Osteoporosis has been a rising concern, especially for women. As the disease progresses, calcium leaches from the bones. They become brittle, breaking or cracking with even the slightest impact. One in three women will have serious bone loss in their lifetime, causing an annual death rate of 200,000 in the US. At present, the National Dairy Council proposes eating and drinking more dairy products to increase dietary calcium as the solution to osteoporosis. The theory is seriously flawed. In one study, conducted by the Dairy Council, women who drank three eight-ounce glasses of low-fat milk daily for a year, showed no improvement in their calcium balance.
The Bantu women of Africa live on a sparse diet of vegetable sources. A diet completely free of dairy foods. Their average intake of calcium is 250 to 400 mg a day. This is far lower than the 800 mg. recommended by the RDA. They give birth to as many as ten babies during their life. Each child is breast-fed for ten months. Although childbearing causes an intense calcium drain, osteoporosis is unknown to these people. When Bantu women migrate to the city and adopt a protein-rich diet, osteoporosis and other diseases become a threat to their health.
In 1984, the Medical Tribune reported studies by Michigan State and other universities regarding bone densities. It was the most extensive study yet undertaken. They discovered that, in the United States, at age 65, male vegetarians averaged a 3% bone loss. Male meat-eaters averaged a 7% bone loss. Female vegetarians averaged an 18% bone loss. Female meat-eaters averaged a 35% bone loss. The conclusion was that vegetarians were found to have significantly stronger bones.
The Inuit people, who live on a very high-protein diet, have the greatest calcium intake of any population. Yet, they also have one of the highest rates of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a result of a negative calcium balance caused by the body using calcium to neutralize the continuous quantities of acidic mixtures that enter the bloodstream.