Ever wonder if collagen can be a natural treatment for osteoporosis to keep your bones young? We have the answer.
Osteoporosis affects many seniors. It may even affect you, but you may not realize that you have it. It makes your bones more susceptible to fractures and breaks even from very low impact exercises. Osteoporosis is also often the cause of nagging joint and bone pain. You want to feel free, not trapped, by your own body.
But you don’t have to suffer from osteoporosis. There are natural ways to treat your osteoporosis or ensure that you keep your bones strong without having to take 10 pills a day. A healthy diet of collagen-producing foods, light exercise, and maybe a collagen supplement could be all that you need.
Here’s how collagen can be a natural treatment for osteoporosis to keep your bones young:
- Osteoporosis is a fairly common health condition
- Osteoporosis is caused by the loss of bone cells that contain calcium and collagen
- Collagen makes up 1/3 of your bone’s composition
- Collagen is an elastic material that absorbs the shock that is placed on your bones daily
- Without enough collagen, your bones become brittle
Signs of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is common amongst seniors. But, the signs are not always immediately apparent. Take notice of the signs in your body to see if osteoporosis could be affecting you. Being proactive and taking charge of your health will help you live the kind of life you want throughout your senior years.
Here’s a list of three signs of osteoporosis:
A broken bone from a car crash, major bicycle accident, or a horrible sport’s injury is understandable. Broken bones do happen, but they shouldn’t happen over tiny incidents.
Low-energy fractures are a major indicator of osteoporosis. Research suggests that every woman between the ages of 55 and 75 with a low-energy fracture should be investigated for osteoporosis. Vertebral fractures are the strongest indicator of low bone mineral density.
If you tripped and fell, you shouldn’t have a broken bone. Maybe you scraped your skin or bruised your knee, but you shouldn’t break a bone.
Bone or Joint Pain
Though bone and joint pain can be the result of several other issues, bone and joint pain are often a result of osteoporosis.
When your bones are brittle, they can’t support the weight of your body. For this reason, injuries happen easily and your body may start to ache. Especially on those cold, rainy days.
Have you ever noticed that as people get older, their height begins to decrease? As a young man, someone could have been 6’2”. But once they are in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, their height drops to 5’11”.
Compression fractures of the spine often happen as you age. You may have thought you strained your back. But sometimes that pain can actually be from a fracture. Once multiple injuries over several vertebrae occur, your spine may curve, and you may lose height.
One study found that height loss is an important clue in detecting osteoporosis of the hip. Experts believe that evaluation of height loss should be part of a routine check in an outpatient setting.
Osteoporosis affects one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50. They often experience an osteoporosis-related fracture during this time as well.
Bones are living. Their makeup changes over the course of your lifetime. They are continually tearing down cells and rebuilding those cells. But as you age, cells are lost faster than your body can build them.
The loss of these cells is what reduces your bone density and makes your bones more susceptible to fracture.
Throughout your life, your body breaks down bone, but as you get older your body starts to break bone down faster than it’s able to replace it. Unfortunately, this is why age is such a big risk factor for osteoporosis. Other risk factors of osteoporosis include:
- Physical inactivity
- Poor nutrition
- Being female
Menopause is another primary risk factor for osteoporosis. Menopause tends to occur in women around the ages of 45 to 55. The changes in hormone levels often result in a woman’s body losing bone even more quickly. Research shows that postmenopausal women are susceptible to osteoporosis as it so closely linked to an estrogen deficiency. The sudden drop in estrogen levels can lead to more bone resorption than formation, leading to osteoporosis.
While some causes or risk factors for osteoporosis are unavoidable like aging and genetic factors, you can actively help prevent osteoporosis with things like healthy nutrition and exercise. You’ve probably heard that you need to drink more milk and have more calcium in your diet to keep your bones strong. But your bones are made up of more than just calcium. Collagen is the "scaffolding" that keeps your bones strong and allows them to absorb the shock of impact.
Natural Treatment of Osteoporosis
Typically, when you have osteoporosis, your doctor will recommend that you take several pills that are supposed to lessen the pain you feel on a day to day basis.
Not only is it annoying to try to keep up with all the pills you need to take daily just to feel normal, but these pills also have numerous side effects. I’m sure if you’ve ever turned on the TV before, you’ve seen an ad for a medication that’s supposed to fix all your problems.
The advertisement says that the medication will fix what is hurting you, but instead could potentially cause at least 10 other health problems. That doesn’t make you feel good about taking the medications that are supposed to help you.
You can’t alter one thing and expect yourself to heal. Health doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
There’s another alternative to these pills. Several scientific studies have shown collagen to be an effective all natural treatment of osteoporosis. Plus, it doesn’t have any side effects. Combined with light exercise and a healthy diet, collagen is effective at strengthening your bones.
What is Collagen?
Collagen used to just be known for making your skin look younger. Collagen is a complex long-chain protein made up of 19 different amino acids. These properties make skin look and feel more elastic. It does the same things for your bones.
As you age, your bones become more brittle and can break easily. A little stumble or fall can break bones. You can even end up having to get a major surgery because you tripped.
That’s because your collagen stores progressively decrease as you age. At age 35, the production of collagen begins to slow. Then, at 40, your collagen levels are depleted faster than your body can replace them.
By age 60, over half of your collagen stores have disappeared. But, does collagen really help your bone density and improve your bone health?
The answer is yes. Collagen acts like a glue for your entire body. It supports the structure of your tendons, skin, joints, muscles, intestinal barrier, and bones. The word collagen actually translates to glue-producing from the Greek work “kòlla” and the French suffix “-gene.”
