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Preventing or Reversing Osteoporosis
The following are summaries of key findings from books by Rosemary C. Fisher.   Included are recommendations to prevent or reverse osteoporosis with diet.   Her recommendations for preventing or reversing osteoporosis are the result of reviewing over 200 medical studies from the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Journal of Nutrition and other medical journals on how diet can affect a person's health and well-being as one ages.   At 79, her recommendations are also the result of her personal success with reversing osteoporosis.   For other articles on research findings by Mrs. Fisher, see Prevention of Major Medical Problems with Diet.   Books by Mrs. Fisher, which contain many recipes for health, can be ordered from her Home Page.


Vitamin D and Osteoporosis
Much is being said in the research about vitamin D. The first study I noted was done in France, by Marie C. Chapuy et al. It studied 3270 women, 69 to 106 years of age. They were living in 180 nursing homes or apartment houses. This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (1992; 327:1637-42). It was a planned study period of 18 months. Their diets were supplemented with a special calcium mixture and 800 units of vitamin D3.

I asked myself, "What is vitamin D3?" Through more research I found that vitamin D3 is made from fish liver oils and is so labeled on the bottle. I buy them in Rochester, N.Y., 100 for $1.55. I take only one a day, not two, since in France dairy products are not fortified with vitamin D, but they are in the US.

At the end of the study of 18 months, the number of hip fractures was 43% lower and the number of nonvertebral fractures was 32 % lower in the women treated with calcium and vitamin D than among those who received the placebo. A good reason to watch your calcium and vitamin D intake. Note that the ages in the study were 69 to 106 years of age. Impressive!

Another study was reported in New England of Medicine (1997; 337 (10). This study lasted 3 years and involved 176 men and 213 women, 65 years or older. Researchers say the reduction in the risk of fractures was similar to the French study.

How Foods High in Lysine Help Increase Bone Density
Researcher Roberto Civitello, M.D. of Washington University in St. Louis says it's possible that you may absorb more calcium by eating foods that are high-lysine, such as poultry, fish, dairy products, legumes, defatted soy flour and nuts. (Nutrition; November - December 1992). In defatted soy flour there are 100 grams (1/2cup) of lysine. This is good for osteoporosis and many other diseases. A diet rich in calcium should contain at least 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day. In the study they used 800 milligrams of lysine a day.

Another good reason to eat calcium-rich foods (as opposed to supplements) is a much lower risk of creating kidney stones. Many stones are rich in oxalate. The calcium in foods, however, may bind the oxalate before it can be deposited as a stone.

A DEXA Test to Determine If You Have Osteoporosis
If you have not had a DEXA test and suspect that you have osteoporosis, ask your doctor to order one for you. I have one every one to two years by Sally Marlowe, N.P., at the Arthritis Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida. Sally has been doing my tests for almost 10 years. Studies show that a one-inch loss of height is a clinical indicator of a vertebral fracture. Having a Densitometer test will confirm if you have osteoporosis. It is a Dual Engery Xray Absorptiometry test with low radiation rills and a margin of error less than 1.4%. Read my books for a detailed list of bone robbers, along with additional information and recipes.

For Osteoporosis the research suggests that the following foods are appropriate and perhaps helpful to eat. As always check with your doctor and have appropriate blood work done before following any of the research suggestions from this or other sources. The recipes for including these foods in your diet and the research supporting these recommendations are included in my 4 books.

Some Foods to Consider Eating More Often
-   Homemade yogurt with extra dry milk added to increase the magnesium and calcium content
-   Fat free milk (skim)
-   Defatted soy flour (at least 1/3 of a cup per day recommended)
-   Calcium fortified orange juice (2 cups per day recommended)
-   Green leafy vegetables
-   Carrots, lightly cooked
-   Pumpkin, canned or cooked
-   Sweet potatoes
-   Squash
-   Oatmeal, shredded wheat, other whole grain low-no sugar added cereals
-   At least 97% or greater fat free chicken or turkey breast (I look for at least 99% fat free.)
-   Substitute olive oil or canola oil for other oils, but still use sparingly
-   Salmon and other fish, including the skin and fat (Research suggests this fat (EPA fat) has the ability to raise HDLs. 1-5 servings per week recommended)
-   Fresh fruits
-   Dried fruits, unsweetened, especially apricots, dates, prunes
-   Low fat tomato sauces and pasta
-   Peanuts, walnuts, almonds in moderation
-   Grape juice
-   Grapes, especially red grapes
-   Grapefruit, especially pink
-   Tupelo honey as a substitute for sugar in cakes, cookies, breads, etc.
-   Salad dressings and dips with non-fat sour cream, yogurt
-   Baked whole wheat chips and tortillas
-   Bean and, chickpea dishes and dips
-   Tomato salsas

Foods to Consider Avoiding
-   1%, 2% and whole milk and products
-   Meats less than 97% fat free
-   Red meats
-   Hydrogenated oils such as stick margarine, and when listed as an ingredient in foods
-   Food with high butter fat and other animal fats
-   Hot dogs, hamburgers
-   Salt (a major bone robber) or foods prepared with salt
-   More than one cup of coffee or other caffeine beverages a day
-   Sugar (a major bone robber)
-   Chocolate
-   Soft drinks due to high phosphorus content
-   Alcohol

My books have over 200 recipes applying these ingredients and principles.

Copyright 2002 by Rosemary Fisher. For permission to reprint, e-mail

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