A few months ago, while researching a story on bone health for Natural Health magazine, I learned I had not one, not two, but SIX risk factors for osteoporosis.
-Caucasian or asian
-Late onset of menstruation (after age 15) or early menopause (These women have fewer years with higher levels of circulating estrogen, which helps lay down bone.)
History of an eating disorder or skipped periods due to low body fat
-History of unregulated thyroid hormones
What I DO have going for me: A lifetime of weight-bearing exercise, no smoking history, and an 86-year-old grandmother who, despite never having worked out a day in her life, has taken multiple spills in the past decade yet never come close to breaking a bone. Her conferring to me some of her freakish skeletal strength almost makes up for the fact that I inherited her awful toes, a set of 10 mini monstrosities that render me nearly unable to show my feet in public and send me fleeing from pedicure salons.
Needless to say, I learned a lot while writing this bone health story. Not just fun facts, like “Humans create 11 skeletons over the course of our lifetime,” but the notion that more and more experts are steering consumers away from dairy as a means of building bone, or that prunes have been shown to boost bone density.
Want to learn more? Check out my article, Skeleton Keys, in the current issue of Natural Health, or online here.