Due to the possible adverse effects of the conventional system of adopting medicine in the prevention of age-related bone loss, there is an increasing demand for the use of natural components. Bone is a dynamic tissue as it is continuously renewed throughout life by bone remodeling, which involves the coupled events of the removal of old bone by osteoclast cells and the building of new bone by osteoblast cells.
These 2 types of cells are the major bone cells involved in the prevention of osteoporosis through their interaction with multiple molecular agents, including hormones, growth factors and cytokines during the remodeling process. It is also now clear that free radical assaults on bone-building cells cause acute inflammation and bio-chemical chaos that leads to rapid bone-breakdown.
Osteoporosis, one of the number of metabolic bone diseases that result from a disturbance of the bone remodeling process, is characterized by low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue, causing increased bone fragility and greater risk of fracture.
It occurs predominantly among women over the age of 45 because of their loss of estrogen at menopause and also among men over the age of 55 with their low levels of the sex hormone testosterone. Also known as the “silent epidemic”, it may affect 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 to some degree.
In bone loss, the remodeling process becomes significantly more active than the normal process with a primary increase in bone resorption or breakdown and a counterbalancing but insufficient increase in bone formation. The early manifestation of the risk of osteoporosis in men and women is an increase in both bone turnover markers of resorption and formation.
#1 Clinical Breakthrough: The Water-Soluble Anti-oxidant Solution
Polyphenols, the water-soluble plant pigments are a group of plant chemical substances that have more than 1 phenol group per molecule. The polyphenols, which are responsible for the coloring of some plants and their anti-oxidant properties, have potential health benefits. These include the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, neuro-degenerative diseases, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Sources of polyphenol anti-oxidants include fruits, vegetables, red wine, green tea, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) can assist in the reduction of both inflammation and free radical proliferation in bone-building cells. It is recommended to consume 2 to 3 cups of green tea per day, with 400mcg of folic acid to prevent deficiency of B vitamin folic acid.
Many epidemiological studies show a positive association between tea drinking and bone mineral density. EGCG, the polyphenol from green tea has been shown to inhibit the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in osteoblasts and the formation of osteoclasts which suggest that EGCG may prevent the alveolar bone resorption that occurs in periodontal diseases.
H2O2-induced alterations of osteoblast viability and reduction in alkaline phosphatase activity were prevented by pre-incubating the osteoblasts with green tea polyphenol. The polyphenol Phloridzin (Phlo), a flavonoid in apple was found to provide protection against ovariectomy-induced osteopenia.
#2 Clinical Breakthrough: The Lipid-Soluble Anti-oxidant Solution
Lycopene belongs to the family of carotenoid compounds in fruits and vegetables. They are synthesized by plants and micro-organisms, but not by animals and humans. Hence, whatever lycopene we have in our bodies is accumulated through the food we eat. Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomatoes their red colour, and is one of four main carotenoids normally found in human blood and tissue.
Although red-colored fruits and vegetables are the most common sources of dietary lycopene, not all red-colored plants contain lycopene. Lycopene concentration in tomatoes increases significantly during the ripening process. Do take note that green and yellow tomatoes do not contain lycopene. Other sources of lycopene are water-melon, pink guavas and pink grapefruit. However, the lycopene content of these fruits are much lower than the amount presented in tomatoes or tomato products.
The health benefit from lycopene may result from its ability to scavenge singlet-oxygen, bestowing it a potent anti-oxidant property. However, other mechanisms such as effects on gap functions and cell cycling have been reported and need to be tested further.
Lycopene is absorbed more efficiently from processed tomato products than the raw tomatoes because of its conversion with heat processing from the all-trans to its cis-isomeric configuration. Since lycopene is a lipid-soluble compound that is absorbed through a chylomicron-mediated mechanism, the presence of small amounts of lipids will further enhance its absorption.
According to a study, there is no official recommended daily intake of lycopene, but based on published research, an intake of 7mg of lycopene per day is suggested. Lower blood levels of lycopene are associated with higher body weight, aging, smoking and increased risk of health disorders.