Collagen for Healthy Bones
That elastic quality is what keeps your bones from breaking. Collagen is like a shock absorber. When you jump and land on your feet, you’re putting your skeleton under 10 times the stress of your body weight.
The spongy matrix of collagen fibers is critical for absorbing the compression factors of everyday life. When you have healthy bones, the composition of your bones is stronger than reinforced concrete.
Collagen is actually even more important for healthy bones than calcium. Collagen makes up a third of your bone structure.
Similar to suspension cables on a bridge that sway to keep the structure of the bridge intact, collagen fibrils in your bones are shaped like strings. They basically reduce the pressure applied to the bone as a whole.
This effect is why collagen is so important for preventing brittle bones.
A recent study that looked at the effects of taking collagen peptides over the course of 12 months found that bone mass density increased significantly in postmenopausal women. The collagen peptides helped with bone formation and reduced the rate of bone degradation.
Another study saw that just 10g of collagen hydrolysate a day had a therapeutic effect and reduced the pain levels of those with osteoporosis. There also weren’t any long-term ill side effects. So, collagen has a high level of safety when used for the treatment of osteoporosis.
How to Increase Bone Density
Foods for Bone Health
Coconut Oil for Absorption of Collagen
Coconut is often considered a superfood by many. This oil is great at promoting strong, healthy bones because of its antioxidant properties. This oil actually improves the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and collagen.
Researchers examined the effects of virgin coconut oil on bone loss. They found that virgin coconut oil protects bones against oxidation and bone loss, and helps to build bones.
Related: 15 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
You can supplement with coconut oil easily by swapping out the typical cooking oil that you use with coconut oil. Some people even choose to stir a spoonful of coconut oil into their coffee.
2. Dark Green Vegetables
Vegetables that are dark green are usually high in calcium. These foods include collard greens, kale, turnip greens, spinach, and cabbage.
Research shows that eating lots of green vegetables is beneficial for children and adults. Studies have found that a high intake of green and yellow vegetables is linked to increased bone mineralization and bone maintenance in young adults.
One three-month study found that women who consumed more than nine servings of green veg or other high-antioxidant plants experienced a decrease in bone turnover.
The best way to put these in your diet is by making a giant salad that you can eat for lunch or dinner. But if you hate the taste of dark green leafy vegetables. You can put these veggies in a smoothie with some fruit. The fruit will mask the taste of the greens, but you will still be getting them in your diet.
Related: Delicious Green Smoothie Recipes to Boost Your Health
Vitamin C Rich Foods For Collagen Production
Vitamin C rich foods are essential for the production of collagen. Without enough vegetables and fruits in your diet, your body can’t produce collagen. Even if you were to eat collagen, your body wouldn’t accept the collagen if you didn’t have enough vitamin C in your diet.
Think about how scurvy used to affect seafarers during the 1500s to 1800s. They ate meat during their long voyages, but they didn’t eat any fruits or vegetables. This deficiency in vitamin C is what made them sick with scurvy.
They developed symptoms directly related to not having enough collagen. These symptoms include loss of teeth, bleeding gums, thinning hair, skin rashes, and muscle weakness. Collagen cannot survive if you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.
Here is a short list of fruits and vegetables that contain high levels of vitamin C:
- Brussels sprouts
- Bell peppers
Exercise Often to Manage Osteoporosis
You need to keep your body active even as you get older. You don’t typically have the same amount of energy when you’re aged as when you were a teenager, but you can’t give up on exercise.
Exercise is so important for keeping your body young. You need to keep your muscles strong, so they can support your bones. Doing certain exercises such as strength-training can be very beneficial for preventing bone loss, especially in older adults.
Studies in older men and women have found that performing weight-bearing exercises resulted in increases in bone mineral density, bone size, and bone strength. Scientists also found that regular exercise helps to reduce markers of inflammation and bone turnover. Bone turnover is a lifelong process where old bone tissue is removed and replaced with new bone tissue.
You can do all sorts of low impact exercise so that you stay active without putting too much pressure on your joints and bones.
Some of these activities include:
- Tai Chi
Take a Collagen Supplement
Taking a collagen supplement or a collagen peptide builder can really improve the strength of your bones. Sunwarrior’s Collagen Peptide Building Powder has all the ingredients your body need to build more collagen and combat the signs of aging.
This supplement has vitamin C, sea buckthorn oil, rice peptides, hyaluronic acid, tremella mushrooms, biotin, trace minerals, spirulina, and green leafy vegetables that allow your body to heal itself.
Sunwarrior’s collagen building powder is unlike other collagen supplements that typically don’t come from plant-based sources. Those collagen powders can cause food sensitivities and even may have antibiotics, insecticides, lead, and parabens.
Sunwarrior wanted to create products that they felt were safe for themselves and their family to use. We source from the finest plant-based ingredients.
This is how you can be certain that Sunwarrior products are clean, good for you, and don’t contain any fillers. Our mission is to nourish and transform the planet.
There is so much more to a holistic lifestyle than getting enough collagen to keep your bones healthy. When you start your journey to healthier living, there seems to be so much information to weed through. It can be confusing and difficult to determine what you should focus on first.
That’s why it’s important to take a nutrition first approach to your health and take your health back into your hands. A good diet along with light exercise can help prevent and manage osteoporosis. Look into getting plenty of collagen rich foods and continue to move your body. We are here to support you along the way.
- Collagen for Healthy Joints, Tendons and Ligaments
- How To Build your Collagen When You Are Plant-Based
- Plant-Based Collagen Builder Vs Animal-Based Collagen Supplements: Which Is Best For You?
- How to Heal a Leaky Gut & Improve Digestion with Collagen
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 19, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Article was very helpful. Thanks!