Osteoporosis & Real Food: NWW Client Success Stories

October 22, 2022

In the US, 15 to 20 million people suffer with osteoporosis. 10% of women have osteoporosis and 1/3 of women have bone thinning that could lead to an osteoporosis diagnosis. Today, we have two very special guests who will be sharing their stories on how eating real food and taking some key supplements helped them to support their bone health by regaining bone density and overcoming osteoporosis.

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MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Melanie Beasley and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. And I've been involved in the field of nutrition for over 30 years. Today I have the pleasure of welcoming two very special guests who have overcome or completely healed their osteoporosis by eating real food and taking some key supplements.

They both have amazing stories about how they ate real food to regain bone density and fought the battle against their osteoporosis. My first guess is Jennifer Anthony, who've I've asked to share her personal story. Jen, you've been on the radio with us before.


MELANIE: It's always fun to see you.

JENNIFER: Always fun to see you too, Mel.

MELANIE: Also joining us today to share her story is Jerene Smith, one of my favorite clients.

JENNIFER: Of course.

Some statistics on osteoporosis


MELANIE: Who is… Yes, of course. Who is a client I am working with to overcome and heal her osteoporosis. Listeners, have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis? It's pretty scary. Perhaps you have osteoporosis in your spine. Maybe it's in your hip. Many times people get this diagnosis and don't realize how food and their lifestyle habits are affecting their bone density. Before I turn the mic over to those wonderful ladies, I want to share some interesting facts about osteoporosis. In the U.S. 15 to 20 million people suffer from osteoporosis.


MELANIE: That's a lot. It's a scary number.

JENNIFER: It's a lot.

What are some factors to prevent or heal osteoporosis?


MELANIE: 10% of women have osteoporosis and a third of women have bone thinning that could lead to osteoporosis. And you may wonder why do so many Americans have such a high rate of osteoporosis? And we're going to talk about that. I think many of you may think it is either you didn't exercise enough or you didn't take enough calcium. And yes, exercise or weight bearing exercise such as walking and lifting weights, it is very important.

And also getting calcium from an absorbable source is also important. But a key to building strong bones is eating sufficient good fats on a daily basis. I'm going to repeat that because it's not what we think about with bones. Eating sufficient good fats on a daily basis supports your bone health. We actually need butter, coconut oil, heavy cream and eggs to help calcium get absorbed into the bone. So if you have been or are following a low fat diet, perhaps you are harming your bones. Let me introduce our first guest to help prove my point. Let me introduce Jennifer Anthony. Let her share how her fat eating, low fat eating was damaging her bones. Welcome Jennifer.

JENNIFER: Well I am so happy to be here, Mel.

MELANIE: And I'm excited to hear your story.

JENNIFER: Yes. And I'm excited to share it. And it's great to be in the studio with you too, Jerene.

JERENE: You too.

Jennifer’s journey of healing from osteoporosis


JENNIFER: Well, just like you mentioned, I had that low fat journey. I ate low fat and a lot of times no fat through my teen and early twenties. That was kind of in the nineties, early two thousands where fat was really demonized. And unfortunately in the English language, the fat we eat and the fat on our bodies is the same word. And that's not always the case in, in other languages.

MELANIE: Oh, good point.

JENNIFER: And so I bought into that. I also drank a lot of diet soda and we talk a lot about diet soda on this radio show as well as in our classes. And the ingredient in diet soda we're most concerned about in our bones, for our bones is the phosphoric acid; very damaging to our bones, very damaging to our teeth. And there's more phosphoric acid in diet soda than regular soda. And it's also very addicting we know.  So I drank a lot of that. I also had a lot of digestive problems. As a young child, I was actually a colicky baby and I thought it was normal after eating to have a lot of GI pain. And I, I just didn't know.

MELANIE: It was your normal. Right?

JENNIFER: It's my normal, You don't know what you don't know. And I also fractured my arm when I was in first grade. And then after developing an exercise addiction as well as anorexia, things just got worse. I was diagnosed with osteopenia in my early twenties during…

MELANIE: So young.