Evidence that lycopene has a role in the prevention of chronic diseases has been very well documented by epidemiological, tissue culture and animal studies. Human intervention studies are now being conducted to validate epidemiological observations and to understand the mechanisms of action of lycopene in disease prevention.
There is now convincing evidence of a role for lycopene in osteoporosis. The evidence is based on lycopene’s potent anti-oxidant properties, the well-known role of oxidative stress in osteoporosis and the bone cells involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis, as well as the results of a study on lycopene intake and bone resorption markers in postmenopausal women.
Though oxidative stress has been associated with osteoporosis and the activity or function of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of their actions as well as the role played by lycopene are not clear yet.
Although it is too early to suggest that eating tomatoes or tomato products will prevent osteoporosis, it would be a healthy practice to include tomatoes and tomato products in the diet as a source of lycopene for the prevention of oxidative stress-related chronic diseases, including osteoporosis.
Therefore, it is now evident that natural colorful components in fruit and vegetables are good for optimum bone-repair and bone building. Examples of these are the anti-oxidants lipid-soluble lycopene and the water-soluble polyphenols. These anti-oxidants are now being incorporated into biocompatible, food-based, bone-building supplements.
As such, the use of a comprehensive bone-building supplement may be required to achieve optimum bone health and may be a good option, combined with wide lifestyle choices, for the prevention of osteoporosis.
Laws Of Food Color-coded Eating
Changing how you feed your cells and bones is the best way to quickly improve your health, and it is the easiest thing to do. Brightly colored foods contain a huge variety of minerals, trace minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants, beneficial components, and phytonutrients to improve your bone health, energy levels, memory skills and good mood consistently and dramatically.
They are also more satisfying compared to their processed counter-parts, which shorten your life span and weaken your bones, teeth, nails and cardiovascular health. Phytonutrients are plant pigments that give a plant its distinctive bright color and also possess potent disease-fighting properties.
When you correctly choose foods for their vital and varied colors, you avail yourself of these healing food components or natural food chemicals. Each color has a formidable array of specific vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, anti-oxidants and enzymes to improve cellular metabolism. They modify or turn “off” diseases and give your 100 trillion cells repair and restorative properties.
A diet rich in colorful fruits, berries, vegetables, “green drinks”, herbs and spices improves bone metabolism and maximizes bone health, which is a real concern for men and women 34 or older. Recent research has shown that the individual color of foods have specific health benefits. On a daily basis, we should try to consume a wider variety of colors in our fruit and vegetable choices.
Without the entire tag team of complement of a rainbow of colors in your daily diet, some waste materials, toxins, and free radicals will not be neutralized and will accumulate in your body, causing faulty biochemical processes. The rule of all ancient color-coded foods is that the phytonutrients in each color ride piggyback on each other and ultimately work as powerful bone-building inducers and immune system modulators.
They all have a collective affinity for cellular membranes. As membrane anti-oxidants they maintain membrane fluidity and improve intercellular communication pathways. They work as a cellular anti-freeze and protect cells from environmental stress.
There are 6 main color-coded groups with several prominent phytonutrients in each group.
- Green: Indols, isothiocyanates, sulphoraphane, quercetin, sulfur, apigenin, glucosinolates, solanine, polyphenols, chlorophyll, chlorophyllin, thiosulfonate, diindolylmethane, isoflavones
Food choices: broccoli, kale,lettuce, asparagus, green tea
- Red, orange, yellow: alpha-, beta-,delta- and gamma-carotenes, lycopene, xanthones, proanthocyanins
Food choices: bananas, cherries, apples, beans, carrots
- Light to dark brown: phytosterols, salvestrols, saponins, phytoestrogens, kaempferol
Food choices: brown rice, whole wheat, Brazil nuts, almonds, flaxseeds, peanuts
- Black, blue, purple: flavoids,proanthocyanins, pterostilbene, resveratrol, salvestrols
Food choices: currants, prunes, eggplant, peppers, cocoa, black tea
- White to golden: omega-3, omega-6,omega-7 and omega-9 essential fatty acids
Food choices: fish oils, vegetable oils, protein
- Bright yellow: astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, phytofluene,leteolin, phosphatidyl-choline (PC), and phosphatidyl-serine (PS)