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Bones: Why Milk’s Not The Secret To Strength

Bones, osteoporosis

Hey there Goddesses! Have you noticed that this Meno sisterhood of ours is all about learning?

I guess it’s just like all the other life stages really – it’s a thing called life – but if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that our age group is woefully uneducated when it comes to menopause and health and as a follow-on our bones and osteoporosis.

The more I learn about peri-, meno- and post-menopause it’s that I don’t know what I don’t know, and from talking to you guys I’m not alone.

So, let’s get educated. The subject today is bones.

Let’s get educated. The subject today is bones. And Osteoporosis. Click To Tweet


One of the things I’ve discovered is that we need to be super aware that our lower levels of estrogen can affect our bones in a big way making us more susceptible to osteoporosis. Eek! Nobody wants that right?

1 in 4 women will experience osteoporosis post-menopause. Click To Tweet

According to the International Foundation for Osteoporosis 2.2 Australian women are affected by osteoporosis.

They didn’t have a stat for New Zealand, but figures for fractures after 50 in Australia are 42% women, 27% men, and in New Zealand, 84,000 osteoporotic fractures occurred in 2007, 60% of those in women. (Best stats I could get.)

They’re big numbers. In fact, the Foundation has created a Risk Factor Sheet, which I’ll give you the link to at the bottom of this page.

If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know I’m a former magazine editor and a certified holistic health coach. That’s one of the reasons I’m compelled to do lots of research on this sort of thing and why we’re on a mish to keep you informed about life in the meno years.

It’s Not In The Milk

You’ve been brought up to believe that drinking milk will give you strong bones right? In reality, this is far from the truth.

Over the past 50 years, the incidence of hip fractures has risen around the world and, interestingly, perhaps frighteningly, the occurrence is greater in countries that have a high consumption of milk products (that would include us Australasia).

cows milk

Harvard University conducted a huge study (entitled The Nurses Study) which followed 78,000 nurses for over a decade and it found that nurses who drank two or more glasses of milk per day had twice the hip fracture risk of those who drink a glass a week or less.

Our Bones

Our bones are living, growing tissue. They’re mostly made up of collagen, which gives them pliability, and a mineral called calcium phosphate, which gives them strength and the hardness they’re known for.

The combination gives them enough strength and flexibility to withstand stress.

When we’re young the bone rebuilds quickly but as we age bone loss increases.

Calcium, vitamin D and exercise help maintain it but in the first four to eight years post menopause the decline in estrogen means we lose bone more rapidly which can lead to osteoporosis not to mention breakages.

Nutritional Power

When it comes to bone health, a cocktail of nutrients can work together to give us our best defense. Magnesium, phosphorus, boron, copper, manganese, zinc, folic acid, and the vitamins C, D, K, B6 all build good bones.

Of course protein is king and essential for building collagen, and good fats will help our bodies absorb the vitamin D we need to strengthen our bones.

Happy Dance 

Dancing smiley
I’m doing a happy dance here because I can tell you that the ingredient list for our Shake It Off®, the nutritional shake formula we’re so proud of, contains loads of the above ingredients, plus a new ingredient called Aquamin. Remember that name because it’s clinically proven to strengthen bones. It’s also anti-inflammatory so it helps with one of the symptoms of menopause – joint and muscle pain. This is not arthritis but it can be very debilitating. And if you do have osteoarthritis (which most people do post-50), it can also be extremely life-altering and Aquamin helps with that too. It’s a seaweed from the coast of Ireland and packed with bioactive magnesium and calcium plus 72 other minerals like iodine, zinc and phosphorus.

Shake It Off® acts like a protein shake AND a multi-vitamin and is easily whipped up into a yummy smoothie so you can get your dose of protein and Aquamin. It’s not just a weight management tool. We love multi-purpose jars in our pantry don’t you?  Three cheers for our clever, clever biochemist Pete! Now, back to bones.

How Can We Give Our Bones the Best Chance?

  • I know I bang on about this but it will change your life. Eat vegetables, especially leafy greens. Include five to seven portions (yes, I’m serious!) daily.

leafy greens

  • Make homemade stock with vegetables and a stick of Kombu seaweed or with fish, chicken, or beef bones – adding a tablespoon of vinegar will release the minerals therein.
  • Embrace sunflower and pumpkin seeds (yum, yum – we can’t get enough of these!). They’re full of minerals and good fats and are as tasty as nuts. Toast them for variation.
  • As always choose whole grains, but go easy. They’re a great source of fibre but carbs can be hard for meno girls to assimilate.
  • Dose yourself up with good oils like extra virgin olive, flaxseed (great for the meno years), and unrefined sesame. They serve up essential fatty acids and our skin love them.
  • Exercise strengthens bones. It’s a fact. At least 30 minutes every other day (or more often).
  • Take up weights. Lifting weights won’t make you over-sized but it will increase your bone density.

Ban From Your Kitchen

Refined sugar, white flour, (and anything made with it), like pasta, white bread and muffins. I know you love them because they’re addictive, but they can also cause an acid condition that leaches minerals from your bones.

One Minute Osteoporosis Risk Test

This is well worth doing, it’s very interesting Holmes!


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