JENNIFER: Very young. Yes. Way too young. And that was during one of my first of many hospitalizations.

MELANIE: So you developed osteopenia and they diagnosed you in your twenties.

JENNIFER: Mm-Hmm. Correct.

MELANIE: Was that something that they decided to do a DEXA scan because you're fracturing? Or why did they do that?

JENNIFER: Back then, believe it or not, DEXA scans weren't around. They just had that ankle, you know, where they measure your ankle and things like that. So at the time that wasn't even a thing. And at the time I was in liver failure and I had a kidney problem. So I was dealing with so much that the osteopenia was like, well that's one more thing. But to me it wasn't my biggest concern at that time.

MELANIE: Of course.

JENNIFER: And then over the years I had, you know, developed a lot of lower back pain with the poor bones. And so what did I do? I went to the chiropractor and fractured many ribs just from adjustments. And then in 2011, at the age of 35, I fractured my sternum at the gym. And no, it wasn't a heavy weight that dropped on my chest. I was actually lifting weights to strengthen my upper back and my chest was on a pad and it was just too much pressure and, and fractured my sternum.

MELANIE: You went through a lot of pain.


MELANIE: Especially so young when we're supposed to be, you know, at our strongest and thriving.

JENNIFER: Exactly. Yep.

MELANIE: So at that point, is that when you decided that you needed some help with your bone thinning?

JENNIFER: Yes. So as we know, part of my bone thinning was from not eating any or very little fat. Again, I, I thought it was, it was important to me to be thin and of course I was compulsively exercising to take care of some anxiety I was dealing with. And then, like I mentioned, I had a lot of gut problems and a lot of problems with my gut health.

MELANIE: And I want to mention to our listeners that your story is on some of our other radio shows.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: If they want to search on our website at weightandwellness.com.

JENNIFER: That's right. Some listeners may have heard my story many times before. And in 2012 I had emergency intestinal surgery and really at that time stopped absorbing much of the food I was eating, including vitamins and minerals. And later that year in 2012, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 37. And that was mostly in the spine and hips, which is a very common place to have that.

MELANIE: I remember talking with you and it was pretty severe.


MELANIE: It wasn't like you tipped over into osteoporosis from osteopenia. You had some big numbers.

JENNIFER: I did have big numbers and that was kind of my rock bottom. My doctor wanted to put me on some bone medicine. But working in dentistry for many, many years, I've seen the side effects for a lot of patients and knew that wasn't the route I wanted to take.


JENNIFER: And I had been listening to Dishing Up Nutrition since the first time it started to air. So I knew the route that was going to be best for me. So that's when I made an appointment with a Nutritional Weight and Wellness nutritionist, and I discovered I was gluten sensitive and that wasn't allowing me to break down and absorb my foods, even as a child. Like I mentioned, I fractured my arm in first grade.

MELANIE: You know, and I just want to mention, I have a lot of clients that are gluten sensitive or gluten allergic or have celiac.


MELANIE: And it is a nutrient binder.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: So it was really working against you.

JENNIFER: It does work against you. It really does.

MELANIE: And from your history, what do you feel were some key takeaways? What was the lesson for you?

JENNIFER: The lesson was, the first thing I needed to do was really heal and seal my guts so I could start to absorb those nutrients. So my nutritionist started me out on bone broth and I always cooked my vegetables. In fact, my surgeon told me after my intestinal surgery, think milkshake every time you eat. Chew your food as much as you can because your intestinal tract won't be able to do what it used to.

MELANIE: Really good advice for all of us.

JENNIFER: Yes. I really agree with that. And I learned I had to start eating real fats. So we know that fats and proteins are what make our bone mesh so important. So that looked like I needed to start eating butter. At the time I didn't eat much dairy, so I, I ate ghee, which is clarified butter with those milk solids taken out. I ate olive oil. I ate full fat coconut milk on my berries and then also in my protein shakes. And even though I was sensitive to dairy at the time, I was able to tolerate our whey protein.


JENNIFER: Our Wellness Whey Protein.

MELANIE: And I just want to circle back to the term you used was bone mesh.

