Scoliosis Nutrition: Vitamins, Diet & Nutrient Therapies
— Factually accurate and verified by Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel. Last updated on November 9, 2018.
Correcting Genetic, Neurotransmitter & Hormone Imbalances, and Poor Diet Helps Stop Progression
Improved nutrition and supplements can help if you or your child has idiopathic scoliosis. Several studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies definitely have an influence on scoliosis, but nutrition's impact is often understated.
An unhealthy diet, low levels of specific minerals in the body, and hormone/neurotransmitter imbalances can all contribute to scoliosis progression. Poor nutrition doesn't cause idiopathic scoliosis, however. Children either have the genetic predisposition or they don't, but studies link the advancement of the condition to nutrition deficiencies.
Scoliosis is a neuro-hormonal condition with genetic predisposition that may or may not progress. Typically, your child's brain would send messages to the muscles, telling them to straighten the spine as it grows. But when your child has scoliosis, the brain doesn't realize that the body's posture is not aligned, so it doesn't send these messages. This miscommunication — coupled with environmental factors like poor nutrition or certain sports — can trigger scoliosis progression.
Correcting Hormone & Neurotransmitter Deficiencies Enhances Treatment
European studies link scoliosis progression with hormone deficiencies and the brain's lack of response to these hormones/neurotransmitters. These hormones and neurotransmitters include serotonin, melatonin, calmodulin, leptin, and growth hormones, like estrogen. The brain communicates with the body via neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters have several functions in the brain, including controlling the flow of messages from the brain to the body. This flow of communication can be accelerated, delayed or blocked if your child's neurotransmitters are deficient. Order an "at home" neurotransmitter test kit.
We use scoliosis nutritional testing to find and correct hormone imbalances in your child. Since neurotransmitters are usually amino acids and specific B vitamins, supplements can fix most imbalances such as serotonin deficiencies. Serotonin is crucial for the body's proper dynamic postural control. Plus, the body converts serotonin into melatonin, which is another deficiency linked to scoliosis. Amino acids can correct both of these hormone imbalances. This enhances neuromuscular retraining that stops scoliosis progression. The ScoliSMART Auto Response Training program uses specific exercises to create new subconscious muscle memory. Nutritional support improves the results and endurance of this program.
Many Over-the-Counter Supplements Help Scoliosis
One study published by Wiley InterScience finds that many idiopathic scoliosis patients also have lower selenium levels than normal. Tests have also shown that scoliosis patients have high levels of a cytokine (a type of small protein) called Osteopontin (OPN), which regulates bone growth. If your child has a selenium deficiency, it may be causing high OPN levels and abnormal bone growth. Therapeutic doses of 200 micrograms of selenium (L-selenomethionine to be exact) can naturally decrease OPN levels and may slow or eliminate the risk of rapid scoliosis progression.
Other supplements to consider after nutritional screening include:
- Inflavonoids. These herbal pain relievers combine Ayurvedic herbs such as ginger and turmeric with lemon bioflavonoids and vitamin C. The anti-inflammatory herbs help keep the body’s stress response down, while the vitamin C helps support the muscles and connective tissue that hold the spine in place.
- Digestive aids. A digestive enzyme formula such as Metagest (or Metaxyme for those who prefer a vegetarian supplement) can help counteract the digestive problems that often accompany scoliosis. A probiotic that promotes healthy bacteria in the intestine is also useful for supporting digestive health.
- EPA-DHA Complex. These omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in helping the brain function and build gray matter. Since scoliosis is caused by a breakdown in communication between the brain and muscles, effective treatment requires retraining the brain to correct postural defects — and omega-3s help support this process.
- Probioplex. This probiotic and protein blend promotes healthy bacteria in the intestine, which ultimately promotes bone health. Some types of gut bacteria affect the way the body metabolizes sex hormones, leading to a loss of bone density.
- Collagenics. This unique combination of free-form amino acids, key minerals and other nutrients helps support healthy connective tissue, which aids in the development of postural strength.
- Vitamin D3. Vitamin D plays an essential role in helping the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for increasing bone density. It also supports the metabolism as well as neurological functions.
- Multigenics. This blend of vitamins, calcium and amino acids improves liver health and adrenal function. A healthy liver allows the absorption of bone-building vitamins D, E, K and A — plus it produces key enzymes that help transport nutrients.
With the right diet and nutritional supplements, patients with scoliosis can boost the effectiveness of treatment while eliminating some of the factors that spur the condition’s progression.
Improving Overall Diet is Also Key for Scoliosis Support
In addition to correcting your child's hormone and nutritional imbalances, you can also improve your family's diet to support your child and reduce the risk of scoliosis progression. These diet suggestions are good for anyone, with or without scoliosis.
Eating foods that are low in nutrients or loaded with chemical additives and preservatives can result in nutritional deficiencies and cause chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a stress response that causes the body to release cytokines, which cause bone loss. Its toll on your bones is so high that people with high indicators for inflammation suffer 73 percent more hip fractures. It also depletes your muscles — and weak muscles have a much harder time holding the spine in position.
Additionally, many of these foods deprive the bones and muscles of nutrients necessary for the effective treatment of scoliosis. For example, salt causes excessive calcium excretion through the kidneys, while sugar and soda inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Alcohol contributes to low bone mass and limits bone formation, while caffeine actually leaches calcium from bones at the rate of 6 milligrams of lost calcium for every 100 milligrams of caffeine ingested.
Doctors also recommend limiting citrus fruits and juices (including tomato juice), the citric acid from which can cause the body to move calcium from the bones to the blood, causing the skeletal structure to weaken.
Scoli StrongBone Formula has been specially designed for patients with scoliosis.
It may seem overwhelming to eliminate all of the foods and additives linked to both poor health and scoliosis progression. Start by reading labels. You may not realize where salt, sugar and additives are hiding in your food. Then, look for healthier substitutes, such as whole-grain flours instead of white flour. Buy organic fruits and vegetables as often as possible. Non-organic foods often have pesticides, carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, and developmental toxins linked to health problems and disease.
Foods to avoid:
- White flour
- Soda — both regular and diet
- Soy — including soy milk and all soy products
- Coffee and tea — herbal teas are okay
- Sugar — Stevia is a great substitute
- Salt — moderate amounts of sea salt are okay
- Chocolate — small amounts of dark chocolate are okay
- Greasy and fried foods — especially from fast food restaurants
- Corn syrup — also high fructose corn syrup, crystallized corn syrup and agave
- Packaged luncheon meats — they contain many food additives and preservatives
- Artificial sweeteners — including NutraSweet, Splenda, Equal, Aspartame, Saccharin, Neotame, Acesulfame and Sucralose
- MSG and other additives — gelatin, calcium caseinate, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), textured protein, monopotassium glutamate, hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), yeast extract, glutamate, autolyzed plant protein, yeast food or nutrient, glutamic acid, sodium caseinate and autolyzed yeast
Foods to limit:
- Citrus fruits
- Citrus juices — including tomato juice
Foods to enjoy:
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Organic meats
Early intervention is crucial to stopping scoliosis progression. This includes genetic testing that shows the probability of scoliosis progression in your child, Auto Response Training, and neurotransmitter testing.
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