinking I might get a calcium supplement too.
PeeJay
New Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:12 am
Location: Derby UK

Re: Bone density

Postby JS » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:16 am

"But JS is there any reason you think small bones makes you a prime candidate for osteo issues? When people talk of thinning bones they mean the honeycomb structure rather than the bones actually narrowing."

Yeah I do remember reading somewhere that small bones and low weight are thought to increase the risk...I guess it's because the honeycomb area in my bones will be pretty minimal as there's not much bone area present? It's one of those things I have read ages ago and it's stuck in my head! :)
User avatar
JS
Active Member
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:07 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Bone density

Postby Lordmuppet » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:18 pm

[quote="PeeJay"]Hi muchluv, thanks for your thoughts. To answer your question I've been strict vegan for about 5 years, but veggie all my adult life, although this was really a slow move towards veganism, eating less and less dairy during that time.

Yeah, it was a heavy fall & maybe someone with 'good' bone density could have broken their hip in such a fall. And the surgeon who operated said my bone seemed fine when he was drilling into it. It's the results from the DEXA scan that indicated that i'd got a problem. I'm sure I'll find out much more when I get my referral to the bone specialists.

In the meantime, I've just ordered some Vitashine vit D3 5000UI (vegan friendly) and some Veganicity vit K2. Because, living in the middle of the UK, I'm quite likely to be vitD deficient - especially after the summer we've just had!

I'm now thinking I might get a calcium supplement too.


Oh and fyi (in case you didn't know). Not all tofu is a good source of calcium. You want the stuff prepared with calcium sulfate not the stuff prepared only with nigari (though this does taste better imo!).
JS - They think it will open the door to folk like LordMuppet campaigning for a threeway?
User avatar
Lordmuppet
Muppet Moderator
 
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:19 pm
Top

Next

Return to Vegan Diets, Nutrition and Healthy Eating

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests