Archive for the 'bone health' Category

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 13: Exercise

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 13: Exercise

Exercise is beneficial to bone health. “Use it or lose it” applies here – bones respond to loading and will increase their structural strength to meet gradually increasing demands. But, if never challenged, the failure point at which a bone will break instead of bend decreases, increasing the chances of incurring a spontaneous fracture.

The proof is in the data – volumes of it. For example, participation in regular physical activity more than ten hours a week cuts the chances of a man breaking a hip about in half. Women who exercise regularly have denser bones and less risk of developing osteoporosis. The degree of benefit depends on the duration and intensity of the activity – from the bones’ points of view. The more the activity requires your skeleton to bear weight, the better. Weight-lifting is better than gymnastics, gymnastics is better than running, running is better than swimming and swimming beats sitting around.

There may be a fringe benefit to all this exercise. According to the results of a study published recently in Europa Medicophysica, regular controlled exercise improves spinal stability and decreases chronic low back pain.24

Enhancing bone health and structure requires a fundamental approach to establish habits that include several elements of a healthy skeletal support system. This approach encompasses dietary habits such as ensuring adequate protein intake, healthy amounts of calcium, and decreasing alcoholic and high phosphorus beverages, lifestyle approaches such as weight-bearing exercise, and smart supplementation with bone-building vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. By providing the bones with the building blocks they crave, you can ensure the structural support system of the body will remain stronger – longer.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Joint Health

References:
24. Celestini M, Marchese A, Serenelli A, Graziani G. A randomized controlled trial on the efficacy of physical exercise in patients braced for instability of the lumbar spine. Eura Medicophys 2005;41:223-231.

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 12: Vitamin K

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 12: Vitamin K

Vitamin K is required for the production of the second most important protein (other than collagen) in bone – osteocalcin. This would suggest a connection between vitamin K intake and bone health. Indeed, human bone mineral density is proportional to vitamin K intake. This conclusion was confirmed and extended by the findings of an extensive analysis of published research that firmly suggested superior bone health with daily dietary supplementation of between 10 mcg and 45 mcg of vitamin K.23

Adults may have poor vitamin K status because 1) the widespread use of “blood-thinning” medications may interfere with this vitamin, 2) the primary dietary sources of vitamin K are the green leafy vegetables, which commonly are minimized in the North American diet, 3) more than dietary sources, humans rely on gut bacteria to produce vitamin K from dietary fiber, another often-avoided dietary necessity. The typical low-vegetable, low-fiber diet may be causing a form of undiagnosed vitamin K deficiency, manifested as impaired bone health.

The fear with excessive vitamin K intake is also the fact that vitamin K has interactions with blood clotting proteins. This is a valid concern for many individuals who are taking blood thinners and other medications. Recently, a form of supplemental vitamin K, known as menaquinone-7 (or MK-7), has come onto the dietary supplement scene. The menaquinones are a group of compounds that comprise the vitamin K2 family. MK-7 is much safer that vitamin K1 and possibly much more effective in supporting bone health. Several studies point to the beneficial effects of supplementation with vitamin K2 as MK-7. This form of vitamin K has health benefits beyond its important actions on bone, and may support cardiovascular and arterial health as well. MK-7 is naturally found in natto, a traditional fermented soy food consumed in Japan and some other Asian countries. With a better safety profile and superior health benefits, MK-7 should be considered a preferential supplemental form of vitamin K.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 13: Exercise

References:
23. Cockayne S, Adamson J, Lanham-New S, Shearer MJ, Gilbody S, Torgerson DJ. Vitamin K and the prevention of fractures: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med 2006;166:1256-1261.

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 11: Ipriflavone

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 11: Ipriflavone

In an effort to increase the effectiveness and acceptability of soy isoflavones, a modified isoflavone called ipriflavone was developed. When 600 mg of ipriflavone have been combined with 1000 mg of calcium daily, vertebral bone mass was enhanced in a group of postmenopausal women.21

Unfortunately, a shadow of doubt has been cast over the effectiveness of ipriflavone as a result of a misunderstanding of the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association22. The results of that study showed pretty conclusively that if 600 mg of ipriflavone daily was combined with a dramatically calcium deficient diet (only 500 mg daily!), postmenopausal women still lost bone mass. Obviously, if the diet isn’t sufficient in calcium, and therefore the body lacks calcium, bones are liable to be weak. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? The correct message of this study is that if you want to improve bone health, no matter what you rely on to stimulate bone formation and slow resorption, enough calcium has to be available to make it work.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 12: Vitamin K

