According to a study at Yale School of Medicine led by Dr. Lubna Pal, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, wrinkles on the face were indicators of bone health. “At every skeletal site we looked at, wrinkling was translated to lower bone density.”
Skin Health and Bone Disease
Do you ever look at your face and notice the changes? From loss of elasticity and firmness to wrinkles, the condition of the skin on your face may indicate more than meets the eye. And according to recent research, it is actually a strong indicator of what’s going on well beneath the skin.
That’s right. In this study on facial wrinkles, firmness, and elasticity, results showed that your skin is a direct indication of the health of your bones. Poor skin health, reflected in poor bone health.
The characteristics of skin that were examined were the following on the face and neck:
- Amount of wrinkles
- Deepness of wrinkles
- Number of wrinkles as compared to age
- Firmness in forehead
- Elasticity of cheeks
Measurements of these areas were taken and then x-rays were taken of the bones at the areas of hip, lumbar spine, and heel.
The study indicates that by looking at the face, rather than costly testing with some risk of side effects, you can determine the potential health of your bones. Pal cautioned that these findings were in early menopausal women only.
The study shouldn’t lead you to think that if you have a deep wrinkle you can expect to break a bone but rather be viewed as another tool to help in the fight for strong bones. If you have a disproportionate amount of wrinkles for your age, then you should take a serious look at your lifestyle and double check yourself to see if you’re taking all the right steps to protect your bones today and into tomorrow.
The Best Ways to Build Strong Bones
Building strong bones is a concern for most parents and aging adults. As you begin to age, you may realize that you aren’t invincible and as strong as you used to be. You then will worry about how healthy your bones are and if they’ll be able to hold out for the long haul.
While the best time to build bones to their optimum strength is during childhood, there are steps you can take to strengthen your bones now and keep them strong as you age.
Diet, lifestyle, and exercise are three of the most vital factors when it comes to keeping bones strong. Let’s look at the key players in diet and nutrition to maintain bone strength or strengthen weak bones.
Calcium and Bone Health
Unless you’ve been in hiding you already know that calcium in the diet regularly is vital for strong bones. (Parents remember this is especially true as your children are growing.) But what you may not know is that milk and dairy are not necessarily your best choice for a healthy source of calcium.
For better sources of calcium try to incorporate the following foods into your daily diet:
- Bok Choy
- Raw Cheese
- Kidney Beans
- Green leafy vegetables
Along with calcium, vitamin D is vital to bone health and collagen support. Collagen is the building block for both the bones and skin.
Vitamin D and Bone Health
Vitamin D has come into light recently for the vital roles it plays in many aspects of health. Supporting bone health is one of the most important roles of vitamin D.
The best source of vitamin D is the sun. That’s right the sun enables the body to make chemical changes resulting in the production of vitamin D. It’s essential that you’re getting some safe sun exposure on a regular basis to insure your vitamin D levels are at adequate levels.
Recent research has indicated that most Westerner’s bodies are significantly short on this precious nutrient, especially those who live in the Northern parts of the United States and spend winters with a lack of sunshine.
Although the sun is the best source it’s also important to supplement with a high quality vitamin D product. It is recommended that an adult take about 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day. However, some people require as much as 3,000 to 4,000 IU per day, particularly if you have little exposure to sunlight on a regular basis.
Magnesium and Bone Health
Another essential nutrient to support your bones and skin is magnesium. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral found in the body with fifty percent of that magnesium found in the bones.
Magnesium isn’t just good for bones either; it provides a host of other helpful functions in the body.
Rich sources of magnesium include the following:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Brazil Nuts
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Sweet Potatoes
- Cocoa (Dark Chocolate)
It’s also vital to include foods rich in Vitamin K2 in your diet in order to maintain healthy bones and skin.
Vitamin K2 and Bone Health
Often called the ‘forgotten vitamin,’ vitamin K2 is essential for many important body functions and supports body health in numerous ways. Studies show that vitamin K2 stimulates osteocalcin production as well as inhibiting osteoclasts. Osteocalcin helps the body to build bone and osteoclasts retard the bone building process in the body.
The best sources for vitamin K2 are the following:
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Fermented dairy such as amasai and kefir
- Raw Cheese
In addition to these vital nutrients it’s important to get a healthy dose of stronatium in your daily diet to help with bone strength. Stronatium is a common element that is found naturally in your bones. Supplementation with stronatium has been shown to strengthen weakening bones.
Another vital aspect of keeping your bones strong is to engage in regular exercise. Not only should you be doing regular burst training exercises you should also take part in weight training. That doesn’t mean that you have to become a body builder to maintain strong bones. What it does mean is that you should make it a point to regularly lift even small amounts of weight and use your body weight as resistance to engage in weight training to strengthen your bones.
Maintaining bone health and strength as you age is essential to staying vibrant, healthy, and independent. Take the steps now to incorporate these vital nutrients and lifestyle habits into your life (and the lives of your loved ones) and you’ll live with vitality into the future.
In addition to eating a well rounded, healthy diet incorporating the foods listed in this article you can opt for a supplement to insure you’re getting enough of the right, essential nutrients for bone health.
It’s also wise to consider fermented dairy products for bone health. Although these are relatively new to the Western market their nutritional benefits make them well worth incorporating into your life.