Vegetarian Health Institute - Discover How to Thrive on a Plant Based Diet and Stop Being Vulnerable to Deficiencies
Michael Klaper, MD
Michael Klaper, MD
(Q&A 27)

Lesson 27: Secrets To Preventing Osteoporosis

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Besides calcium, which other nutrients are critical to strong bones? Which foods put your bones at risk? Which exercises keep your bones strong and which don't? When are x-rays and bone density tests deceptive? Does fluoridated water strengthen your bones or deteriorate them? Do dairy products protect you from osteoporosis, or put you at greater risk?

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Thank you for al this information. My daughter is 9 and has a vitamin d deficiency and hs had this 3 times since she was a baby and had rickets. She gets pain in her legs and is on the cholecalciferol at 3000ug is this ok as its for 6 months
Val Archer:
Hi Paula - I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. Is she outdoors daily in natural sunshine? You need to track down whether her rickets is a genetic defect (e.g. her body is missing the enzymes needed to convert sunlight into D3) or whether toxemia and deficiency are at the root of the problem, as it is with 95% of diseases. If her body is not converting sunlight into D3, then taking D3 (cholecalciferol) will not solve that problem. Cholecalciferol has unwanted side effects -- see My suggestion is to find an integrative medical doctor like Dr. Joel Fuhrman who wrote "Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right" -- one who looks for the root cause and addresses that, before prescribing medication with side effects. Meanwhile, you could join his forums and ask your question there.
How would you advise patients who are on coumadin, who are cautioned about too many greens and vitamin K.
Val Archer:
Hi Linda - lesson 47 (on dental health) gives in-depth info on the difference between vitamin K1 (needed for blood clotting) and vitamin K2 (needed for strong bones & teeth) and how much supplemental K2 per day is acceptable (according to research) if you're on an anticoagulant like coumadin.
Maynard S Clark:
Hearing or seeing Dr. Klaper is typically extremely good!
Renee Rutledge:
Great interview. Thank you both! What do you think of adding boron for bone health? My functional MD has me on it as it for osteoporosis due to soil depletion. Also, there are several algae-based sources for DHA/EPA, such as Ovega. In terms of sunshine for VD. Check out Dr. Mercola for instructions on how to use the Azmuth chart for UVB rays to create VD. Apparently, UVA rays do not work.
Val Archer:
Hi Renee - boron is commonly included in a multi for healthy bones.
Great info with all the nuances you don't usually get and I was excited to just "fall into" this audio today! As a vegan of only 6 months, I study a lot but hearing it from you Trevor and the doctor was awesome. How can I get more video topics? I took good notes and felt happy and uplifted afterwards! Thank you so much!!!
Val Archer:
Hi Alice - the program itself is text and audio based, but does link to several videos on other sites.
thank you for this great info. want to mention Trader Joe also sells mushrooms that supply D3.
Great, informative program. I wish I had known this information five years ago when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and was anemic. The doctors were concerned with that and told me to eat meat and for calcium to eat cheese. My bone test came back with osteopenia. I guess a doctor wants to put me on meds. My vit D was 22 then 93 with sun. Thank you, my focus will be on diet and exercise. Thanks
Thank you for sharing your knowledge to help us prevent osteoporosis.
Great info, i enjoyed it a great deal..
Much good information in the interview. Non-dairy milk - most contain high levels of sugar, minimal amounts of nutrients from nuts. Soya - humans are unable to absorb protein from soya except in its fermented form. Also, all pharmaceuticals lack "unbiased" testing by Big Pharma.
Excellent! Thanks so much for this info.
Anyone else heard of strontium to build bone density? Stopped Fosamax years ago and waiting to see results.
Val Archer:
Hi Lorna - good for you that you quit Fosamax. It leads to brittle bones. An excellent book to build bone density is Dr. Susan E. Brown's "Better Bones, Better Body: Beyond Estrogen and Calcium." Her website is
I was diagnosed with osteopenia several years ago. In 2013, I slipped and fell, breaking my ankle badly, which I believe resulted from landing hard on the inside of my leg with my full body weight, rather than any bone weakness. Dr. Klaper's comments on bone strength vs. density encouraged me that I am on the right track. Also interesting is the fact that some plants cause acidification. Thanks!
Thanks ,from Dr Klaper we learn a lot today he has suggested to take D2 5000iu I am bit confused on D2 & D3 can you comment on this?
Val Archer:
Hi Chitra - see my reply to Elizabeth below.
This Q&A session was excellent! Dr. Klaper's answers to the questions were clear and concise.
If your body is very alkaline, does this effect the acidity needed for optimum digestion, to avert bloating & gas? I've heard that you should not even drink water with a meal, that it would dilute stomach acids.
Val Archer:
Hi Carolyn - a high-alkaline state (alkalosis) can cause bone spurs and bursitis. It should not affect your stomach acid. Raw fooder Markus Rothkranz says that drinking alkaline water will affect your stomach acid, while raw fooder Ken Rohla disagrees with him.

Definitely don't drink ANY water with a meal. That will make it harder for your entire digestive system to absorb the nutrients. Rather eat high-water content foods such as leafy greens and fruit. Even a potato is 70% water. Nuts are only 5% water. The water in raw food is H3O2, whereas regular water is H2O.