JENNIFER: Yes. Mm-hmm.

MELANIE: So listeners, let me describe what a bone mesh is. If you think of inside your bone as having soccer netting. And in that soccer netting, we have to keep it healthy. Healthy fats is a key.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: To keeping that soccer netting healthy. And you're like, well Melanie, what's the big deal? My soccer netting in my bones. Well, when we consume minerals, the minerals have to attach to that soccer netting. And if you have holes in your soccer netting, the minerals can pass right through and they don't bind to make that healthy bone.

So we'll talk more about our bones when we come back. We’re ready for our first break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today, Jennifer Anthony and Jerene Smith share their personal story about how they restored their bone density with real food and some key supplements. We’ll be right back.


Fats are essential to building healthy bones


MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. It may surprise you that fats are essential to building healthy bones. We need saturated fats such as butter and coconut oil. In addition, we need omega-3 fish oil and the essential fatty acid, GLA. Both omega-3 and GLA boost calcium absorption and help calcium get deposited into the bone.

I often recommend taking two to three omega-3 fish oils and two to four GLAs, which are soft gels. And they really help with dry skin as well. So when we left for break, Jennifer, you were talking about how you started incorporating healthy fats.


MELANIE: And how that made a big difference in your bone health.

JENNIFER: It really did.

MELANIE: So tell us more about that.

JENNIFER: Yes. You know, and as I started to eat these healthy fats, I started to crave them more. You know, I think our bodies know what they need. And I had gone, I had deprived my body of healthy fats for so many years. And it's not just good, it was good for my bone health, but my gut health as well.

MELANIE: And your palate, it just tastes delicious.

JENNIFER: It does. It does. And I, and for our brains, it makes us happier.


JENNIFER: I also learned I needed to stop eating bread and pasta because it contained gluten. That was a tough one for me. I'm Italian. I grew up on, on pasta and bread. So that was a challenging one for me. But I did it. And then I started eating vegetables and like I mentioned, cooked vegetables. And I can't eat, even to this day, the raw cruciferous. I can do things like cucumbers or like a, a nice spring mix, something like that. But I stay away from the raw veggies.

MELANIE: And that's because you had a gut surgery.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: Which compromised your ability to digest even to this day. You've made great strides.


MELANIE: But for our listeners out there, we love cruciferous vegetables if you tolerate them well.

JENNIFER: Exactly.

MELANIE: But you know your body.


MELANIE: So Jennifer, I think our listeners would love to hear what an example of a healthy breakfast is for you to support that bone building.

Bone building breakfast examples


JENNIFER: Well, I always have to have some type of protein. So whether that's eggs or sausage, pork or turkey. I, I love the turkey patty sausages we have in our Weight and Wellness cookbook. I also like, I'll have nitrate-free bacon or maybe sometimes I'll do leftovers from the dinner before. A lot of times I'll…

MELANIE: Leftovers for breakfast.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: We're not afraid of those are we?

JENNIFER: We are not afraid of those and they're delicious. I also like to do an egg bake sometimes over the weekend. So that's easy to warm up for the week. And if I do eggs, I'll add some sweet potatoes and a lot of cooked greens or spinach. And I want to cook that in at least a tablespoon of butter or ghee because I've learned again that for my bones I need that saturated fat such as butter or coconut oil to repair our bones. And again, another word that's demonized a lot is saturated fat. All that means is solid at room temperature. But it's so important.

MELANIE: It's friendly to our body.

JENNIFER: It really is.

MELANIE: It's good fats.

JENNIFER: It is very good fat. Yep.

MELANIE: So as a dietitian, I also know that omega-3 fish oil and the essential fatty acid GLA, which we mentioned earlier, helps to boost calcium absorption. So the calcium gets placed where it should, which is right into our bones. That's, that's what we want. We don't want the calcium building up anywhere else in our bodies. So it's a very fine chemical formula that we work at Nutritional Weight and Wellness to help our clients understand we do the research and then we give you the plan.

