Following up from my post on bones and bone loss, I was looking for an appropriate book for my parents so that they could better understand what was going on. I did not really find one as they are in England and the books I considered were for an American audience.
In my local library, I found:
- Mayo Clinic on Osteoporosis
- Gillian Sanson: The Myth of Osteoporosis
- Jan Madden: Yoga Builds Bones
The last book was probably the least helpful for my parents as they would be unable to do any of the recommended exercises in the book. In fact, unless you are an experienced yogi or are working with a yoga teacher, the exercises in this book would be challenging.
Sanson’s book was all right. She does a good job explaining the science of osteoporosis so that it is understandable for a layperson. Unfortunately, she then launches into quackery solutions, like this on diet:
…it is important to eat foods that are alkaline. Increasing your intake of alkaline-producing foods – leafy greens, sea vegetables, nonstarchy vegetables, nuts and seeds – will create a bone-nutrient rich, pH balancing diet that reduces calcium excretion and bone loss.
She then illogically goes on to say:
An investigation of the diets of elderly men and women in Framingham, MA, found that people who ate more fruits and vegetables rich in potassium and magnesium had less bone mass loss in the hip and forearm than those elderly people who ate less of these foods. A follow-up study also found that high fruit and vegetable intake appears to be protective in men, and a high candy consumption is associated with low bone mass in both men and women
These statements are contradictory as fruits, especially, are probably some of the more acid foods. Also it does not really matter about the pH of the food you consume as the stomach produces gastric juice which has a very low pH, probably around pH 1.0. Thus, unless you have a pre-existing medical condition or you are taking medicines which mean that your gastric juice pH is high, it unlikely that the pH of the food you eat has any effect at all on your body’s pH.
The final book by the Mayo Clinic was excellent. Each chapter had been peer-reviewed and it showed. The science was solid and understandable. It explains the latest medicine. It gives simple exercise that Mum might be able to carry out. The book has a chapter on how to recover from a fracture. If my parents lived in the US, this is the book I would purchase for them. I might still get it for them – they can just ignore the US bias.