So, So Dense.  »

A brief piece in The New York Times Personal Health section from Nov. 23 takes a look at the mystery that is osteoporosis, and poses wacky questions like, “Why, for example, are osteoporotic fractures relatively rare in Asian countries like Japan, where people live as long or longer than Americans and consume almost no calcium-rich dairy products? Why, in Western countries that consume the most dairy foods, are rates of osteoporotic fractures among the highest in the world?”

Because of questions like those, an alternative prevention theory has arisen. It suggests that rather than the calcium-rich diet that’s being pushed like crack here in the US, a low-acid diet may be the key to preventing osteoporosis. There’s a bunch of science stuff that bores me but basically, fruits and vegetables are alkaline while dairy and meat produce acid (this last point is still being debated—oh, science! Get it together!).

The moral of the story is right up my vegan alley:

In their exhaustive review of the scientific literature, Dr. Lanou and Mr. Castleman found that “two-thirds of clinical trials show that milk, dairy foods and calcium supplements do not prevent fractures.” They conclude that the high fracture rate in countries that consume the most milk and dairy products results from the fact that “these affluent Western countries also consume the most meat, poultry and fish.”

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