Bone and Joint Health

The bones and joints in our body need the right nutritional and physical environment to function correctly throughout our lives, just like all other parts of our bodies.

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Various conditions are described when we do not take care of our bones and joints including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Osteoporosis
  • And others

These conditions are dependent on what you eat and how you physically use your muscles, bones, and joints. Maintaining physical activity and fitness, without overuse, helps to maintain strong bones and strong muscles which help support your joints. Also, a healthy diet rich in nutrients is a critical factor in maintaining healthy bones and joints. Metabolic and circulatory changes related to a poor diet can significantly contribute to diseases such as gout and possibly osteoarthritis. Following a Nutritarian eating style helps to supply the correct nutritional environment to minimize the risk of conditions that can cause joint pain. An anti-inflammatory diet, rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, also promotes good circulation and good nutrition to the joints and peripheral tissues to prevent inflammation and damage.


Ask The Doctor

The following are sample questions from the Ask the Doctor Community Platinum and higher members can post their health questions directly to Dr. Fuhrman. (All members can browse questions and answers.)


If I am out of shape, where do I start regarding building muscles and strengthening bones to prevent osteoporosis? The only exercise I currently do is to walk a few times per week. I do not have access to a gym or any exercise equipment at home. Are there any effective, basic exercises I can do?

Also, can a Nutritarian diet reverse early osteoporosis?


Walking is not sufficient to prevent osteoporosis of the back. If you are limited and inexperienced in exercise, it will be helpful for you to purchase a weighted vest that you can wear for a few hours each day. You should also walk up and down the stairs in your home. My DVD, Osteoporosis Protection for Life, contains the information you are looking for. There I show you the most effective bone-building exercises that you can do without equipment, almost anywhere.

Progression of osteoporosis can be significantly slowed and even reversed when you combine a Nutritarian diet with the right type of exercise and vitamin D sufficiency. As you build your level of fitness and strength through exercise and increase muscle strength, it is possible to not merely prevent the progression of osteoporosis, but also see an increase in bone mass.


Will a healthy person eating a Nutritarian diet be able to stop the progression of osteoporosis or simply slow the bone loss?


Weight-bearing exercise combined with a Nutritarian diet (high in green vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes, and low in animal protein) is the most reliable way to increase bone strength and maintain bone health throughout our lives. Even if you already have osteoporosis, as you follow a high-nutrient eating style and build your muscle strength through exercise, it is possible that you may both prevent progression of the disease and also see an increase in bone mass. Natural plant foods are rich in important bone-building nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K1; vitamins D and K2 are important supplements to take. Find out your level of 25 hydroxyvitamin D and supplement based on the results to reach the range of 30-45 ng/ml. Some women may also benefit from a small amount of supplemental calcium (see the Vitamin Advisor for details).

Remember, exercise is the key to strengthening bone and maintaining favorable bone health with aging. Muscles and bones get stronger in tandem. Read this article to learn more about bone-building exercise and the best and worst foods for bone health.


If someone is sensitive to nightshades and notices it worsens osteoarthritis, is it possible that after following a strict Nutritarian diet for some length of time they could lose this sensitivity to nightshades and be able to consume them again without ill effect?


A small percentage of people have sensitivity to nightshade vegetables and can experience joint pain, digestive disturbance, or other symptoms, and yes, it is possible to diminish the sensitivity over time as gut microflora normalize and antioxidant status improves. What is more likely is that the sensitivity to nightshades will decrease enough so you can eat small amounts of them without difficultly, but it still would be wise to avoid large amounts at one time.


I’ve been following a Nutritarian diet for a while, but unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful with getting my parents to make significant changes.

My mother is 63 and overweight and she also has osteoarthritis. She occasionally diets and loses weight but she works long hours and loves sweets, especially ice cream, so her weight always bounces back up. Can you recommend both vitamins and specific foods I should encourage her to eat to reduce the effects?

She’d be willing to take vitamins and eat more of certain things, but she’ll likely never eat solely Nutritarian.


Many people never thought they could do without sweets and junk food but they find that as they continue to eat healthfully, they lose their desire for these foods. As she becomes lean with a Nutritarian diet, inflammation and tissue injury will diminish. It’s the entirety of the Nutritarian diet, not a specific food that will be most healing. My experience has been that attendees at my Health Getaways learn so much compelling information, while being served delicious buffets of gourmet food, and leave with a heighted motivation to eat healthfully forever. Even those participants who were not willing to eat so healthfully, accompanying a spouse, wind up with a new outlook. Nevertheless, the three basic things I suggest all people with various dietary patterns do are:

  1. Eat a large salad every day, as the main dish
  2. Eat a bowl of veggie, bean soup, chili or bean stew each day
  3. Eat one double-sized portion of wokked or lightly steamed greens each day

Lastly, eat G-BOMBS regularly, Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Seeds (flax, chia)


I have arthritis in my hands that just started, and I am wondering if it is possible to reverse this? What is the cause of arthritis, so I can be sure to stop its progression?


It could be osteoarthritis or the autoimmune type of arthritis, called rheumatoid arthritis. A physician could examine you, perform blood work, and clarify the diagnosis. If you are dealing with osteoarthritis, this is a common inflammatory condition which will improve with a Nutritarian diet rich in phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds. A diet high in animal protein has been associated with an increased risk of osteoarthritis as well as autoimmune-related rheumatoid arthritis.

Both types of arthritis can improve and even resolve if addressed with superior nutrition in the early stages. My book, Super Immunity, contains the specific information you need to take charge of your health and get well again from immune system related disorders.


I’ve been on and off a Nutritarian diet for a while now. I have chronic gout and my uric acid levels are 10.3. My rheumatologist wants me to begin Allopurinol. How quickly can I expect my uric acid levels to drop with a strict Nutritarian diet WITHOUT the medicine? Should I take Allopurinol AND do the diet, or will that cause a severe drop resulting in worsening attacks?


I usually wait about a month on a Nutritarian diet before discontinuing the Allopurinol on patients requiring it in the past. In your case, you may not even have to start the medicine if you really stick with a Nutritarian diet. Doing both the medication and the diet won’t necessarily hurt you, but all medications have their risks, and you likely will see dramatic benefits in a week or two. So, if you eliminate all animal products at this point and follow a Nutritarian diet strictly, your uric acid levels will be dramatically lower soon. Drink a full glass of water between each meal too. Check your uric acid level again next month, and let’s see how it improves and how you feel.


I would like to know what I can do to treat gout.


Avoid animal products and all processed foods and oils. Limit spinach, asparagus, and mushrooms to two to four oz./day. Limit fruits higher in fructose (apple, grapes, melon, pear, and dried fruit). Limit beans to one cup/day until the swelling and pain are gone. Continue to avoid animal products until you’re better, then limit to six oz./week. Stay hydrated. Drink four oz. of tart cherry juice two to three times per day. It has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain related to gout. Get lean and eliminate belly fat.


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