In osteoporosis, natural probiotic supplements can help build healthier bones. The findings come from Michigan State University where researchers found that a natural probiotic supplement given to male mice helped promote stronger bones. The same results were not rendered in female mice. Lead author Laura McCabe said, “We know that inflammation in the gut can cause bone loss, though it’s unclear exactly why.”
Probiotics are microorganisms that help balance the immune system. In the study, mice were given Lactobacillus reuteri, which can help lower inflammation but can sometimes have harmful effects on the body’s immune response to infection.
Coauthor Robert Britton added, “Through food fermentation, we’ve been eating bacteria that we classify as probiotics for thousands of years. There’s evidence that this bacterium as a species has coevolved with humans. It’s indigenous to our intestinal tracts and is something that, if missing, might cause problems.”
The male group showed a significant increase in bone density after four weeks of treatment, but the same results were not seen in the female mice, which has prompted the researchers to investigate the underlying cause further.
By 2020, nearly half of Americans over the age of 50 are expected to have low bone density, or osteoporosis. Osteoporosis affects women more than men, but men are not immune to the bone disease.
McCabe added, “People tend to think of osteoporosis as just affecting postmenopausal women, but what they don’t realize is that it can occur with other conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes. You don’t want to put your child on medications that reduce bone remodeling for the rest of their life, so something natural could be useful for long-term treatment of bone loss that begins at childhood.”
Natural tips to prevent bone loss
Bone loss and osteoporosis can be a dangerous condition to live with due to an increased risk of fractures, breaks, and long-term disability. This is why it is so important to take the necessary steps to prevent bone loss to keep your bones strong. Here are five natural ways to help strengthen your bones and keep them strong for years to come.
Ensure you are receiving basic nutrients: With the increasing prevalence of overprocessed foods, many of us are not even getting in the essential nutrients we need. Eat more fruits and vegetables, and steer clear of processed foods and refined flour.
Take in bone-specific nutrients: Calcium and vitamin D are the key bone-specific nutrients, which can be obtained from dairy products, fatty fish, and even the sunlight! Make sure you are getting enough of these essential bone vitamins and nutrients to keep your bones strong. Furthermore, speak to your doctor about the necessity of supplementation – you shouldn’t take calcium supplements without your doctor’s okay.
Eat an alkalizing diet: Too much of acidic foods can set you up for weaker bones, so you need to counter all that acidity with fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and supplements.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercise has been shown to keep bones strong over time, especially weight-bearing exercises. When we exercise, our bones create tiny breaks and become stronger over time through reabsorption.
Reduce stress: Chronic stress can actually set you up for weaker bones, as the released cortisol harms your bones and overall body. Partake in relaxation techniques that can help you minimize stress in order to keep your bones strong.
If you’re concerned about your bone heath or are over the age of 50, speak to your doctor about your risk factors for weak bones and start addressing them right away.