Saving Our Bones
Worrying about bone health gets a lot of press, but rather than just talking about our bones, here are four easy tips to keep them in good shape for a lifetime.
• It's not about calcium. American women take more calcium than anybody else in the world-and have the most osteoporosis. It's about magnesium.
Here's how it is: Our bodies insist on balance. They'll balance things no matter what, even if we end up in a ditch.
Bones need magnesium
For instance, calcium has to balance magnesium. Well, now, there's an oops. Most of us are way short on magnesium. Well, what's a body to do? It starts tossing out calcium, that's what. Maybe into our heart valves or arteries, maybe make a kidney stone or two, perhaps throw the parathyroid glands for a loop. Whatever it takes, that calcium's outta here.
So our bodies dump most of the calcium we take, but the bad part of the deal is low magnesium. It's involved in most everything our bodies do, including bone building. We need magnesium.
Bones need vitamin D3
• Bones also need plenty of vitamin D3, cholecalciferol-which isn't the form of D they use in prescription meds or to fortify food, milk, etc. Actually, vitamin D isn't a vitamin, but a hormone-which our endocrine system, center of all things hormone, really slurps up. And our other body parts aren't very far behind in the slurping.
• And vitamin C blesses-and heals-every part of our bodies, including the bones. People who know their C say adults need between six and twelve grams a day. Yes, I said grams. (One gram is 1000mg.) And the older you are, they say, the more you need.
So we want to get plenty of C, but don't be in a hurry. If we ramp up vitamin C-or magnesium, for that matter-too quickly, we'll get diarrhea. It does no harm, but it sure isn't fun.
Exercise builds bone
• Exercise builds bone. Not aerobics or marathons, though. Interval training, where you go full out for just a few minutes at a time, works better.
Weight bearing exercises do good things for bones-and the rest of us, too. Walking's good. Sports. Working with weights. Even small hand weights while you're watching TV helps. Or strapping on some ankle weights as you move around the house. Don't wear yourself out (a sign you're doing too much), but be intentional about exercise lest you forget it.
Taking care of our bodies isn't all that hard once we know what to do.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She's a patient who's been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, "Moving to Health" about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don't, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.