wonders of you

The wonders of you

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  ― Albert Einstein

This time of year, many of us meditate on miracles. Hanukah and Christmas are both winter holidays that focus on miraculous ancient events, while for some, the solstice itself — the long night that signifies the transition from year-end to the beginning of a new year cycle — is the only miracle we need to acknowledge. In that vein, I want to acknowledge the many miracles we all have within us. It’s time to focus on the wonders of you.

The miraculous intelligence of the body

The human body is composed of 37 to 100 trillion cells — even the lower number suggests there are 75 times more cells in the human body than stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Trillions of chemical reactions occur in the body each second, all coordinated one with the other. Many cells can produce 1000+ reactions each second, with each cell knowing what every other cell is doing.

As an individual, I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time, but my amazing body effortlessly coordinates trillions of actions and interactions each second. My body has the ability to simultaneously turn a hamburger into blood and bones, mount a war against infection, produce billions of new cells, create a whole new human being, track the phase of the moon, and perhaps even envision a happier world. This is multitasking on a grand scale!

If I could be as strong as my bones

When human bones are healthy, they are among the toughest structures imaginable:

– Your bones are twice as tough as granite.

– Your bones are 4 times more resilient than concrete when stretched.

– Despite this incredible strength, your bones are about 5 times as light as steel.

Wonders of you: your amazing perception

The sensitivity of our body to its surroundings is also an amazing thing to contemplate. Here are some astonishing facts about our senses:

– The human eye can process 36,000 pieces of information per hour and can distinguish 10 million different colors and 500 shades of gray. The eye is so sensitive that if the earth were flat, one could see a flickering candle 18 miles away.

– Humans ears can distinguish a half a million different tones between the frequencies of 20 to 20,000 Hz.

– Humans have 5 to 6 million odor detecting cells, allowing us to detect over a trillion distinct scents. Approximately 75% of human emotions are triggered by smell.

– The skin contains more than 4 million sensory receptors, and science has determined that a human finger can distinguish textures as small as 13 nanometers in amplitude. This means that on a smooth surface, humans can feel large molecules and single-celled organisms.

– Humans have up to 10,000 taste buds, and our mouths are home to as many as 200 different species of bacteria.

Stand in awe of the body’s abilities

I sometimes wish I could fix things as efficiently as my body does. Each day, our DNA experiences as many as 100,000 breaks per cell, the vast majority of which are spontaneously corrected. Within the skeleton, there are 42 billion living cells buried in bone that communicate with one another, known as “osteocytes.” Osteocytes sense where weak bone needs repair and new bone needs to be laid down. Right now, there are 2 million skeletal sites where pieces of old bone are broken down and new ones are created.

The body also does a better job communicating and developing relationships than I do. Bone cells communicate with one another through a network of tiny vessels that is the same magnitude as the neural network of the brain, containing 23 trillion connections  that, set end to end, equal 175,000 km in length — a distance more than half the way to the moon! And these connections aren’t confined to the body’s own cells by any means: The vast majority of cells in the human body are not human cells, they are bacterial cells, and we get along with these 100 trillion or so neighbors quite well.

And there are more wonders of you because, at its essence, everything in the universe — including you — is recycled stardust dating back 13 billion years. As I look at it, it took billions of years to create my magnificent body, so I pray to all the Divine forces that I use it well in the new year and all the years to follow.

The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” -Carl Sagan


love your bones retreat

Lessons from our latest retreat — why rest and rejeuvenation matter

Our Better Bones team recently flew back from our second Love Your Bones, Love Your Life Retreat in Sedona, Arizona. We return to our work with renewed vigor for empowering women to take charge of their bone health and total mind-body-spirit health. Each of us took so much home from the Love Your Bones Retreat. We hope that our reflections on the retreat inspire you to carve out more “rest and digest” respite time of your own.

Why retreat?

