About this Episode
In the 17th episode of the Medicinal Herbs podcast from WholisticMatters, naturopath and medical herbalist Berris Burgoyne joins our host, Sara Le Brun-Blashka, MS, to talk about osteoporosis, bone health, and medicinal herbs to support healthy bones.
Experts estimate that as many as 54 million Americans live with low bone mass or osteoporosis, which is characterized by irreversible bone mineral density loss usually associated with aging.1 Osteoporosis is slightly different from osteopenia, which is a less severe form of bone mineral density loss.
Berris talks with Sara about why osteoporosis is more prevalent in females than in males. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that osteoporosis affects 19.6 percent of women over 50 years of age compared to just 4.4 percent of men. Berris and Sara discuss the role of female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that decrease during menopause and how this change relates to bone health.
Osteoporosis occurs in men, though they are at a lower risk than women, and osteoporosis in men usually occurs later in life. Men are at a lower risk of osteoporosis partly just because they are typically larger than women, with more muscle and bone mass. However, low levels of testosterone may increase the risk of osteoporosis for men.
Other than changes in hormones that occur with age, different factors may impact the development and progression of osteoporosis, such as:
- Less physical activity with age
- Genetics (i.e., a thin, slender build)
- Alcohol intake
- Cigarette smoking
Osteoporosis may be diagnosed via a bone mineral density scan (i.e., dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; DEXA). Diagnostics focus on the hip joints and lower spine. Berris and Sara discuss the treatment options available when an individual is diagnosed with either osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Education is important when it comes to maintaining bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Healthy lifestyle habits are key, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and supplement to support healthy bones.
About Our Guest
Berris Burgoyne, BHSc, ND, Dip Herb, is a renowned naturopathic clinician with 30 years of experience. She owns and runs a naturopathic clinic in Brisbane, Australia, and is a technical writer and educator. Berris was one the first herbal students of Kerry Bone and has worked closely with him over the past 26 years. She regularly lectures alongside Kerry in Australia and New Zealand and has also lectured extensively in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.