References:
21. Gennari C, Agnusdei D, Crepaldi G, Isaia G, Mazzuoli G, Ortolani S, Bufalino L, Passeri M. Effect of ipriflavone—a synthetic derivative of natural isoflavones—on bone mass loss in the early years after menopause. Menopause 1998;5:9-15.
22. Alexandersen P, Toussaint A, Christiansen C, Devogelaer JP, Roux C, Fechtenbaum J, Gennari C, Reginster JY; Ipriflavone Multicenter European Fracture Study. Ipriflavone in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2001;285:1482-1488.

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 10: Soy Protein Isoflavones

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 10: Soy Protein Isoflavones

Soy protein contains a set of phytochemicals called isoflavones. These phytonutrients are absorbed into the human blood stream and circulate to a variety of tissues where they interact with the processes regulating cell functions. One area of isoflavone biology that has received a great deal of attention is the support of bone health. Studies consistently show a beneficial effect of soy isoflavone consumption on human bone. The results of a hallmark randomized, placebo-controlled study demonstrated that several months of daily supplementation with 90 mg of soy isoflavones facilitated an increase in the bone mineral content and bone mineral density of the spine in postmenopausal women.17 In contrast, only 56 mg daily was not effective. Another randomized, placebo-controlled study showed that daily consumption of 80 mg of soy isoflavones for 6 months supported the density of vertebral bone in perimenopausal women.18 In confirmation of previous studies, two studies published recently demonstrated that less than 80 mg of soy isoflavones daily is ineffective in promoting bone health in postmenopausal women.19,20

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 11:  Ipriflavone

References:
17. Potter SM, Baum JA, Teng H, Stillman RJ, Shay NF, Erdman JW Jr. Soy protein and isoflavones: Their effects on blood lipids and bone density in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68(Suppl.):1375S-1379S.
18. Alekel DL, Germain AS, Peterson CT, Hanson KB, Stewart JW, Toda T. Isoflavone-rich soy protein isolate attenuates bone loss in the lumbar spine of perimenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:844-852.
19. Roughead ZK, Hunt JR, Johnson LK, Badger TM, Lykken GI. Controlled substitution of soy protein for meat protein: Effects on calcium retention, bone, and cardiovascular health indices in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005;90:181-189.
20. Arjmandi BH, Lucas EA, Khalil DA, Devareddy L, Smith BJ, McDonald J, Arquitt AB, Payton ME, Mason C. One year soy protein supplementation has positive effects on bone formation markers but not bone density in postmenopausal women. Nutr J 2005;4:8. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-4-8 (http://www.nutritionj.com/content/4/1/8).

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 9: Protein

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 9: Protein

A myth that still circulates in the world of nutrition is that eating large amounts of lean protein will increase calcium loss through the urine and predispose to osteoporosis. This has been proven to be a misconception and is just wrong. For example, when middle-aged men and women with a long history of fearful low-protein diets (providing less than 15% of total calories as protein) were fed either placebo or 55 g/day of a high quality animal meat protein in a study published recently in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the normalization of protein intake had no effect on urinary excretion of calcium but decreased bone resorption and increased the secretion of the cytokine, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).15 Because a major function of IGF-1 in adults is to stimulate bone formation, the combination of no effect on calcium loss, decreased bone resorption and stimulation of bone formation substantiate the conclusion that ensuring adequate healthy protein intake is truly beneficial to bone health. Of course, adequate protein intake is also beneficial for immune health, healthy blood sugar balance, and a number of other physiological effects.

This conclusion finds additional support in the results of a study published recently in the Annals of Surgery.16 In this study, injections of human growth hormone were used to stimulate IGF-1 production and secretion into the blood. Increased serum IGF-1 concentrations were accompanied by increased total body bone mineral content. Because IGF-1 independently stimulates bone formation, this result indicates that any means that increases IGF-1 production, including increasing the daily intake of high-quality low-fat protein, will likely enhance bone health.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 10: Soy Protein Isoflavones

References:
15. Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Rasmussen H, Song L, Dallal GE. Effect of dietary protein supplements on calcium excretion in healthy older men and women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004;89:1169-1173.
16. Przkora R, Herndon DN, Suman OE, Jeschke MG, Meyer WJ, Chinkes DL, Mlcak RP, Huang T, Barrow RE. Beneficial effects of extended growth hormone treatment after hospital discharge in pediatric burn patients. Ann Surg 2006;243:796-801.