More than any other time in history, we are subject to an ever expanding world of new information, enticing online courses, colorful videos on any topic under the sun, new “must have” products, novel technologies we never imagined— all coming at us at “hyper speed.”

Even in our world of natural bone health, there is a rapid stream of innovative research, analyses and exciting ideas about how to prevent osteoporosis and build lifelong bone strength — ideas and perspectives your grandparents could not even imagine.

It’s a time of overwhelming abundance. In so many ways, this is a great thing. But amid this flood of information and activity, most of us have reached a point where we need to take a few deep breaths, sit back and make time to “rest and digest” the ever-expanding world around us.

We all know that an occasional “retreat” from everyday activities and a change of scenery for a few days leaves us feeling more rested and rejuvenated. Even more, we have found that retreating is key for recharging our ability to reach our health goals.

Our three ingredients for restful and inspiring retreat are simple but powerful.

  • A focused learning experience to allow for deep learning and reflection.
  • A lovely and nurturing setting to inspire our sense of wonder and calm the mind.
  • The company of fascinating like-minded women to learn from and motivate one another.

Reflecting on the Love Your Bones Retreat

Coming home from the Love Your Bones Retreat, each of us — myself included — came back basking in the glow of our newly formed friendships and expanded Better Bones community. The lessons we learned will last a lifetime — and we’d like to share some of them with you

An expansion of joy

The word that best summarizes my feelings from the Sedona Love Your Bones, Love Your Life Retreat is expansion —expansion of our capacity to joyfully share the cutting-edge Better Bones, Better Body®perspectives and expansion of our participants’ capacity to understand and joyfully implement our time-tested program. The retreat was such a beautiful and uplifting experience for all of us, attendees and teachers alike.What a joy to be with such an amazing group of powerful, like-minded women — each and every one on their own path to creating greater health, abundant  happiness and a peaceful world!

– Dr. Susan Brown, Director


Smart and empowered friends for life 

Leading up to the Sedona Love Your Bones Retreat the office was abuzz with preparation. Did we remember to pack everything? Were the medical charts & reports Dr. Brown prepared included in the manuals? Would everyone like the gift bags? So many details go into preparing these retreats and we want everyone to have such a lovely time that sometimes we forget our own advice … to breathe and find the flow.

Once arriving at Sedona Mago, I knew everything was going to be splendid as soon as I started greeting our retreat guests. What an incredible group of smart, empowered and motivated women! Over the course of the four days, I got to know all of the women and hear their stories of why they had been attracted to this retreat. There were so many different situations and levels of bone loss, but one common theme was that they all wanted to make a change NOW.  

As the retreat ended and my 20 new friends prepared to return to their homes, my brain was already working on how we could do this again! It was such a rich experience for all who attended and our entire staff. These retreats are the highlight of my working year and I hope to meet one of you at our next Love Your Bones, Love Your Life Retreat!

– Jean Marie Russo, Business Director


Finding a sisterhood of support and caring

There were so many magical moments from the Sedona Love Your Bones Retreat. I find it such an honor to bring together a group of women from different geographical locations and walks of life. Initially, they simply share the common bond of a concern for optimum bone health. By the end of the retreat, however, you see a bond and sisterhood of support and caring. It is so great to be part of creating community with all of these amazing women.

I had the wonderful opportunity to lead two yoga workshops during the retreat and it’s always so interesting to hear the feedback after these yoga workshops. Many of the women had never tried yoga, and some were even fearful they would do damage or injure themselves. Many were riddled with fear and unknowing. After the yoga workshops, however, the women shared how good they felt and how much they enjoyed the experience and many looked forward to continuing bringing yoga into their daily life. 

– Gina Galli, Client Service Manager and Exercise Evolution Co-Creator


Inspiration and amazing energy

I’ve been working with Dr. Brown and the Center for Better Bones for a year and a half now and the Love Your Bones Love Your Life Retreat in Sedona was my second retreat. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to take part in this retreat, helping Dr. Brown and the staff bring the best bone content and inspiration to this wonderful group of women. As a young woman, it was so inspiring to see a group of such accomplished and motivated women come to Sedona to take charge of their health. It was such an empowering weekend! The beautiful scenery and the spiritual nature of the environment created an amazing energy between us all and by the end of the weekend it felt like we were a family!  I am so grateful to have taken part in this experience and am confident that we will all keep in touch in the future.

– Alyssa Levengood, Curriculum Development Manager


We hope that you join at our next Love Your Bones, Love Your Life Retreat, this May in the scenic mountains of Northern Pennsylvania. In the meantime,each of us sends you our very best wishes for life-long bone strength and abundant body-mind-spirit health.

Better Bones Better Body retreat

Our Inspiring “Love Your Bones, Love Your Body Retreat”

Oh what fun, and what inspiration!

We here at Better Bones were delighted with our first-ever “Love Your Bones, Love Your Body” retreat. This amazing four-day event was fun, educational and motivational. I was thrilled that 21 highly motivated women from around the United States and even England joined us in Myrtle Beach to seek better bone health. Each one shared our passion for getting to the root of any bone weakness, building bone strength naturally and creating a loving, healing community.

Some in the group had actually already built substantial bone density by simply learning from my books and blogs and using our Better Bones Builder multi-nutrient supplement. These women attended the Retreat to learn more and advance their personal bone-building programs.

Others in the group were new to the Better Bones, Better Body® Program approach; however, they were committed to exploring the best possible natural ways to build bone strength. For some, the path to Better Bones would be simple—nutritional supplementation, pH balancing, and exercise.

Still others realized that their bone health is likely burdened by hidden medical factors. Empowered by the Love Your Bones retreat, these women were now prepared to explore hidden medical causes of bone weakening, to work with their doctors, and even teach their doctors if necessary. Hear from attendees Jan and Nan about their retreat experiences.

Taking charge of our skeletal health

Every time we step up to the plate and take responsibility for what is happening in our bodies, we enrich our own life and add to the rising global tide of health awareness.  I am reminded of Margaret Mead’s comment, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

All of us in the Better Bones, Better Body community are making a difference, creating an overdue shift in how women’s bone health issues are viewed, evaluated, and treated. The women joining us in Myrtle Beach stood up to take charge of their skeletal health. I was inspired and uplifted by each of them.

Here at the Center for Better Bones, we work toward the day when every interested woman has the information she needs to empower her to take charge of her bone health. The “Love Your Bones, Love Your Body Retreat” was an important step towards fulfillment of this goal; a new wave of natural bone health awareness is spreading throughout the U.S. and even into Europe as these women return home to share what they learned during their four days with us.

Join us!

If you are interested in this more personalized group approach to fortifying your personal Better Bones program know that will be doing more retreats, like our next retreat this coming fall in Sedona, Arizona!  Perhaps even more relevant to many of you, this summer we are launching our first online, empowering Better Bones, Better Body® course.

In the meantime, we will continue to teach the new science of natural bone health through our weekly blogs, our Facebook page and YouTube videos. I hope you’ll share what you are learning with others thus adding to the vision we have for a radical transformation of women’s skeletal healthcare.

5 tips for improving brain health

What’s good for the bones is good for the brain

Not long ago, I spoke with Dr. Steven Masley, whose book The Better Brain Solution I found fascinating. I couldn’t help but notice, when I read the book, that his solution to maintaining longevity and healthy brain function sounded awfully familiar to me!

Stronger bones, stronger mind

Looking at over 100 clinical markers of aging, ranging from brain speed to arterial plaque growth to bone density, in concert with lifestyle factors such as diet, fitness, toxin exposure, and stress management in more that 1000 patients, Steven has found that many of the same things we use to help prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures can also reduce the risk of long-term memory loss. “We’ve been able to show which things help your memory, which things improve your brain, and it turns out many of these things are also good for your heart and your bones,” he says.

