Tag Archives: bones

Are you taking care of ‘dem bones?’

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.

Now hear the word of the Lord.

Those lyrics from an old spiritual have been running through my head since I started reading about osteoporosis and our bones.

More women are affected by osteoporosis than men, but we guys are definitely vulnerable, especially as we age.

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Facts and statistics:

  • Up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
  • Approximately two million American men already have osteoporosis. About 12 million more are at risk.
  • Men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.
  • Each year, about 80,000 men will break a hip.
  • Men are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip. This is due to problems related to the break.
  • Men can break bones in the spine or break a hip, but this usually happens at a later age than women.

Here’s what the National Osteoporosis Foundation has to say about it:

Continue reading

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9 Facts about bones – infographic

I wanted to include this for two reasons, first, it has excellent information about our bones and a lot of people are pretty ignorant about them, myself included. Second, I thought it was really beautiful, very creatively constructed.

Let’s face it most people take their bones for granite (sorry, couldn’t resist it). But, it is important to realize that we need to work to strengthen our bones, too. Make sure you include weight-bearing exercise in your life. It will keep your bones strong.

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Tony

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Study links benefits of osteoporosis treatment with better periodontal health

I have written about osteoporosis numerous times as it attacks us in our latter years for the most part. Also, women seem more vulnerable to it than men.
I ran across the following in my web wanderings. Guys, this is relevant to all the women in our lives, wives, mothers, relatives, so please check it out.
abstract shapes, bone structure

Bone structure

Estrogen therapy has already been credited with helping women manage an array of menopause-related issues, including reducing hot flashes, improving heart health and bone density, and maintaining levels of sexual satisfaction.

Now a new study suggests that the same estrogen therapy used to treat osteoporosis can actually lead to healthier teeth and gums. The study outcomes were published online in
Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause  Society (NAMS).

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13 Curious facts about bones – Infographic

It’s important to remember that our bones are living tissue as much as our muscles. We need to work them with weight bearing exercise throughout our lives. Aerobic work is fine for our cardiovascular system, but get some weight work in regularly. Happily, going for a walk is weight bearing exercise.

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To read more benefits of walking – Check out my Page – Why you should walk more.

Tony

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Bad to the Bone – WebMD

With apologies to George Thorogood, whose Bad to the Bone is a true rock classic, you really don’t want to be bad to your bones.

WebMD has produced a slideshow demonstrating things we do and don’t do that damage our bones. Our bones are as strong as cast iron yet remains as light as wood. Keep in mind that our bones are not all solid. The outside is solid surrounded by a few small canals. The inside, however, looks like a honeycomb.

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The way we strengthen our bones is with weight-bearing exercise and good diet choices. As a bike rider, I am very aware of this. My regular riding is super cardio exercise, but does nothing for my bones. Not long ago, Tour de France riders, started integrating weight lifting with their workouts as they were coming down with osteoporosis.

WebMD offers eleven examples in a slide show that is worth checking out.

Here are a few examples in case you don’t have time right now. Skip that next pitcher of Margaritas. “When you’re out with friends, one more round might sound like fun. But to keep bone loss in check, you should limit the amount of alcohol you drink. No more than one drink a day for women and two for men is recommended. Alcohol can interfere with how your body absorbs calcium.”

I have written a Page about the damage smoking does and it turns out smoking damages your bones, too. “When you regularly inhale cigarette smoke, your body can’t form new healthy bone tissue as easily. The longer you smoke, the worse it gets.
Smokers have a greater chance of breaks and take longer to heal. But if you quit, you can lower these risks and improve your bone health, though it might take several years.”

See what you can do to be good to your bones.

Tony

 

 

 

 

 

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20 Health Benefits of Bananas – Infographic

Bananas are another of the common foods that we sometimes overlook when we are searching for good nutrition. Superfoods can be good, but don’t overlook diamonds in the rough like bananas which are sold everywhere, don’t cost much money and provide wonderful nutritional benefits.

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Tony

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How the Body Rebuilds – Infographic

I love this. It is a perfect reminder that no matter how bad we might mess up, we can always get back on track. Our body is renewing itself every day. We just have to help it.

On the positive side, think – every day in every way I am getting better and better.

0d6309de8eb4ffd9554dbbd8c071958cTony

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Calcium – The Key to Strong Bones – Infographic

I thought this was a really valuable infographic on a mineral that we all know about, but not nearly enough.

If you click on the picture, it becomes bigger and easier to read.