JENNIFER: That's right. So daily I take three omega three fish oil and two GLA fatty acid soft gels. I also stopped the diet soda completely. And I try to incorporate fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week. And one of my favorite things is to get wild caught salmon in the can or sardines in the can because they've got the bones in there and the bones are edible. And what I would call that is one of the most perfect bone foods you can consume.

MELANIE: It is. Now listeners, those of you that are cringing; it's early in the morning. We're talking about sardines. I just have to tell you, the sardines today are not the sardines of our grandparents.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: You open the can. There's no head. There's no skin. There's nothing looking at you. They really taste a lot like tuna. But I feel they have so much more omega-3 fats and they're so much healthier for you. Try, this is my challenge listeners for you today is to try a can of wild caught sardines.

JENNIFER: Yes, yes. I completely agree. And I was kind of the same way like hmm, sardines. But had I ever eaten sardines before? No.

MELANIE: You were so brave.

JENNIFER: Yeah. And so I tried them and I loved them. I think they're actually less fishy than tuna.

MELANIE: I agree.

JENNIFER: And they're delicious and boy are they so good for us and our bones. The other thing I do is I eat a lot of vegetables with every meal for more nutrients. And of course I'm adding that healthy fat to the vegetables because I want to absorb the nutrients from those vegetables.

MELANIE: Well tell us the good news about your bones.

JENNIFER: I am happy to do that all day long, every day. So by eating that real animal protein, vegetable carbohydrates, and at least a tablespoon of real beneficial natural fat with each meal for two years, my bone scan went from osteoporosis to osteopenia. So that was in 2014. And then two years after that, in 2016 my bone scan showed normal bones. Now at that time I had kind of an old school doctor and he mailed me snail mail, my results.

So I get the DEXA scan in the mail and I'm looking over it and everything's looking normal. But I'm kind of like, I, oh, I don't, I need to know for sure. So I called the clinic to find out and then after that I just called everyone I knew and I was so elated. I can't even describe how I felt in that moment.

MELANIE: You know, those are difficult to read.


MELANIE: And I have to tell you, yesterday I had a client Zoomed me from Rhode Island. She's been working with me for a couple years and we've got her on the plan, you know, the bone building plan and she had her DEXA scan. She was waiting for an appointment. She said, I think I have good news. And so when we looked at it, she had gone from osteoporosis to osteopenia, which is much less bone thinning.

JENNIFER: That is wonderful.

MELANIE: So, you know.


MELANIE: You want to make sure, is this good news?

JENNIFER: Do I celebrate or do I want to make sure before I know for sure. And then in late 2020, early 2021, I fractured a toe without dropping anything heavy on it. This was just from activity. And you know, they did a, an MRI and said, you know, this is a, a fracture. Let's do a bone scan because this is pretty unusual. And it, it was normal. And that was in 2021.

MELANIE: Sometimes we fracture and it's not an osteoporotic break.

JENNIFER: That's correct. Yes.

MELANIE: Sometimes we can fracture from trauma.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: So, but when you have osteoporosis, your brain always goes to, is this a fracture because my bones are thin?

JENNIFER: Exactly.

MELANIE: You really do feel like you're made of graham crackers.

JENNIFER: That is great. Yes, exactly. Exactly.

MELANIE: That is an amazing story. I know you worked with one of the Weight and Wellness dietitians who helped you from anorexia and osteoporosis just from eating real food.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: You started to heal, and I'm sure you were placed on some key supplements, but generally supplements alone just don't get the job done.


MELANIE: And we know that real food, we have a saying, you cannot out supplement a poor diet.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: You really have to focus on the real food first and then add in some key supplements.

Steer clear of manmade fats and refined oils


JENNIFER: That's correct. So another thing I learned from my nutritionist is that all fats are not created equal. So I still say fat free from certain fats, those Franken fats, those manmade fats. I avoid coffee creamers because they usually have soybean oil in them, which we know is a refined damaged fat. And I steer clear of all refined oils like soybean oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, because I've learned they slow calcium, magnesium, and other good minerals that our bones need. And they also cause a lot of GI issues for me.

