Is Long Life in Your Bones?

May 8, 2008 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Is Long Life in Your Bones?
Research on one of the oldest living healthy men1 (he was 113 at the time, recently passing away at 114) found no evidence at all that he had any “better genes.” The research team attributed his good fortune to “healthy lifestyle, a Mediterranean diet, a temperate climate and regular physical activity.”

However, the researchers made another finding that struck me as more than fascinating. An analysis of his bones showed that “the man's bones were in excellent conditions: his bone mass was normal, there were no anomalous curvatures and he had never sustained a fracture.” The researchers had expected to find mutations in his bone genes giving him better bone density – and they did not.

It was his diet of fresh food and regular activity that gave him the bone stimulating and bone anti-inflammatory nutrients that kept his bones in tip-top working condition, a foundation for his long life.

Most people think of bone issues in terms of osteoporosis or concerns about breaking them, which are important issues as something like a hip fracture can lead to an increased rate of mortality. However, bones are now recognized as a metabolic powerhouse intimately involved with cardiovascular health, diabetes risk, immunity, inflammation, and metabolism.

This started becoming obvious a few years back when “all cause mortality” was linked to bone health. This means that people with poor bones weren't dying mostly from fractures, they were dying more readily of heart disease and cancer. This bone loss issue was first demonstrated in women2, then in men3, and now confirmed in both sexes4.

Unfortunately, the poisoning of bones with Fosamax or other bisphosphonate drugs flies in the face this idea of healthy aging bones. It is crystal clear that Fosamax disturbs normal bone architecture, turns it chaotic and weak over time, and stays in the bone forever.

Don't think of your bones as a picture of a skeleton on Halloween. Bones are a vibrant and dynamic part of your overall health equation. There are no short cuts to healthy bones, but there is a path to bone health.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ One Man Who Lived a Long Healthy Life    
  2. ^ Weak Bones Linked to Heart Disease in Women   J Bone Miner Res.   Kado DM, Browner WS, Blackwell T, Gore R, Cummings SR.
  3. ^ Increased Mortality in Men Linked to Non-Fracture Bone Health  Bone.   Van Der Klift M, Pols HA, Geleijnse JM, Van Der Kuip DA, Hofman A, De Laet CE.
  4. ^ Loss of Bone Predicts Mortality Risk in Men and Women   J Bone Miner Res.   Nguyen ND, Center JR, Eisman JA, Nguyen TV.

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