The best way to reduce bloating and gas is to restore the healthy flora in your gut with home-made probiotics such as kefir water and sauerkraut.
Rosemarie Dagostino:
I love to listen to the calls but I would like some videos also. How do I get the acid/alkaline book?
Val Archer:
Hi Rosemarie - Dr. Klaper does not mention a specific book? There are many on the market. Search under Books at for "acid alkaline balance" and see which one resonates best with you.
Excellent interview, I learned a lot. I am especially interested as I have osteoporosis in my spine. I became vegan 8 months ago and so have cut out a lot of the acid from dairy and meat.
Now, after the interview, I will begin taking 5000iu of Vitamin D2 per day. Thank you!
Fantastic info. So much appreciate Dr. Klaper's knowledge. He is my favorite doctor to listen to.
I thoroughly enjoyed this session. I have fibrous dysplasia in my right femur and broke it when I was 18 and had bone grafting surgery. I have a healthy fear of breaking it again.
I'm glad to know that what I have been doing has greatly strengthened the femur. The doctor was so surprised I walked as well as I do after seeing the x-rays.
I eat a vegetarian diet and exercise. I'd like to hear more suggestions.
Excellent!! What a wealth of information!!
There is now a vegan vitamin D3 in my natural food store. It's a liquid that you add to water with a provided dropper. The brand is Nordic Naturals. The vitamin D is from lichen.
Thank you!
Annette Jacobson:
I found the discussion very illuminating, very clearly explained in a most friendly, clear-for-the-layman's grasp. I'm wondering how to get to hear more on this topic and get answers to high-level questions on food and health.
This was so helpful! One of the best health interviews I've heard and I've listened to quite a LOT! Thank you so much Dr. Klaper and thank you Trevor for providing a great space for this important topic.
Excellent audio and topic. I found it very informative.
Midge Howard:
The Q&A was very helpful. I am wondering if the little cracks in tooth enamel shows a lack of calcium and can it be reversed? Are there little cracks on my bones, too? How can we promote healthy tooth enamel?
Val Archer:
Hi Midge - your teeth and bones share several nutrients in common, but seeing cracks in the one won't necessarily mean there will be cracks in the other. My web page here gives details on how to build strong enamel. The late Dr. Weston A. Price showed that enamel cracks can be reversed. See Lesson 47: Dental Health.
I have been taking 2,000 units of Vitamin D3 daily as recommended by my doctor for osteoporosis. What is the difference between D2 and D3? What is the difference in absorption between to two?
Val Archer:
Vitamin D3 usually comes from animals such as fish, wool and hides. Vegans are advised not to take D3, unless it's specifically advertized as vegan D3 from an organic, non-GMO plant source. D2 supplements are vegan. Davis & Melina write in "Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets" that: "The two forms of vitamin D [D2 + D3] have been shown to be equally effective."

Scientists used to think only animal tissue has vitamin D3. And sunshine converts the cholesterol in your skin into vitamin D3. But this 2013 research -- Vitamin D In Plants -- reports that the leaves of the Solanaceae family have D3 (e.g. potato, tomato, pepper leaves). And that microalgae are the source of the high content of vitamin D3 in fish ... but you don't know how much D2 and D3 any specific algae are making because of species differences and geographic differences.

Be careful with a vitamin D3 supplement (cholecalciferol). As with vitamin A, it's toxic when you overdose. If you feel you need it, be sure to check your blood levels first!
Thank you for the warm and informative way of handling this issue
Thank you so much for the very useful information. I have been teaching an exercise class that I named Building Bones and Balance for many years.
This information was very useful to me to be able to pass on to my students as we do our balance, weight-bearing, and light free-weight exercises. Thank You
I would never use toxic fluoride in anything, especially on my body. My teeth don't need flouride imported from China to survive and they do well without it.
Besides there's a plethora of natural herbs that can prevent or cure and keep my mouth healthy and clean.
Flouride is a neurotoxin...
Val Archer:
Hi John - we agree! That's why this interview makes NO mention of fluoride.
Thank you Dr. Klaper for breaking down important health issues into easy to understand concepts. Thank you Trevor for your time in this educational endeavor. As a clinical dietitian I am going through a confusing time with diets… vegan, paleolithic, alkaline, acid, fat, insulin release… I am on a personal journey to make good sense of it all to better help my patients and my family. Thank you!
I used to listen to Dr. Klaper on Pacifica radio. Then, as now, his integrity, kindness, wisdom and knowledge always come through.
Thanks for the interesting Q&A, Trevor! I appreciated hearing Dr. Klaper's perspective on different common medical tests as well as his thoughts on Vitamin D, Flouride and acid/alkaline balance in food. The description of bone response to load bearing exercise was new to me and interesting. It's always informative and fun to hear Dr. Klaper speak.
Thanks especially for the part on bone density/bone strength. X-rays have indicated I've had osteopenia for years. My doctor described the different meds I could take, but I refused any.
Although I've had a few hard falls due to sports, I've never broken a bone, so hearing your "strength counts more" makes that all make sense and relieves me from thinking my bones are doomed.
Great info. Thank you Trevor!
This has been very interesting and helpful and I really appreciate Dr Klaper helping to educate us to healthier bodies. Thanks so much to both the doctor and Trevor.
Wow -- quite enlightening! I will be tweaking my dietary and exercise routines based on what I learned. Thanks!
David noble:
Thanks, I really enjoyed the Q&A.
Dr. Klaper has a wonderful wealth of knowledge. I could listen all night.
Joyce Nilsen:
I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn more about osteoporosis. I appreciate the Q&A format. You'd never have access to this much information in visiting a doctor's office.
Mary Beth:
I have listened to many of Dr. Klaper's audios, and I have his DVD on digestion because he is so wonderfully articulate and easy on the ears, so-to-speak. He does not ramble on, but gives the information asked for in a way that is very easy for me to carry in my head. I really like to listen to Dr. Klaper. I am a fan.

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