The part that may be new to my readers is that this research finds blood sugar to be one of the key elements of maintaining both healthy brain and heart. “We know that probably the number one factor that contributes to memory loss is elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance,” he told me. “When brain cells become insulin resistant, they literally shut down — they’re not able to use glucose as energy. And over time, it leads to brain cell death and literally the brain starts shrinking.”

5 steps for improving brain health

His five-step solution to this problem is where the conversation went toward familiar topics:

  1. Healthy foods: A diet rich in green, leafy vegetables makes your brain, on average, 11 years younger, says Steven, who also recommends eating oily fish and nuts to provide omega-3 fatty acids and lists nearly a dozen other foods that are also part of an alkaline diet.
  2. Exercise: “Just like for bones,” Steven says, “we see a benefit… the fitter you are, the better your brain function.”
  3. Specific nutrients: Vitamin D, magnesium, and B vitamins — all important in bone health — are also key brain health.
  4. Stress reduction: “If you don’t manage [stress], your cortisol rises, your blood sugar goes up, and it literally shrinks your brain,” he says.
  5. Probiotics: “I really like the idea of a probiotic for a healthy gut” as a way to support brain health, he adds.

I named my bone health program “Better Bones, Better Body” because I understood that what was good for the bones would benefit the rest of the body as well—and it’s nice to get still more scientific confirmation that the approach works. But Steven’s research also underscores the sheer number of people who need to learn the value of this approach. “The #1 most expensive disease in America today is memory loss,” Steven told me. “It’s supposed to double in just the next 12 years. It’s skyrocketing.” He points to the fact that “50% of all Baby Boomers, and 30% of all adults, have insulin resistance… they’re high risk for memory loss, heart disease, diabetes, and probably bone loss, too!”

If you want to hear what else Dr. Steven Masley had to say, watch our video interview.



how do you want to be, feel, and look in 2018?

2018: The Year of Deliberate Creation

On these long winter nights, my attention is often drawn inward. Cozying up to a blazing wood stove, I am ready for my favorite topic of contemplation:

“Knowing that my choices will determine my life experience, what life experiences and personal transformation do I want in 2018? More important, what deliberate actions am I willing to take to achieve my goals?”

As the new year begins, I encourage you to take advantage of these quiet winter nights to answer your own soul-searching questions:

  • How do you want to be, feel and look in the coming year?
  • Have you joined the critical mass of women taking responsibility for their health, perhaps starting with bone health?
  • The ancient Chinese proverb notes, “If we keep going in the same direction we will end up right where we are headed.” Where are you headed, and is that the direction you want?

As for me, I’m using the winter’s quietude to reset my sights and plant new seeds, knowing that after a few months of rest, these uplifting initiatives will sprout, bringing joy, growth, and fulfillment in 2018.

Here’s my plan for 2018:

  • Working with my colleagues at the Center for Better Bones, we will build an even stronger, more informed tribe of women willing and able to take charge of their bone and overall health.
  • I will share my knowledge with women worldwide so they may do what women have done throughout the ages: protect and nurture the fires of health and well-being.
  • I’ll offer a new weekly “Wisdom” social media posting for you to consider, respond to, and share with others. Together we can create an uplifting, positive energy capable of moving everyone forward.
  • My dedicated team at the Center for Better Bones will make our time-tested Better Bones, Better Body Program more affordable and available to every interested woman through our new community online classes. (More on this coming soon!) Together we’ll transform both the way women themselves,and the medical profession, view and treat bone health concerns.
  • Finally, in a spirit of sisterhood and joy, we at the Center for Better Bones are offering “Love Your Bones, Love Your Life,” our first ever 4-day education/inspiration retreat in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, March 2018. (Learn more.) Don’t worry if you can’t attend this time… there will be other retreats!

