Is Osteoporosis Caused by the Atkins Diet?

Jane from Sacramento asked: â??I come from a long line of people with brittle bones. I was wondering if the diet had any negative consequences having to do with bone damage or osteoporosis. Iâ??ve heard that high-protein diets can sometimes cause osteoporosis. Is this true?â?

Jane, this is a fairly complicated question, so bare with me if the answer is a little bit complicated as well.


It has been shown that animal protein does in fact provide a calcium deficiency in your blood stream. This kind of protein has a high sulphur content. When people eat too much of this meat protein, sulfuric acid forms within our bodies which must somehow be neutralized to maintain proper internal pH balance. When this balance is not maintained, our calcium literally gets flushed out of our bodies into our urine.

While this is not really a good thing, itâ??s not too big of a deal unless it goes on for a prolonged period of time. If you continue to do this to your body for years at a time, you do have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis-especially if you have a history of osteoporosis in your family.

Critics of the diet say that it is deficient in calcium, but that is not necessarily so. Cheese, leafy greens, and low-carb milk, which are all staples of the Atkins Diet, are all very high in calcium. Plus, if you add calcium supplements to your diet, youâ??re pretty much good to go!

So while animal protein does decrease your calcium levels, you can definitely balance this out by adding more calcium to your diet and even taking calcium supplements. This way, you wonâ??t have to worry so much about developing osteoporosis.

However, you should still be conscious of your calcium levels. You wonâ??t know if you have developed osteoporosis right away, and the last way you want to find out is by having a minor fall and then shattering your hip due to calcium deficiency.

Osteoporosis is a pretty serious condition, so remember to be careful and conscious of your diet. Good luck with your weight loss and preventing that nasty osteoporosis!

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