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Depressed? Check Your Bones/ Bone Loss? Watch for Depression
If you're depressed you're in danger of bone loss.  And if you're losing bone, you risk severe depression. What's going on and what can you do?

The Nourishing Company

The Nourishing Company

Volume VI # 107        Copyright 2015       All Rights Reserved

Depression and bone loss, while seeming to be unrelated, often occur together.  What does that mean? Is there some magical explanation, like that bad luck runs in pairs? Or worse, that it it runs in threes and one more bad thing is on it's way?

Happily, there's a better explanation, - one that can lead to resolution of both problems.  Here's what these two health epidemics have in common, along with what to do about them.

Some 19 million people in the U.S. are clinically depressed.  Also, osteoporosis (bone loss)  threatens 28 million citizens who either have it or are developing it.

These two conditions may seem unrelated at first.  But enter the fascinating world of clinical nutrition and you can discover not only how and why they're connected, but also why one strategy can address both.  There are three primary connections:

  •  Essential fatty acid deficiencies or imbalances;
  •  Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances in the hormonal systems;
  •  Deficiencies or imbalances that result in poor blood quality.

Essential Fatty Acid Deficiencies or Imbalances:  To run properly, the human body absolutely requires essential fatty acids, which we ingest in the food group known as oils or fats.  For example, the membrane of every cell in our bodies is made from fats; the myelin sheath of nerves is made from fats; neurotransmitters require fats in order to be manufactured.  In fact, our brains are composed of 80% fats. Many people now have severe fatty acid deficiencies due to low fat diets.

A second contributing factor is eating too much saturated, compared to unsaturated fats. Without sufficient dietary intake of unsaturated fats, people can become depressed.  And the link to bones?  Fat molecules are the carriers the body uses to deliver minerals from the digestive system to the bones. Not enough fats, and the result is depression and no deliveries to build bone!

Nutritional Deficiencies or Imbalances in the Hormonal Systems:  Hormones are the molecules that regulate bodily systems. Many people have nutritional imbalances and deficiencies that disrupt part or all of their hormonal system. This may be due to pesticides that mimic hormones, prescription hormones that greatly increase the levels of one hormone in relation to another (as in hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills), or  food allergies, heavy metal toxicity or organic solvent contamination, any of which can wreak havoc on the hormonal system.

Consider the hormonal issues  that result when certain minerals are low for whatever reason.  For example, suppose the mineral building blocks to create thyroid T1 hormone are low.  This hormone regulates the brain, and when mineral deficiencies prevent the brain from working well, one result is depression.  Many of these are the same minerals bones need to be healthy, and in their absence, the body chooses to keep the brain functioning and to rob the bones.  The result is both depression and bone loss.

Or suppose  the nutritional building blocks for thyroid T4 are absent or deficient. In that case, the heart and adrenalscannot properly regulate themselves and that person also feels depressed. They also feel great stress, produce high cortisol levels which attack the connective tissue from which bones are made.  This is another depression/ bone loss link.

When the nutritional building blocks for sex hormones are low, whether estrogens, testosterone or progesterone in men,  women or children, the person feels depressed.  And those three hormones are the same ones that regulate the bone building and breakdown process.  Thus low sex hormones can = depression = low bone mass.

Deficiencies or Imbalances that Result in Poor Blood Quality The quality of our blood is a direct result of the quality of our diet.  Healthy blood contains vitamins, minerals, hormones, enzymes, antibodies.  When our diet is made up of non foods such as fake fats, fake sweeteners and fake oils, refined carbohydrates (meaning those stripped of their vitamins, minerals and enzymes) synthetic chemicals (whether from prescriptions or synthetic vitamins which are chemical imitations of real, live food) we simply cannot make healthy blood.

Two results of this deficient state are feeling depressed and not being able to make bone, since bone is made from blood. Additionally, in this needy state our bodies actually rob our bones of their nutrient riches and put them into blood circulation so other, more essential parts of our bodies can stay alive (such as our brains or hearts, for example).

Also, blood is the means of delivering both oxygen and energy (in the form of glucose) to the brain and the rest of the body. Wide variations in blood sugar affect both mood and cognition, and resulting in depression. Disturbances in blood sugar metabolism include insulin resistance (also called Syndrome X, Dysglycemia and Type II Diabetes.  Dysglycemia gradually weakens bone structure by inhibiting calcium uptake into bone cells.  Researchers think bones are actually structurally altered in type II Diabetes (women diabetics not using insulin have 82% more hip fractures and twice as many arm fractures).   Again, depression and osteoporotic fractures are linked.

Obviously, then, depression and osteoporosis are related to each other in many ways.  Does that mean that we simply have to sit back and suffer these symptoms, with no hope of improvement?

Clinical nutritionists report again and again, that by feeding the body what it needs, it can use its innate ability to self-repair.  And when the body is properly fed, the symptoms that resulted from its nutritional imbalances can fall away, including depression and bone loss.

To achieve such results, they caution against a one-size-fits-all approach to either symptom, as the deficiencies or imbalances that are associated with one person’s depression or bone loss are very different from those of another. As we have seen, that’s because one person’s imbalances are not the same as those of another, and what is needed to rebalance is also unique to each individual.
Portions of this article were excerpted from the Natural Female Hormone Care online lesson series.  For more information, and to receive a complementary self-questionnaire you can use to assess female hormone balance, go to

For a complementary self-questionnaire you can use to assess your bone loss symptoms, go to
                                                                                                                          Pamela Levin, R.N., T.S.T.A

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