12-Minute Daily Yoga Sessions Could Help Improve Your Bone Health

Knowing that more than 700,000 spinal fractures and more than 300,000 hip fractures occur annually in the United States, Dr. Fishman hoped that similar findings from a much larger study might convince doctors that this low-cost and less dangerous alternative to bone-loss drugs is worth pursuing.

Those medications can produce adverse side effects like gastrointestinal distress and fractures of the femur. Indeed, a recent study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging found that among 126,188 women found to have osteoporosis, all of whom had Medicare Part D drug coverage, only 28 percent started bone drug therapy within a year of diagnosis.

Many of those who avoided drugs were trying to avoid gastrointestinal problems.

On the other hand, yoga’s “side effects,” Dr. Fishman and colleagues wrote recently, “include better posture, improved balance, enhanced coordination, greater range of motion, higher strength, reduced levels of anxiety and better gait.”

Source: 12 Minutes of Yoga for Bone Health

I want to believe, but the study had no control group and the exercise is self reported.

Studies: Bones Weak, Forecast Calls for Increasing Fractures, Breaks, and Osteoporosis.

It’s another angle on the attack against our increasingly sedentary lifestyle:

Somewhere in a dense forest of ash and elm trees, a hunter readies his spear for the kill. He hurls his stone-tipped weapon at his prey, an unsuspecting white-tailed deer he has tracked since morning. The crude projectile pierces the animal’s hide, killing it and giving the hunter food to bring back to his family many miles away. Such was survival circa 5,000 B.C. in ancient North America.

But today, the average person barely has to lift a finger, let alone throw a spear to quell their appetite. The next meal is a mere online order away. And according to anthropologists, this convenient, sedentary way of life is making bones weak. Ahead, there’s a future of fractures, breaks, and osteoporosis. But for some anthropologists, the key to preventing aches in bones is by better understanding the skeletons of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Source: The Future Looks Bleak for Bones

It is amazing how researchers are able to ignore results from other fields. We know that bone density is not a good predictor for fractures. On the other hand, we know that dairy product consumption is correlated with higher density and fractures.  There is no consensus on how to explain that currently, but one interesting theory is that dairy products promote bone metabolism (hence the higher density) up to renewal exhaustion (hence the fractures).  I’d be interested to see how the theory holds up when they compare bone details between those who are and are not lactose intolerant.  It wouldn’t be hard, considering that an estimated 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant.

The diet of the forager doesn’t appear to have been considered either.  Calcium and vitamin K are not found in meat 😉

Individuals who are vitamin K deficient have repeatedly been shown to have a greater risk of fracture. In addition, for women who have passed through menopause and have started to experience unwanted bone loss, vitamin K has clearly been shown to help prevent future fractures.

Vitamin K is not evil – it’s in our best interest to balance intake with blood thinners.

Recipe: Tahini

Tahini can be convenient to buy at most grocery stores, but expensive.  It’s incredibly simple to make yourself.  Providing you have:

  • coffee/spice grinder
  • food processor
  • frying pan or microwave if toasting the seeds

Then hit the bulk foods section of your grocery store for some sesame seeds!  If there’s vitamin K in sesame seeds, it’s so low there’s no concern.  There’s some real benefit to eating sesame/tahini:

  • The copper in sesame seeds is good for Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Magnesium supports vascular and respiratory health
  • Calcium helps prevent colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS
  • Zinc for bone health
  • Phytosterols lower cholesterol

Additional tips:

  • It’s worth finding a store with a decent bulk foods section for various things – sugar, spices, nuts, oatmeal and such.  You can save a lot.
  • The nice part about tahini is that if the sesame and oil separates – just mix it up again.

When Life gives you tahini, make hummus! 🙂

Prunes: 5 Reasons to Eat More

Not a fan of prunes? You’re not alone. In fact, women ages 25 to 54 react so negatively to the idea of prunes that the California Prune Board pressured the Food and Drug Administration to change their name to the more appealing ‘dried plums’ (which they technically are), and it worked! Sales of this super-healthy purple fruit have hit new heights.

Beyond the benefits to your digestive tract, and the fact that they offer a sweet hit for only 30 calories, plums and prunes have many other wonderful health properties.

Source: 5 healthy reasons you need to eat more prunes

There’s a recipe at the end for plum-quinoa salad.

What the article doesn’t mention is that plums/prunes increase the absorption of iron.  Ladies, are you listening?  Because as prunes/plums are good for weight loss too.  But be aware that there is a reasonable amount of vitamin K in them, so mind how much you consume.  For more information on plums/prunes, see this link.