About 8 years ago I joined a gym specifically because I wanted to learn how to lift weights. It’s a male-dominated environment which I found intimidating so I got a guide, namely a personal trainer. I have klutz tendencies and am injury averse so I wanted to make sure someone was there to keep my form correct and counsel on the right weights to use.
The reason I wanted to lift weights was for osteoporosis abatement. I didn’t want to bulk up or become a body builder; I also didn’t want to be hunched over in my 80s. It’s not a look I’m after. I prefer to look at my surroundings from a level gaze.
Our bodies perform better when used and challenged. We build bone and muscle when we’re active…and also when repairing from injury. Now, I’m not recommending getting injured at all but when our bodies sustain a minor injury, the muscle or skin repairs itself with new vigor. This is actually the basis of modern skin care. Acid peels and microdermabrasion injure the skin and the skin reacts by producing more collagen in order to rebuild. The result is plumper and renewed skin. It’s the same principle with muscles and bone. If you challenge them, they will react.
Don’t be a softy
Most of us will suffer from softer, weaker bones when we’re older. About 52 million Americans have low bone density. 50% of women and up to 25% of men over the age of 50 will suffer broken bones due to bone-density loss.
Studies are providing results that are helping provide a proactive approach to keeping bones healthy. With physical activity, dietary and lifestyle choices, as well as supplementation, we can maintain stronger bones even into our dotage.
Dem bones, dem bones
Besides providing a skeleton that supports you, bones serve to protect and anchor parts of our bodies in place. Bone is alive, constantly renewing tissue that requires lifelong attention to properly maintain the body’s health.
Bone remodeling is what makes bone regrowth possible after a break and allows for rapid growth during childhood. But, the breakdown of bone begins to outpace the production of new bone as we age.
So through lifestyle choices we can make to protect ourselves against bone-density loss are:
- Limiting alcohol (I know… sucks)
- Don’t smoke
- Proper thyroid hormone maintenance as advised by a physician
- Regular physical activity
- Proper daily nutrition
Drink your milk
When we think of having healthy bones, calcium pops into our heads and for good reason. This mineral is essential for maintaining strong skeletal tissue. But the bad news is that when our bodies age, it’s not as efficient at using calcium. No one knows exactly why this is, but rumor has it that decreased ability for the body to absorb calcium and/or insufficient dietary intake are the culprits. Calcium is needed for the other parts of the body as well (e.g. muscles), so if we don’t have enough calcium in our diet, it is leached from our bones to supply the other tissue with this nutrient. So as you can surmise bone density is diminished which is bad because soft bones have a higher risk of fracture.
More evils of alcohol
Interference with the absorption of Calcium absorption is why drinking too much alcohol is not so good. It’s a good idea to watch your martini intake—having no more than two drinks daily. But the most critical factor in calcium absorption is low vitamin D levels in the body, which has grown to epidemic proportions across the world.
I live in Seattle where it’s dreary most of the year so I know why I take Vitamin D supplements but low levels of vitamin D isn’t prevalent just here. Most high-latitude countries have a similar situation. Our modern lifestyle contributes to this as well. Most jobs are indoors and when we’re out doors we wear sun screen so our skin doesn’t get much exposure to UVB rays which make our bodies produce Vitamin D. Getting out while the sun shines — even sitting outside to eat your lunch in the sun — can give you much-needed Vitamin D and help keep your bones strong.
Our food has much lower levels of nutrients than it did 50 years ago so it’s hard for us to get enough vitamin D to meet recommended 800 IU per day by eating well. So we have to supplement, however there is alot of debate if that intake level is enough for optimal levels of vitamin D. There have been studies that suggest supplementation should be at least 2000 IU (preferably in the more bioavailable form of D3, not D2) to maintain healthy blood levels.
The perfect pair
While vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium, we need vitamin K to play traffic cop and direct it where it should go—namely your bones. That is because vitamin K-dependent proteins are an important factor in bone formation and it’s also required to remove calcium from arteries. Vitamin K’s cozy relationship with calcium is a known factor in protecting against arterial calcification.
Not just any K will do
But just to make it more complicated, there are multiple forms of vitamin K, including K1 and K2, but the golden child, K2 (aka “menaquinone” a friendly bacteria found in cheese) that has been shown to be more biologically active and help with bone formation is what you want. So read your labels, most supplements use vitamin K1 (aka “phylloquinone” found in plants) because it is easily available thus cheaper for the manufacturer.
Apparently another rock star nutrient that supports bone health is omega-3 fatty acids which is found in fish oil. Studies show that they decrease the rate that bone breaks down when we age. Make sure you have at least 2 grams of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids daily. Studies also show that taking this as a supplement daily is better for you than eating fish twice a week. Also, if you take a fish oil capsule with every meal you’ll get the added benefit of your metabolism being boosted a bit.
So you have the info you need now to support your bones’ health. Now it’s one thing to know about it and another to do something about it. Studies show that a good portion of the US population fails to get enough calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K2.
Conveniently I distribute Ageless Essentials Daily Pack which contains all of these bone health nutrients—in the right, most bioavailable forms—in amounts that will help keep bones strong and healthy. Plus, by splitting up dosages in A.M and P.M packs, you’re going to maximally absorb all those nutrients. Don’t wait until it’s too late to start protecting and nurturing your bones. If you want to maintain your youthfulness, make bone health a priority. So hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org for the deets.