New Year’s is a logical time of year to appreciate your personal growth and plan for the coming year. I invite you to join me as we create Better Bones and a Better Body in 2018. I’ll be here to support you all along the way.

Together will rewrite the book on women’s bone health!

How To Start An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

An anti-inflammatory diet for healthy bones

Inflammation is one of Mother Nature’s powerful double-edged swords: We need it to clear way damaged tissue, but excessive and uncontrolled inflammation brings unwanted destruction.  Ongoing inflammation lies at the root of osteopenia and osteoporosis.  It’s been known for years that individuals with higher inflammatory markers (like C-reactive protein) exhibit lower bone density and fracture more often. Enter the anti-inflammatory diet!

New research looking at an anti-inflammatory diet and its components has found the adage that “food is medicine” is true when it comes to protecting bone from the ravages of inflammation. Ohio State University researchers recently reviewed data from over 160,000 women, mean age of 63, collected over 6 years. They found that:

  • Women whose diet ranked highest in anti-inflammatory food components lost significantly less bone density as they aged than those with high intake of pro-inflammatory foods  (even if they had lower bone density at baseline).
  • Higher intake of anti-inflammatory food groups was associated with an almost 50% reduction in hip fracture risk among the subset of Caucasian women younger than 63.

How do I change my eating habits to get the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet?

I know what your next question will be: How do I change my eating habits to get these benefits? The simplest way to start is to look for anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet (see below), and think about ways to eliminate pro-inflammatory foods (below) from your regular diet. My Alkaline for Life diet is helpful in this regard, since most of the foods it recommends are on the  anti-inflammatory diet.



fecal transplants and your health

The straight poop on fecal transplants

It’s so easy to think that our high-tech, modern culture means we understand the laws of nature and know more than our ancestors.

When it comes to maintaining health, however, this is not necessarily true.

I’m often struck by the wisdom of ancient cultures, and every day modern science validates this wisdom, be it a new appreciation for acupuncture, or scientific support for time-honored herbal preparations, or even documentation of benefit for strange practices like bloodletting (which we now know can be very therapeutic), and, yes, fecal transplants.

If you’re interested in just what all the talk about common, everyday poop might mean for you, tune into on my humorous and informative interview with Martie Whittenkin, CCN, author of The Probiotic Cure.

Watch the video now


Here’s more about fecal transplants . . .

As gross as it sounds, treating disease with fecal matter (a practice documented in 4th-century Chinese medical literature as well as WWII-era observations of Bedouin nomads) has been used for centuries to treat many gastrointestinal disorders.

Recently, modern science has found that a simple fecal transplant — and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like: taking poop from one person and putting it into someone else — has the capability to cure an intestinal infection that is widespread and that can be fatal: Clostridium difficile. Now, this is big news! And it’s interesting because it reminds us of the essential and varied roles our microbiome (the “good bacteria” we carry with us) plays in human health.

Curing of Clostridium difficile in humans is amazing, but it could be just the beginning. Animal studies have been pushing the envelope on just what we can “import” from a fecal transplant.  For example, fecal microbiota from a fat mouse transplanted into a thin mouse resulted in the skinny mouse gaining weight. Even more interesting: shy, fearful mice became more aggressive and competitive after a fecal transplant from a very aggressive, competitive mouse.


6 fall tips for better digestion


As the days get shorter and colder, I load my wood stove to keep myself warm. And I stoke my “other stove” as well — my digestion. It’s the “burner” of our physical body that miraculously transforms food into energy to keep us strong during the long winter.

