Bone Health by the Numbers

Quick facts on bone health.
By Craig Gustafson

1 Class of pharmaceuticals to avoid: Bisphosphanates. Although they are designed to promote bone health, studies show they may produce a nasty side effect called osetonecrosis of the jaw; which basically means your jaw bone may die.

2 Drinks is the number of alcoholic beverages a day that appear to support bone health. Ironically, it seems that beer is more effective than wine for this, although wine does show positive effects. More than two drinks per day erases alcohol’s bonebuilding benefits and actually speeds up degeneration.

3 ways smoking ruins your bones: By stimulating the cells that break down bone tissue—a necessary step in bone health which is stimulated beyond necessary levels by smoking; by increasing cortisol, a stress-induced substance produced by your body that is linked to bone loss and hypertension in your bloodstream; and by destroying the cells in your body that rebuild bone tissue.

5 Health conditions that significantly impact bone remodeling and encourage bone loss: Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

6 Percent: the average amount of bone strength a typical woman loses during menopause

7 Days a week, you should engage in weight-bearing exercise to maintain bone mass. Activities such as walking or dancing, where you support your own weight, and which involve frequent muscular contractions and some impact provide the best results.

8 Vitamins that are critical to bone Health: A, B2 (Riboflavin), B6, B12, folate, C, D, K2

11 Minerals must be present in your diet: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, fluoride, silica, copper, boron, potassium, strontium, and zinc.

15 Minutes of sunshine 3 to 5 times per week provides vitamin D that is critical for bone health.

20 Minutes of brisk walking each day can severely inhibit bone loss. Better yet, take two shorter walks for more effective exercise.

70 Resistance training requires loads at 70 percent of your maximum to stimulate an increase in bone density. A short resistance program performed twice per week can help build bone mass—even in the elderly.