Read that again: Despite the dairy industry spending millions of dollars a year to persuade you otherwise, milk does not strengthen bones.
How do we know?
Because between 1975 and 2008, more than 1,200 research studies examined the relationship between calcium consumption and bone health. And Amy Joy Lanou, PhD — the senior nutrition scientist for the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine — and renowned health writer Michael Castleman took a deep dive into all of them.
Their conclusion? Those dairy commercials had it completely wrong: Milk does not strengthen bones!
With Building Bone Vitality, the co-authors have accomplished the incredible feat of publishing a bone-health book that’s both scientifically precise and easy to read.
In a fascinating look at the science, for example, they explain the relationship between the pH of our blood and the strength of our bones. A pH reading indicates how alkaline or acidic blood is.
The ideal pH blood reading is slightly alkaline, between 7.35 and 7.45.
What happens when eating excessive protein overloads your blood with amino acids? Its pH drops. And your body immediately responds by releasing calcium (an alkaline substance) to neutralize the acid and return the blood pH to a safe level.
But where does the calcium come from? As the authors explain:
“The body obtains acid-neutralizing calcium compounds from the reservoir that contains 99 percent of the body’s calcium store—bone.”
So it makes sense that, from a bone-health standpoint, the meat- and dairy-based standard American diet (SAD) is totally inappropriate! The longer you eat it, the more calcium your bones lose and the higher your risk of fractures climbs.
As the authors put it, animal-based fast-foods are nothing but “bone-killing meals.”
They came to this conclusion by examining every type of bone-health study, but the first one they present is perhaps the most compelling:
“If the calcium theory were correct, we would expect countries that consume the most milk, dairy, and calcium to have the world’s lowest hip fracture rates. They don’t. They suffer the world’s highest rates…”
In addition to shining a light on the wrong diet for building strong bones, however, the authors provide overwhelming evidence for the right one.
They recommend combining a daily 30-minute walk with a low-acid, vegan diet that includes:
That’s all it takes to keep your bones healthy and strong throughout your life!