Try my 6 tips for strengthening digestion:

  1. Fall is when we transition from light, raw summer salads to more substantial, hot, cooked foods like soups, stews baked and roasted dishes that warm both the house and our digestion. Cooked fall fruits make a great dessert. Try the Apple oat and nut muffin recipe below.
  2. Sip warming teas like fresh ginger root tea and my favorite toxin-busting cardamom, fennel, ginger tea. You can always just drink hot water after your meals too. If that doesn’t seem appealing, I challenge you to try it for just one week. I suspect you’ll make it a regular habit because it feels so good.  Let me know!
  3. Warming spices and herbs not only provide antioxidants, but also warm and enhance digestion. Turmeric and ginger root are my favorites, but cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, mustard seed, red and black pepper are close behind. Try using more of these spices in your everyday cooking.
  4. Eating a larger lunch and an earlier, lighter dinner allows digestion to be complete before going to bed and making for a more successful and restful sleep-repair stage.
  5. Even if your meal is simple, enjoy the food in peaceful surroundings. Take time to chew well and savor different tastes. Just last night, I prepared a quick one-pan meal and enjoyed it while watching the sunset.
  6. One day a week, give your digestion a rest and eat only easy-to-digest liquid foods like soups, smoothies, and juices (made with warm water), protein shakes, pureed foods and plenty of hot water.

Apple oat and nut muffins recipe

From The Amazing Acid Alkaline Cookbook

Yield: 12 muffins

1 1/3 cups light spelt flour (option: gluten-free flour)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup Sucanat sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup finely chopped peeled apples
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup finely chopped and shelled raw pumpkin seeds, unsalted cashews or macadamia nuts
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup melted clarified butter
¼ cup rice syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin pan with vegetable oil or clarified butter, or use a silicone muffin pan or paper liners, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the apples, milk, pumpkin seeds, applesauce, butter and rice syrup. Mix well with a spoon until blended.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Let the muffins cool in the pan for no more than 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.


How to minimize the damage of toxic metals

5 tips to protect bone from toxic metal damage

No matter how we may try to eat “clean,” our food, water, and environment brings us a serious load of toxic metals — lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium.

Lead and cadmium, for example, are “tucked away” in the skeleton to limit damage to the rest of the body — but bone cells are damaged during storage. Worse, during periods of high bone breakdown, such as menopause, in pregnancy and lactation, or excessive weight loss, they are freed up to injure other body systems.

That’s why it’s so critical to do what you can to reduce toxic metals in your body. Here’s what I recommend:

1. Get enough alkalizing nutrients

Chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis makes toxic metals more toxic. Alkalizing nutrients help reduce uptake and enhance excretion of toxic metals. Many of the best detoxification allies are also key bone-building nutrients:

  • Calcium can help limit your absorption of both cadmium and lead. Maintain a calcium intake of 1200 mg a day —more if pregnant or lactating.
  • Zinc is an essential mineral in key toxic metal–removing compounds called “metallothioneins.” Most folks should get at least 15 to 30 mg zinc daily.
  • Magnesium deficiency encourages uptake of toxic minerals. Strive for 500–800 mg magnesium a day.
  • Vitamin C is important for successful detoxification and binding of the average daily toxic metal exposure. Take at least 2000 mg of ascorbate (vitamin C) daily.

All of these nutrients are included in my Better Bones Builder supplement.

2. Limit exposure

You can’t avoid toxic metals altogether, but you can drink pure spring or filtered water, breathe clean air, and avoid products contaminated by heavy metals (such as some seafood, dental “silver” amalgams) to limit exposure.

3. Focus on the “toxic metal–buster foods”

Consume “super foods” high in available sulfur, including garlic, onions, ginger, eggs, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Such foods enhance production of glutathione, a key antioxidant. Also, high fiber foods help the body bind and excrete toxic metals. Set a goal to consume 30 g of fiber a day.

4. Remember the beneficial bacteria

Microbes (probiotics) in the gut play important roles in protecting you from toxic metal absorption. For example, Lactobacillus microbes can sequester arsenic, lead, and cadmium from the environment. Eat fermented foods and take probiotics daily.

5. Water, air, exercise

Drink several glasses of pure water a day, relax, and breathe deeply several times a day, and exercise often to a light sweat.