So I avoid fried foods in restaurants, boxed convenience foods and I always want to read those labels. And if it says soybean oil or corn oil or sunflower oil, I put that box right back on the shelf. I'll also try to call restaurant ahead of time too if I know where I'm going to make, you know, to see whether they're cooking maybe their vegetables in to see if it's a refined oil.

And we know we also find them in French fries, potato chips, most convenience foods. And then margarine really is one molecule away from plastic. So if you've got a tub of that fake butter at a picnic, you don't have to worry about bugs getting in it or the dog going after it because it's not real food.

MELANIE: I remember teaching a class: Nutrition for Weight Loss, one of our classes. And I will ask the student is, hey, what is the number one real ingredient real food in Cool Whip? Everyone will walk through, walk through. And it's water.

JENNIFER: Oh, that's interesting.

MELANIE: The rest of it is really the fats that damage us. But we grew up on Cool Whip.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: You know, you we can't know what we didn't know. We trusted, we trusted the shelf.

JENNIFER: That's right. That's right.

Protein is important for healthy bone


MELANIE: You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Not only do we need to eat healthy fats, both saturated butter or coconut oil fats and essential fatty acids, omega-3 and GLA. But what you also need to eat protein to make collagen. The collagen allows bones to be flexible so that if you fall, hopefully your bones instead of breaking they bend. So I encourage my clients to eat about 12 ounces of cooked animal protein per day and add a scoop of Key Collagen Powder. I love Key Collagen powder. It's different from other collagens simply because it has a collagen peptide called Fortibone that stimulates bone growth. We'll be right back.


Sugar and high carb eating depletes minerals


JENNIFER: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I found that the sugar I was eating as a child, teen and young adult damaged my bones. My nutritionist taught me that minerals like calcium, magnesium, boron, and phosphorus, really all the minerals important for good bone health are pulled out when we eat sugar or high carbohydrate foods. Are you eating high sugar carbohydrates like soda, cereals, bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, potato chips and popcorn?

MELANIE: So our listeners might be thinking, wow, Jen, do you have any fun? Do you enjoy your meals? It sounds like you eliminate it, but you cook.


MELANIE: You make great food. So tell us more about that.

JENNIFER: Yes. I love cooking. I love creating delicious food and making delicious food. And I found that I enjoy food now more than I did before when I could eat all of that stuff.

MELANIE: Yes. You're, it's like your body and your palette adapt to healthy eating to where you crave.

JENNIFER: You do. You crave that.

MELANIE: The vegetables and the real meat too and the healthy fat.

JENNIFER: That's right. That's what I crave and that's what I enjoy and it's very satiating.

Jerene’s story of healing from osteoporosis


MELANIE: Mm-Hmm. We have another guest that I'm excited to introduce, Jerene Smith. She became a client of mine in 2019. We laughed and connected right off the bat. I know Jerene’s osteoporosis story very well because we started working together. And you were all in. You were committed and your primary concern was osteoporosis, and you also desired a little bit of weight loss. Not much. You didn't have a lot to lose, but it wasn't where you were happy.


MELANIE: And you wanted more energy like all of us.

JERENE: Right.

MELANIE: Jerene, you became a client in 2019. How did you hear about Nutritional Weight and Wellness?

JERENE: Well, I had just been to the doctor and I discovered just routine physical that I had lost a half inch of height in one year. So that was pretty alarming for myself and the doctor. And we agreed we should order a DEXA scan; had the DEXA scan and I had osteoporosis in my spine and my left hip.

And I was out with a group of friends one night and I was telling them my story, what had happened. And I was, had this diagnosis and at the time I had started taking this bone drug I wasn't happy with. And a friend of mine who was with me said, I go to see a dietitian at Weight and Wellness right now for some stomach issues that she was having. And she said, from talking to the dietitian, she said, you know, they help people like you, people who have osteoporosis.

MELANIE: People like you.

JERENE: People like me.

MELANIE: I love that.

JERENE: And you know, I was so surprised by that because when I was at the doctor and learned I had osteoporosis, I asked, can I fight this nutritionally? No. So I adored this doctor but did ask for a second opinion and I saw a specialist and I said, I really want to battle this nutritionally. And she said, it just can't be done. So she basically was saying the same thing as my doctor I had been seeing had said.

