When it rains it pours. As if it weren’t difficult enough to be a senior citizen, it turns out that Type 2 diabetes adds a further level of complexity.
Though seniors with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) tend to have normal or higher bone density than their peers, researchers have found that they are more likely to succumb to fractures than seniors without T2D. In a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research found older adults with Type 2 diabetes had deficits in cortical bone–the dense outer surface of bone that forms a protective layer around the internal cavity– compared to non-diabetics. The findings suggest that the microarchitecture of cortical bone may be altered in seniors with T2D and thereby place them at increased risk of fracture.
Participants in this study included over 1,000 member of the Framingham Study who were examined over a period of 3 years. High resolution scanning allowed researchers to determine that many older adults with diabetes had weakness specific to cortical bone microarchitecture that cannot be measured by standard bone density testing.
Osteoporotic fractures are a significant public health problem that can lead to disability, decreased quality of life, and even death – not to mention significant health care costs. Risk of fracture is even greater in adults with T2D, including a 40 – 50% increased risk of hip fracture – the most serious of osteoporotic fractures.
“Fracture in older adults with Type 2 diabetes is a highly important public health problem and will only increase with the aging of the population and growing epidemic of diabetes. Our findings identify skeletal deficits that may contribute to excess fracture risk in older adults with diabetes and may ultimately lead to new approaches to improve prevention and treatment,” said Dr. Elizabeth Samelson, lead author of the study.
Researchers hope that novel studies such as this will help to revolutionize the area of bone health, especially for older adults. It is important to follow screening guidelines for bone density testing, but better understanding of all the factors that affect bone strength and the tendency to fracture is needed.
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.
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:
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.
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.
To read more benefits of walking – Check out my Page – Why you should walk more.
Popeye had his spinach, but broccoli is really healthy, too.
There are lots of fancy ways to fix it, but my favorite, that is to say, Mr. Lazy Cook’s favorite, is to steam it a couple of minutes and dig in. If you aren’t familiar with steaming, it is wonderfully quick and brings out the most brilliant colors in your veggies.
Watercress is most commonly consumed fresh in salads but can also be incorporated into pastas, casseroles and sauces just like any other green. Watercress will sauté faster than tougher greens like kale and collard greens because of its tenderness and lends a mild, slightly peppery taste to any dish.
Cooking with Kathy Man
Watercress, along with beetroot and other leafy greens, contain a very high level of dietary nitrate.
An ancient green said to have been a staple in Roman soldiers diets, watercress is actually a part of the cruciferous (also known as brassica) family of vegetables.
High intakes of dietary nitrate have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise and enhance athletic performance.2 Moderate intakes do not appear to have the same effects.1
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, two cups of fresh watercress (about 68 grams) contains only 7 calories.
Two cups of watercress also have 1.6 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fat, and 0.9 grams of carbohydrate (including 0.3 grams of fiber and 0.1 grams of sugar).
Consuming 2 cups of watercress will meet 212% of vitamin K, 48% of your vitamin C, 44% of vitamin A, 8% of calcium and…
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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
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.
Ever since we were eating at our mom’s table we have been hearing that we should eat our broccoli. Here are some reasons why mom was right: