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Scoliosis Nutrition:
Vitamins, Diet & Nutrient Therapies

FACTUALLY ACCURATE & VERIFIED BY

Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel

LAST UPDATED ON

January 16, 2023

Improved scoliosis nutrition and supplements can help if you or your child has idiopathic scoliosis. Several studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies have an effect on scoliosis. Often nutrition’s impact on scoliosis is misunderstood and under-utilized.

Improved Nutrition and Scoliosis Supplements Offers New Treatment Options

Improved nutrition and supplements for scoliosis can help you or your child. New research shows nutritional deficiencies definitely have an influence on scoliosis. But, nutrition and supplements for adolescents with scoliosis is often ignored. 

An unhealthy diet is more than just empty calories. Hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances can all contribute to scoliosis progression. Yet, poor nutrition by itself doesn’t cause idiopathic scoliosis. Children either have the genetic predisposition or they don’t. But, studies do link worsening of the condition to nutritional deficiencies and lack of healthy eating.

Table of Contents

The link between scoliosis and nutrition

Scoliosis is like a seed. It hides in people’s genes, sometimes lying dormant their whole lives and sometimes developing into a full-blown scoliosis curve.

Scientists still aren’t sure why. But they have learned that, just like plants, scoliosis needs certain conditions to take root. Some of these conditions still elude us. But research is increasingly showing that nutrition is one of the factors that can affect whether—and how—the scoliosis gene is expressed.

More than two decades ago, researchers concluded that “poor nutrition may play a role” in idiopathic scoliosis and that “this possibility should be examined further in humans.” Since then, more recent studies have determined that in those who carry the scoliosis genes, specific nutritional imbalances can affect whether a curve develops or progresses.

Although poor nutrition doesn’t cause idiopathic scoliosis (the genetic seed does), progression can be spurred by hormone imbalances, certain mineral deficiencies or an unhealthy diet. This is because of the way the brain and muscles communicate with each other. Below is a look at how scoliosis and nutrition are interwoven.

Diet is Key for Scoliosis

Improving your family’s diet to support your child can reduce the risk of scoliosis progression and most of these diet suggestions are good for anyone, with or without scoliosis to lower risk of heart disease, prevent obesity and high blood pressure, all of which are common for Americans. 

Eating snacks and foods that have chemical additives, calories from sugar, and preservatives can cause chronic inflammation (also a leading cause of heart disease). Inflammation is a stress response that causes the body to release cytokines. Over time, this leads to bone loss. 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.

Many chemical additives deprive the bones and muscles of nutrients.  For example, salt causes excessive mineral excretion through the kidneys. Sugar and soda inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium (Ca++). Alcohol contributes to low bone mass and limits bone formation. Caffeine leaches Ca++ from bones at the rate of 6 milligrams of lost Ca++ for every 100 milligrams of caffeine ingested. Many people believe intake of low-fat dairy beverages (primarily milk) are good sources of Ca++, but in fact have very limited health benefits. Doctors also recommend limiting citrus fruit juices (including tomato juice). The citric acid from which can cause the body to move minerals from the bones to the blood. This causes the skeletal structure to weaken.  Back Genius™ has created “STRENGTH“, which has been specially designed for improving bone health for patients with scoliosis.

It may seem overwhelming to drop all the foods and additives linked to both poor health and scoliosis progression. Start by reading labels about healthy eating. You may not realize where salt, sugar and additives are hiding in your “healthy diet”. Then, look for healthier substitutes, such as whole grains flour instead of white flour (same for brown rice vs white rice). 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
  • Alcohol
  • White flour
  • Soda — both regular and diet
  • Soy — including soy milk and all products that contain it
  • 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, Ca++, 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 and citrus juices — including tomato juice
Foods to Enjoy
  • Fresh non-citrus fruits 
  • Fresh vegetables (Spinach, legumes, tofu, broccoli, lentils, peas, chickpeas, and leafy green vegetables)
  • Organic meats (Poultry, lean meats (limiting red meat), seafood including oysters)

Correcting your or your child’s nutritional imbalances, can also improve your family’s diet, lower calories, and prevent obesity. You can support your child and reduce the risk of scoliosis progression. These diet suggestions and Early Stage Scoliosis intervention are crucial. Most often, scoliosis genetic testing is the best and most accurate place to start for patients.

Many Over-the-Counter Supplements Help Scoliosis

A study by Wiley InterScience finds that many idiopathic scoliosis patients have low selenium. Tests have also shown that scoliosis patients have high levels of Osteopontin (OPN), which regulates bone growth. If your child has a selenium deficiency, it may be causing high OPN levels and abnormal bone growth. 200 micrograms of selenium (L-selenomethionine) daily can decrease OPN levels. It may slow or end the risk of rapid scoliosis progression. This may be one of the supplements to avoid after spinal fusion. 

Other supplements to consider after nutritional screening include:

  • Inflavonoids. These herbal pain relievers combine herbs like:
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric/Curcumin with lemon bioflavonoids
  • Curcumin supplements for lower back pain and scoliosis
  • Vitamin C
  • The anti-inflammatory herbs help keep the body’s stress response down. The vitamin C helps support the muscles and connective tissue that hold the spine in place.
  • Digestive aids. A digestive enzyme formula such as COMFORT can help counteract the digestive problems. This is common with scoliosis. ENHANCE is another of the best supplements to help 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. Effective scoliosis treatment requires retraining the posture memory. Omega-3s help support this process. There are recommended supplements for teens with scoliosis.
  • ENHANCE. This probiotic and protein blend promotes healthy bacteria in the intestine. Gut bacteria affects the way the body metabolizes hormones, leading to a loss of bone density.
  • Collagenics. This unique combination of:
  • Free-form amino acids,
  • Key minerals
  • Other nutrients
  • Help support healthy connective tissue, which aids in the development of postural strength.
  • Vitamin D3 with K2. Vitamin D plays an essential role in helping the body absorb calcium. This is necessary for increasing bone density. It also supports the metabolism as well as neurological functions.
  • Multigenics. This blend of vitamins supplements for scoliosis, Ca++ and amino acids improves liver health. A healthy liver allows the absorption of vitamins D, E, K and A. It also produces key enzymes that help transport nutrients.

Patients can boost the effectiveness of treatment with diet and the best supplements for scoliosis. Reducing some of the factors that spur the condition’s progression is also a possibility.

“It has become clear that scoliosis is a condition that affects far more than the spine.”

Clayton J. Stitzel DC

How Nutrition Affects Scoliosis

Neurotransmitters are created from amino acids and certain B vitamins. Hormones are metabolized by various enzymes. When our diet doesn’t provide enough of these essential building blocks, production of neurotransmitters and hormones suffers.

Fortunately, these imbalances can often be corrected with nutritional supplements and dietary modification. Recommended nutrition for scoliosis includes foods that are rich in certain amino acids or enzymes. Doctors also recommend avoiding foods that cause inflammation or deprive bones and muscles of essential nutrients.

Correcting Hormone & Neurotransmitter Deficiencies with Scoliosis Nutrition Enhances Treatment

European studies link scoliosis progression with neurotransmitter and hormone deficiencies. These hormones and neurotransmitters include serotonin, melatonin, and hormones, like estrogen. The brain communicates with the body via neurotransmitters and hormones. This communication can be delayed or blocked if the neurotransmitters and hormones are deficient. 

ScoliSMART™ use scoliosis specific testing to find hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances. Amino acids and specific B vitamin supplements (very safe supplements for scoliosis) can fix most neurotransmitter imbalances. For example, 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.  Re-balancing hormones in scoliosis patients is often done with non-drug nutrient therapies. Specific enzymes may also be needed to improve hormone metabolism.

This also improves “Posture Memory” for patients using a scoliosis physical activity program. The ScoliSMART BootCamp program uses specific exercises and physical activity to create a new “posture memory”.  Get recommendations for avoiding scoliosis bracing sent directly to your email.

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Nutritional Support for Scoliosis Treatment

Good nutrition can have a big impact on scoliosis treatment. Successful long-term healing depends on the ability to retrain the brains to correct the body’s posture and reduce spinal curves. When neurotransmitters are restored to their natural levels, patients tend to make more progress.

Back Genius™ scoliosis supplements for kids and adults designed to support patients in their healing journey. By testing genetics, neurotransmitter, and hormone levels, identifying specific imbalances and correcting them with the right nutrition for scoliosis, we can enhance and improve the treatments patients receive. “Super Simple Supplements” have also been created for many of the “other” health concerns (digestion problems, depression, anxiety, poor bone health, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and hormone problems) also common with the scoliosis condition.

Don’t know where to start?  Take our FREE “ScoliQuiz.”  (No x-ray required)

ScoliSMART Clinics is committed to treating the WHOLE scoliosis condition, not only the curve. Genetic & clinical testing with targeted nutrient therapies, expert in-office treatment programs, and the world’s only ScoliSMART Activity Suit provides patients of all ages with the most comprehensive, most effective, and least invasive treatment options available worldwide.

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