CalciumThekeytostrongbonesandlifelongbonehealth

Tony

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The Importance of Zinc

Pumpkin seeds - great source of zinc

Pumpkin seeds – great source of zinc

Zinc is very important in the first line of defence in our bodies. This first line is represented by physical barriers, such as the skin and mucous membrane linings inside the body. Zinc is found in the mucous secretions of the respiratory system and on the surfaces of lungs and throat. It has an antimicrobial effect, so helps to kill inhaled bacteria and viruses before they get chance to take hold. Zinc is also secreted in the saliva and the mucous membranes of the digestive system to kill any ingested invaders.

Our Better Health

by Jane Cronin

Do you suffer from acne, stretch marks, white spots on your nails, poor wound healing, poor immunity? Zinc may have something to do with it. Here we discuss Zinc deficiency, causes, symptoms and why zinc is important.

Zinc is an essential trace mineral and is one of the most abundant to be found in the body.  It is naturally found in some foods, added to others and also available as a dietary supplement. You have approximately 2-3g with around 60% is in the muscles that support your skeleton and 30% is in the bones.   So if nothing else zinc plays an important part in keeping you upright.  The remaining 10% is found in the teeth, hair, nails, skin, liver, leukocytes (white blood cells), prostate, sperm and testes.

So what are some functions of Zinc in the body?

Zinc makes things happen

Zinc is used in by…

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Filed under anti oxidant, antioxidants, bone health, bones, pumpkin seeds, stress, zinc

Adding Vitamin D for the Winter Months – Guest Post – Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her healthy and intelligent eating.

She recently wrote an item Adding Vitamin D for the Winter Months that I thought would interest you. Most importantly, you do not have to be a cyclist to benefit from Kelli’s information. I have written about Vitamin D as beneficial to every person. These ideas should benefit you, too, whether you ride a bike or not.
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If you are out on your bike most days, you likely believe you get plenty enough sunshine to make plenty enough Vitamin D.  I get it.  I’m lucky enough to live in a state that boosts more than 300 days a year of sunshine.  So, how come so many of us are Vitamin D deficient?

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If you’ve never had your Vitamin D levels checked, you may be in for a surprise.  And, if you find your motivation and mood wavering and eventually diminishing each year in the cold-weather months, you may just find out why.

In fact, it’s not only an issue for athletes, but it’s estimated that at least 25-50% of adults in the United States are deficient in Vitamin D; which is a bit ironic, as it is the only vitamin that our bodies are able to produce (with adequate sunlight).  However, it may be this ability to produce it that gives us a false sense of optimism and a lack of urgency in eating Vitamin D food sources and supplementing.  There are many reasons why we become deficient, and even more reasons to make sure you’re not.

So, what are the implications for cyclists and how can you get enough?

It’s long been known that Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium, and therefore, for bone health.  In fact, it was historically thought that the main benefit of Vitamin D was to reduce risk of rickets.  In the last two decades, however, more and more research is finding that Vitamin D’s reach goes far beyond bones.  In fact, it has significant implications on overall health and wellness, respiratory infections, athletic performance, and mood.

Here’s what every cyclist needs to know:
Vitamin D for Athletic Performance:

Reduces Inflammation: After intense exercise, elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines circulate throughout athletes’ bodies.  Vitamin D, along with omega-3 fats from fish oil, reduce the production of cytokines, while increasing the production of anti-inflammatory components.  This can improve recovery, reduce fatigue, and improve overall health.
Improves Immune Function: In studies, Vitamin D deficiency has been correlated with colds, influenza, and respiratory infections. On the other hand, adequate levels of Vitamin D trigger our immune system macrophage cells to release antibacterial peptides, which play a role in infection prevention.  If you want to stay well this Winter, get your Vitamin D.
Prevents Muscle Weakness and Fat Accumulation in Muscles:  Vitamin D deficiency is associated with elevated fat accumulation in muscles, which in turn reduces muscle strength and performance.  In at least one study, the deficiency and loss of muscle strength was demonstrated independent of muscle mass…muscle was actually displaced with fat AND weaker than it should be.  What’s more, there is evidence that supplementation of Vitamin D in deficient persons increases fast twitch muscle fibers in number and size, and reduces injuries (in athletes) and falls (in elderly).
Improves Overall Performance: Studies have shown a steady decline in performance in low-sunlight months, improved performance when athletes are exposed to UV rays (1950s), and peak performance when blood levels of 25 (OH) D are at or above 50 ng/mL.  What’s more, maximum oxygen uptake, or VO2 Max, drops in athletes in months when less UV rays reach the Earth, such as in late Fall months.
Vitamin D for Overall Wellness:
In addition to athletic performance, Vitamin D’s also important for:

Regulating Blood Pressure
Normalizing Blood Sugars and Insulin
Preventing Cancer, especially bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate, and rectal cancer
Steady Moods and Prevention of Depression