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 8: Saturated Fat

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 8: Saturated Fat

In most areas of human health, whenever fish oils are beneficial, saturated animal fats are detrimental. Your bones are no exception. As shown by the results of a study of 14,850 men and women (part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III) the more saturated fat that is consumed every day, the weaker the bones of the hip become.14 The bone-weakening effects of saturated fatty acids may result from the tendency of this type of fat to increase inflammation, both locally within the hip and systemically throughout the body. This finding is in line with everything else that is known about saturated fats, which as a body of evidence encourages you to reduce your consumption of these generally unhealthy fats.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 9: Protein

References:
14. Corwin RL, Hartman TJ, Maczuga SA, Graubard BI. Dietary saturated fat intake is inversely associated with bone density in humans: Analysis of NHANES III. J Nutr 2006;136:159-165.

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 7: Fish Oils

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 7: Fish Oils

Relationships between dietary fatty acids and bone health are only recently becoming appreciated. A role for the fish oils in bone certainly is suggested by their appearance within bone tissue. In the presence of the fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), bone cells display a healthy normalization of the immune response and secrete less of the bone resorption-promoting prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) when stimulated by the chemical messenger interleukin-1. Feeding rats fish oils decreases the rate of bone loss that results experimentally from a calcium-deficient diet. The bone mineral density of the hip in men and of the hip and spine in women were reported to be directly proportional to the average daily intake of fish oils.13 Although the results of dietary supplementation studies in humans have not yet been reported, the available evidence all points toward an important bone health-enhancing effect of fish oils.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 8: Saturated Fat

References:
13. Weiss LA, Barrett-Connor E, von Muhlen D. Ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids and bone mineral density in older adults: The Rancho Bernardo Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:934-938.

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 6: Boron

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 6: Boron

A trace mineral that is found within bone, boron is yet to be assigned a specific function in maintaining bone health. However, rats fed a boron-free diet develop weak bones. The possible dependency of bone health on boron may be explained by reports that boron supplementation (3 mg daily) increased the conversion of vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OHD3) in women and that boron may be required for maximum efficiency in the absorption of calcium. An unanticipated relationship between boron, vitamin D and calcium absorption could account for the report that attributed maintenance of higher bone mineral density in women to daily dietary supplementation with 3 mg of boron.12

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 7: Fish Oils

References:
12. Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, Hunt JR. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB J 1987;1:394-397.

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 5: Magnesium

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 5: Magnesium

Next to calcium and phosphorus, magnesium is the third most important mineral in the human skeleton. The results of a study assessing the importance of magnesium for bone health found that higher intakes of this mineral from the diet and dietary supplements was a predictor of higher bone mineral density in white males and females.11 The large study assessed 2,038 men and women aged between 70 and 79 years of age. Again, no surprise: the density and strength of adult bones increases as daily magnesium intake increases.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 6: Boron

References:
11. Ryder KM, Shorr RI, Bush AJ, Kritchevsky SB, Harris T, Stone K, Cauley J, Tylavsky FA. Magnesium intake from food and supplements is associated with bone mineral density in healthy older white subjects.J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Nov;53(11):1875-80.

Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 4: Phosphorus

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 4: Phosphorus

The mineral phosphorus is as important to bone health as calcium. However, calcium and phosphorus sit on opposing sides of the mineral balance upon which your bones depend. Although phosphorus plays very critical roles in proving “attachment” sites for calcium in the mineral-dense areas of bone, it can compete with calcium for “room” in the blood. In other words, as the amount of phosphorus in the blood increases, the kidneys send more calcium out of the body. If your usual condition is too much phosphorus in your blood, then there will usually be too little calcium circulating through your body and the parathyroid gland will spark into action. As your bones are dissolved in the futile attempt to restore your blood’s calcium content, the high level of phosphorus keeps on stimulating the kidney to shoot calcium back out – a bad situation for your skeleton. Because most people in North America habitually tend to consume foods and beverages that provide enormous amounts of phosphorus, restraint rather than supplementation is the key to healthy phosphorus nutrition.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 5: Magnesium