MELANIE: Sounds hopeless.

JERENE: Can't be done. It, it really felt hopeless. And like you said, I, I felt, I felt made of glass.


JERENE: Taking the bone drug seemed like the only option. And I did start on that. And for me it just did not go well.

MELANIE: You didn't feel good.

JERENE: I did not feel good. And the parameters around taking the bone drug, needing to take it on an empty stomach, waiting for a half hour to an hour after you take it before you can eat or drink anything. Don't lie down. Don't recline. The warning of burning your esophagus. And like, wow, this is serious stuff.

MELANIE: Some serious drugs.

JERENE: This makes me as nervous as having osteoporosis. How long am I going to be on this? I was only 53 at the time when I was diagnosed.

MELANIE: But you feel desperate. You feel kind of like I don't want to shatter. The stories are terrible.


MELANIE: You weren't feeling good on the medication.

JERENE: Not at all. No.

MELANIE: So then we got to meet.

JERENE: Yes we did.

MELANIE: Well, looking back in your file, I know you had severe osteoporosis in your back. You also had osteoporosis in your hip and your femoral neck, which is where the hip and the femur meet. That's, that's where hip fractures happen.

JERENE: Right.

MELANIE: And I'm sure your doctor was very concerned as they told you, right?

JERENE: Yes. So Melanie, you and I met and I gave you my story of osteoporosis and what was going on with me, how I was feeling on the bone medication and what I had heard from my friend. Is it true? Can I really do this nutritionally? Because I had been flat out told it's not possible. You told me it was possible.

MELANIE: Yes. Because I'd seen it in clinic.

JERENE: Right, right. I was so excited by that. I was so excited by it. So we began our journey together; you educating me on what it meant to eat real food and how eating that real food could increase my bone density.

MELANIE: And I think too, we talked about it accomplished all of your goals at the time. It was one program. We didn't have a separate program that was for energy. We didn't have a separate program that was for weight reduction. We kept it simple.

JERENE: Exactly.

MELANIE: It was doable. And you were pretty compliant and that was great. So Jerene, you did agree to switch to caffeine-free coffee except for that one cup. You wanted that one cup of regular coffee per day.


MELANIE: And you stick with that.

JERENE: It's a situation in the morning.

JENNIFER: Relatable.

MELANIE: Yeah. I think you put your collagen in your coffee.

JERENE: I do. Yes, I do. A little bit of fat in the form of heavy cream and scoop of Key Collagen.

MELANIE: And really what I discussed with you was that connection between caffeine and that it increases bone mineral loss. So you were really willing to come down to that one cup, but it also interferes with sleep. And at that time, Jerene, you were experiencing some sleep disturbances.

JERENE: Yeah, definitely.

MELANIE: And now you're sleeping beautifully.


Sleep is important for bone health


MELANIE: And our bones absorb more minerals when we sleep. So it all works together. The body is just amazing. And it's important to get at least seven hours of good sleep most nights. It's better for our bones to even get eight or nine hours of sleep. So we wanted to work on that together.

JERENE: Yeah. So I remember when you and I first met you said, you know, you lay it out how it was going to go and it, it felt pretty daunting.


JERENE: Decreasing the caffeine intake. Changing up my thoughts on what healthy carbs were because my, my definition of healthy carbs, bread, cereals, pastas, that it was actually vegetables. I know that seems ridiculous now, but that was my take back then. It did say it did seem daunting and, but you said give me two weeks and two weeks I came back to see you and I felt better already.

MELANIE: Two weeks.

JERENE: Two weeks.


JERENE: I was sleeping better and I had more energy despite decreasing the coffee to the one cup a day. I was amazed and hooked, all in for, you know, to keep going. So we continued, I continued to learn more about how I need to eat the combination of protein and the healthy carbs and the healthy fats. For me a big thing too, probably what led to bone loss is I was not really huge into protein.

MELANIE: Mm-Hmm. Well I think like a lot of women.

JERENE: Mm-hmm.