Now that we know how important Vitamin D is, it’s no wonder that many experts believe the recommended amounts, and  “normal ranges” for lab values should be much higher than previously established.  But what other factors contribute to our seemingly inadequate intake and levels? Continue reading

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5 Ways to Boost Bone Strength Early – Harvard

Although osteoporosis is widely thought of as a ‘woman’s affliction,’ it is by no means exclusive to the fair sex. While on balance women suffer from osteoporosis three times more often than men, once a man reaches middle age, his odds of catching it increase. I have written about osteoporosis a number of times from various angles. If you are interested, you can click on any of the links at the end of this post to read further.

osteoporosis

Harvard HEALTHbeat offers some worthwhile insights on it in the most recent issue.

“The best prevention for bone-thinning osteoporosis begins early — during the first two decades of life, when you can most influence your peak bone mass by getting enough calcium and vitamin D and doing bone-strengthening exercise. If you are over age 20, there’s no need to be discouraged. It’s never too late to adopt bone-preserving habits.

“If you are a man younger than 65 or a pre-menopausal woman, these five strategies can help you shore up bone strength as a hedge against developing osteoporosis.”

1. Monitor your diet. Get enough calcium and vitamin D, ideally through the foods you eat. Although dairy products may be the richest sources of calcium, a growing number of foods, such as orange juice, are calcium-fortified. Fruits, vegetables, and grains provide other minerals crucial to bone health, such as magnesium and phosphorus.
2. Maintain a reasonable weight. This is particularly important for women. Menstrual periods often stop in women who are underweight — due to a poor diet or excessive exercise — and that usually means that estrogen levels are too low to support bone growth.
3. Don’t smoke, and limit alcohol intake. Smoking and too much alcohol both decrease bone mass.
4.Make sure your workouts include weight-bearing exercises. Regular weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing, or step aerobics can protect your bones. Also include strength training as part of your exercise routine.
5.Talk with your doctor about your risk factors. Certain medical conditions (like celiac disease) and some medications (steroids and others) can increase the chances that you will develop osteoporosis. It’s important to talk with your doctor to develop a prevention strategy that accounts for these factors.”

They offer a link to their booklet on diagnosing and treating osteoporosis and developing an effective plan for your bones: Osteoporosis: A guide to prevention and treatment.

Here are the links for my previous posts on osteoporosis:
Practice Training for Bones as Well as Muscles

The Benefits of Calcium

Is Walking as Effective an Exercise as Running?

Are Men Vulnerable to Osteoporosis as well as Women?

Cycling Pros Have Increased Risk to Osteoporosis

An Early Sign of Osteoporosis?

What is a New Weapon Against Osteoporosis?

What are Some Foods to Protect Against Osteoporosis?

What Can I Do To Prevent Osteoporosis?

Tony

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What are some foods to protect against osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that affects the entire world population. The International Osteoporosis Foundation reports:

•    Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds.
•    Osteoporosis is estimated to affect 200 million women worldwide – approximately one-tenth of women aged 60, one-fifth of women aged 70, two-fifths of women aged 80 and two-thirds of women aged 90.
•    Osteoporosis affects an estimated 75 million people in Europe, USA and Japan

Sardines are an excellent source of calcium to help fight osteoporosis

Sardines are an excellent source of calcium to help fight osteoporosis

Some men think osteoporosis affects only women, but they are wrong. “Men don’t suffer from osteoporosis as often as women, but they are indeed vulnerable. The International Osteoporosis Foundation says that the lifetime risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in men over the age of 50 is 30%, similar to the lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer.” That quote is from my post Are men vulnerable to osteoporosis as well as women?

WebMD has a very useful slideshow on the subject of dietary weapons to protect  your bones.

“An excellent source of calcium is sardines. All those little fish bones have just what you need to build strong bone mass in your own body. Eating three ounces of canned sardines delivers a little more calcium than a cup of milk,” according to the slideshow.

Click on the slideshow link to read all 13 slides.

I was happy to see that they finished with a slide on weight-bearing exercise even though it isn’t dietary. The maxim use it or lose it applies to bones, too. Weight-bearing exercise is crucial to strong bones. Anything that uses the weight of the body or outside weights to work the bones and muscles counts. This causes your body to create new bone material and they produce more bone density. Dancing, walking and stair climbing all come to mind as good weight bearing exercises.

I often conclude with eat less; move more, but this time I think eat smart; move more fits better.

Check out these posts to read further on osteoporosis: What is a new weapon against osteoporosis? What is an early sign of osteoporosis?, How to beat osteoporosis – Harvard, Cycling pros have increased risk of osteoporosis.

Tony

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