As you can see, there’s a lot you can do – right now – to start limiting the effects of toxins on your bone!

What are your favorite ways to detoxify?


Engström, A., K. Michaëlsson, M. Vahter, B. Julin, A. Wolk, and A. Åkesson. 2012. Associations between dietary cadmium exposure and bone mineral density and risk of osteoporosis and fractures among women. Bone 50(6):1372–1378.

Gulson, B. L., K. R. Mahaffey, K. J. Mizon, M. J. Korsch, M. A. Cameron, and G. Vimpani. 1995. Contribution of tissue lead to blood lead in adult female subjects based on stable lead isotope methods. Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine 125(6):703–712.

Jaffe, R. 2013. Ascorbate/vitamin C: Effective removal of toxic metals. Presented at International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, June. Available: https://youtu.be/TM_z-cMYplc.

Khalil, N., J. A. Cauley, J. W. Wilson, E. O. Talbott, L. Morrow, M. C. Hochberg, T. A. Hillier, S. B. Muldoon, and S. R. Cummings. 2008. Relationship of blood lead levels to incident nonspine fractures and falls in older women: The study of osteoporotic fractures. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 23(9):1417–1425.

Sears, M. E. 2013. Chelation: Harnessing and enhancing heavy metal detoxification—A review. Scientific World Journal, Article ID 219840. DOI: 10.1155/2013/219840.

Symanski, E. and I. Hertz-Picciotto. 1995. Blood lead levels in relation to menopause, smoking, and pregnancy history. American Journal of Epidemiology 141(11):1047–1058.

Can parsley reduce cancer risk?

Research suggests parsley has anti-cancer effects


You’ve heard me say “better bones = better body” — but the reverse is also true! If you take care of your body, you’re by default improving your bone health.

One fascinating example is parsley, which turns out to be a simple herb with not-so-simple effects.

We hear a lot about “cancer-fighting foods” but parsley always seems to be overlooked. While most people use it as a garnish, several studies suggest it may have anti-cancer effects as well.

Here’s what the research says about parsley and cancer:

  • Parsley contains a flavone called apigenin, which recently was discovered to suppress an enzyme complex called IKKα. Without going into the complicated details, IKKα is used by cancerous cells to support their reproductive cycle, so in suppressing it, apigenin helps prevent cancer cells from reproducing themselves.
  • Many different vegetables and herbs contain apigenin, but it’s especially plentiful in parsely. A cup of chopped, raw parsley has about 180 mg of apigenin, which is 18 times the dose used in a German clinical trial that found that a mix of apigenin and EGCg (an ingredient in green tea) could help prevent recurrence of colon cancer.
  • Another study in prostate cancer cells found that apigenin shut down progression of cancer.

An important note: a third study found some drawbacks when used with chemotherapy drugs often used to treat leukemia — which means people who are actively getting treated for cancer probably shouldn’t add apigenin-containing foods to their diet.

For the rest of us, though, the lowly parsley plant represents an opportunity to give our body some support. It doesn’t take much — parsley has so much apigenin, a tablespoon or so a day is equivalent to the dose in the study. So just add a little tabbouleh to your sandwich for some alkalizing, anti-cancer punch!


Hoensch H, Groh B, Edler L, Kirch W. Prospective cohort comparison of flavonoid treatment in patients with resected colorectal cancer to prevent recurrence. World J Gastroenterol. 2008;14(14):2187-2193.

Ruela-de-Sousa RR, Fuhler GM, Blom N, Ferreira CV, Aoyama H, Peppelenbosch MP. Cytotoxicity of apigenin on leukemia cell lines: implications for prevention and therapy. Cell Death and Dis. 2010;1(1):e19. doi:10.1038/cddis.2009.18.

Shukla S, Kanwal R, Shankar E, et al. Apigenin blocks IKKα activation and suppresses prostate cancer progression. Oncotarget. September 2015. DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.5157