MELANIE: It's just not something we think about. And a certain era, you know, we splashed a little protein on our salads and thought, oh, I got my protein.

JENNIFER: It was a condiment.

MELANIE: It was a condiment. That's good. It was a condiment.

JERENE: That's a great way of looking at it.

MELANIE: Yes. But now we know how essential that protein is for us to feel good, build bones, but also build the rest of your body in the cell turnover and to keep our whole body healthy.

JERENE: Yeah. But it, it is like you said that the focus was on gaining the bone density, but everything else followed. I felt so good. And that was in direct opposition to how I felt on the bone drug.


JENNIFER: All right. We are already ready for our third break and I'm loving your story, Jerene. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. A favorite bone building supplement I take every day is Key Osteo Plus. This supplement has worked for me. It's a multivitamin and a bone building supplement in one, and it comes in two packets of capsules containing different nutrients.

So I take a packet with breakfast and one with dinner or at bedtime. Key Osteo Plus has two well-absorbed forms of calcium plus magnesium and added vitamin D3 and the important vitamin K2, which delivers the calcium right to our bones. And in addition to that, all the B vitamins essential for strong bones. Key Osteo Plus takes the guesswork out. It has helped me restore and maintain my bones.

MELANIE: We’ll be right back.


MELANIE: Welcome back. When we left for break, we were talking about the Key Osteo Plus. That's a supplement I consider to be the limousine for bone building. There's a lot of them out there, but this one is the limousine. And when it comes to osteoporosis, you need to be serious. We just need to be serious.

JENNIFER: That's right.

MELANIE: So Jerene, you were telling us your wonderful story and it was exciting to hear you not only were working on your bones, but you started getting more energy and you just felt better. And also there came another change that we made. So listeners, for all my wine drinkers out there, you can relate to Jerene.

JERENE: So many changes.

MELANIE: So discuss the number of times that you had a glass of wine.

JERENE: I would say three to four nights a week I enjoyed a glass of wine.

How does drinking wine affect osteoporosis?


MELANIE: Yep. Not a big deal. Right? Typical American woman I think. So you might ask, as did Jerene, so what's wrong with the glass of wine, Melanie? What is the big deal? How does drinking wine affect osteoporosis? Interesting. I'm here to tell you all about it. Moderate drinking for women, that means not more than one glass of wine or drink a day is not harmful. But if the number of alcoholic drinks goes up to two to three glasses per night, there's strong evidence that bone density is reduced. There are many reasons. Alcohol affects your sleep. Studies have found that heavy drinking as an adolescent or young adult has negative effect on bone density. And Jerene, you really weren't drinking that much, but you also wanted to lose a little weight.


MELANIE: So that's where we kind of came at this was not only why take a risk for your bones, but also if you wanted to drop some weight. And I wanted do sleeping better.


MELANIE: So that's a whole other radio show: alcohol and sleeping. So Jerene, you agreed that the wine had to be reduced and your sleep was better.

JERENE: It was.

MELANIE: You did lose weight.

JERENE: I did.

MELANIE: Yeah. You're welcome.

JERENE: Yeah. I had no idea what it did to your metabolism and that it also decreased bone density. No clue.

MELANIE: Can't know what you don't know. That's why you had me.

JERENE: Exactly. Thank goodness. Yes.

JENNIFER: Jerene, tell the listeners how Melanie changed your eating plan. So when I went gluten and dairy free, my digestive problems went away within about two weeks. Did you go gluten and dairy free? And could you tell a difference?

JERENE: I am very nearly gluten-free. I would say I'm 95% of the time. That's the way I am and very low dairy with that I and I don't have digestive issues. That's, that was not my deal. But I felt better regardless; more focus, more energy. And like you had said earlier, your body craves, needs it, it craves what it, what it needs, which is that real food.

JENNIFER: And it's such a gift when you get, you know, you're just starting to feel better and your focus is coming back and there's things that you didn't even realize you were missing out on. And it just, every day is a gift. It's just, it is a gift.

JERENE: It is a gift. And Melanie, I don't know if you remember this, but our second meeting, I didn't even know you that well, and I was feeling so good and I was so happy, I went in for the hug.


