As we get older, our bodies begin to reabsorb calcium and phosphates as opposed to storing them in our bones. In addition to making them weaker over time, this process can lead to chronic conditions like osteoporosis. But there are ways to help preserve your bones and they are simpler than you think. New research suggests that it’s possible to delay degenerative bone diseases by taking vitamins and exercising regularly.
“Our study raises the possibility that there might be a lot more that depends on mechanical stimulation than we imagined,” Sean Morrison, who is the senior author of a new paper published in the journal, nature explained in a media release.
“We know that exercise is really good for you, but we’re getting a more complete picture of why it’s good for you. The essential advance in this study is to identify a new way in which exercise strengthens our bones and immune function.”
Dr. Morrison, of the Children’s Medical Research Institute at UT Southwestern, and his colleagues determined that habitual physical activity promotes bone regeneration and healthy immune responses in older adults. More discreetly, high-impact exercises like jumping, running, and climbing appear to stimulate the production of agents produced in bone marrow important to the body’s defense against illness and aging.
The strength of the new data survives on stromal cells, which become connective tissue cells, osteonectin cells, lymphoid progenitors, and a crop of elderly mouse models.
These mice were placed on exercise wheels while their bone density and composition were evaluated.
Test results revealed that regular movement induced stromal cells to generate bone cells and immune response cells known as osteocytes in the elderly mouse. This cohort also evidenced denser, thicker bones.
When osteocytes were suppressed, however, the mice had a much harder time fighting off bacterial infection.
“Stromal cells in adult bone marrow that express leptin receptor (LEPR) are a critical source of growth factors, including stem cell factor (SCF), for the maintenance of haematopoietic stem cells and early restricted progenitors,” the authors wrote in the new paper. “These results show that a peri-arteriolar niche for osteogenesis and lymphopoiesis in bone marrow is maintained by mechanical stimulation and depleted during ageing.”
Although committing to exercise that impacts the bones seems to be correlated with prolonged strength among elderly populations, the researchers will need to conduct further anaysis in order to determine if the results of their latest report will translate to human samples.
“We can’t say it for sure. But there’s a remarkable degree of similarity between the blood-forming system in mice and the blood-forming system in humans,” Morrison concludes.
“When astronauts go up into space, and their bones become unloaded, their bones become thinner, and their immune system goes down. So these observations are completely consistent with things that we know happen in humans.”
As it stands, experts suggest considering the following 10 items to naturally support bone health into old age:
- Eat Lots of Vegetables. Vegetables are great for your bones
- Perform Strength Training and Weight-Bearing Exercises
- Consume Enough Protein
- Eat High-Calcium Foods Throughout the Day
- Get Plenty of Vitamin D and Vitamin K
- Avoid Very Low-Calorie Diets
- Consider Taking a Collagen Supplement
- Maintain a Stable, Healthy Weight