Here’s one for your “hmmm, now isn’t that interesting” file. A few years ago, researchers in Canada determined that “heart disease/failure is associated with a 30 percent increase in major [bone] fractures.”*
Sumit Majumdar, MD, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and lead author of the study, said, “Our study demonstrates for the first time that heart failure and thinning of bones go hand in hand.”
The study seems to indicate that heart disease comes first, which becomes a risk factor for bone fractures — but what if it’s the other way around?
In other words, what if the slow loss of bone mass triggers heart disease instead of heart disease causing weak bones?
If that’s the case, there may be a simple answer to avoiding both problems.
The so-called “Standard American Diet” that the average person eats — meat, dairy, refined sugar, and processed foods — is acid-forming. This acid creates a problem for the human body, which is slightly alkaline (the opposite of acid on the acid/alkaline pH scale).
The problem arises because eating acid-forming food makes the body fight to maintain its alkalinity; this fight creates cellular stress that, left unchecked, can lead to cellular malfunction, which manifests as disease.
In its fight to neutralize acid (and the disease threat), the body must find something alkaline within itself to “put out the fire.”
The calcium in bones is the most abundant source of alkalinity in the body. So, when presented with continual acidity through improper diet, the body neutralizes the threat by robbing calcium from its own bones, making the bones weaker.
Worse yet, as the body moves calcium out of the bones and into the bloodstream, excess amounts can coat the insides of arteries, causing atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease.
Using this scenario, it’s not difficult to see how an acid-forming diet can first cause weak bones, followed by heart disease.
I welcomed New York Times best-selling author Dr. Michael Gregor to “The Health Awakening Show” to talk about heart health and a whole foods, plant-based diet on AvivTV.com.