JERENE: I just had to give her a hug and thank her for all that she had given me. And all of that, I, I became nutritionally woke.

JENNIFER: I love it.

MELANIE: You know, it is, that is the pure joy of my job is seeing lives transformed and seeing the hope in women's face and seeing men, men, I have male osteoporosis clients as well. And just seeing that hope and seeing that there, this is not a death sentence. You're not going to crumble into a pile of ashes when you hit 70. And so the joy of having people come in, that they have been transformed simply by eating the real food, taking some key supplements, it's the best job in the world. It truly is. Well, in addition to eating real food and very low dairy, what else did you do to improve your bone density? We worked on a lot together.

Key supplements to help with osteoporosis


JERENE: Yeah. Well I take those supplements. I take the Key Osteo Plus packets that you spoke of, vitamin D3, omega three, the Key Collagen in my coffee in the morning. And I'll sneak that in later in the day as well in a smoothie or, and you know, something else I'm having. And I really worked and continue to work reducing my sugar intake; just plain out label reading and watching also for those inflammatory oils that you were talking about, Jennifer.

MELANIE: And let's don't forget about prunes.

JERENE: Oh yeah; daily.

Research shows connection between prunes and building bone


MELANIE: Daily. So there's a research connection, listeners, between eating prunes and building bone. Not figs, not grapes. Prunes. So we worked on four to six prunes a day, two after each meal. And that is research based. And it's very surprising to my clients to hear that.

JERENE: Yeah. It was just so empowering. That's how I felt; empowered in my own health. And I actually, I stopped taking the bone drug and that was not empowering. I felt at the mercy of that drug, I felt at the mercy of that diagnosis. And it did not make me feel good in two weeks. Like this made me feel good.

MELANIE: Good, good. And you weren't on it very long. It was very brief.

JERENE: No, It was a great, it wasn't, it wasn't very long. I felt confident that this was the right, this was the right way. This is what I had been looking for.

MELANIE: That was the path for you.

JERENE: It was.

MELANIE: That worked for you and, and you didn't feel that well. Tell us the good news about your bone scan.

JERENE: Well, a year and a half after meeting with you, had my next DEXA scan and I increased the bone density in my back by 8% and in my hip by 5%.

MELANIE: Exciting.

JERENE: Very exciting.

MELANIE: Hasn't, we haven't stopped.

JERENE: A year and a half later.

MELANIE: A year and a half? You were impatient. You wanted that bone scan.

JERENE: Yeah, I was. Yeah.

The power of nutrition and lifestyle factors in healing osteoporosis


JENNIFER: That is fantastic, Jerene. I think we need to share with the listeners how sugar negatively impacts bone health. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, boron and phosphorus are often pulled from the bones to help break down sugar. The fact is that the more sugar there is in your diet, the more your bone density decreases. So think of sugar as a bone robber.

MELANIE: That's good: bone robber. There are so many nutritional recommendations we can make. But hearing from our wonderful guests and their stories, maybe you, it helps you to realize that food is much more powerful at building strong bones than any medication. It may be easy to take a medication, but we need that real bone plan, which comes from real food, lifestyle changes. Helping women preserve their bones is just one of my passions.

Osteoporosis is a silent epidemic and we just know what our bones are doing when they break. But it's a silent, it's a silent disease. And so what we want to do is be aware of what our bones are doing. So I applaud these women for their willingness to tell their stories and increase the awareness for our listeners. Jerene, Jennifer, it's been a joy to do this show with you. And I just know it's just going to get better and better as you go along eating real food and taking your supplements and doing your exercise. And it's been fun.

JENNIFER: That's right. It has been. It's been a joy to share our stories as well.

MELANIE: So I think it's important for our listeners to understand that osteoporosis is not something we really talk about, but we lose more women to an osteoporosis break each year than we do to breast cancer and ovarian cancer combined.


MELANIE: So I want to encourage you listeners, male or female, know what your bones are doing. Insist on getting a DEXA scan, get one and find out how are my bones? Because it's important. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thanks for joining us today.

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