3 Amazing Ways To Reverse The Bone Aging Process At The Cellular Level

Today we’re going to delve into a fascinating subject: epigenetics, the study of gene expression (active and inactive genes).

You’ll learn about the process of methylation and how it contributes to the aging of your body, including your bones, because of its effects on your DNA. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to “turn it off” with three scientifically-proven yet simple steps.

First, let’s explore what happens at the cellular level as we age.

The Aging Process Explained

Although most of us think of aging as the body “wearing out,” aging is actually a biologically active process that begins at the cellular level.

As if responding to an internal clock that programs our lifespan, our cells begin to stop dividing and even die. DNA becomes impaired, and mutations – particularly of the genes involved in DNA maintenance – accumulate. Stem cells cease to proliferate, and mitochondrial function becomes impaired.

The DNA replication process often includes a mistake or two, and DNA repair mechanisms exist to correct for these mistakes. But as we age, the number of mistakes that slip through the repair mechanisms begins to accumulate. As noted above, the genes involved in maintaining DNA mutate, making them less effective at correcting mistakes.

Just What Are These DNA “Mistakes”?

It may seem odd to consider that our body processes are prone to error. But the old adage that “nobody is perfect” extends to cellular processes as well (perhaps “no body is perfect” would be better). Here’s how it happens with your DNA.

During DNA replication – which happens each time your cells replicate and proliferate, such as in bone remodeling – a process called methylation takes place. (Other processes take place, too, but for this explanation, we’re going to focus on methylation.)

Methylation is the addition of a methyl group to DNA nucleotides, and it is not always perfectly replicated. Then proteins must step in and “erase” epigenetic marks to get at the damaged genetic material in order to repair it. These marks may be replaced wrongly, or omitted altogether.

Methylation Marks And Your Bones

Research shows that the process of genetic methylation plays a significant role in the differentiation of bone cells, which, as Savers know, is essential for healthy bone remodeling to take place.

A 2012 study published in Biology, analyzed the role of DNA in skeletal disorders, noting that:

“…osteoporosis is the final result of the complex interplay between genetic and acquired factors in which epigenetic marks may also participate.”1

As previously mentioned, these marks decrease or become impaired over time.

Wait A Minute – Are You Saying Our DNA Changes?

Our actual DNA blueprint – the genotype – does not change. It’s a question of activation. When certain aspects of our DNA are “switched on,” then the phenotype – that is, the biochemical characteristics and physical traits that can be observed – actually change. This is where epigenetics comes in.

Epigenetics refers to gene expression, as I mentioned earlier. Some genes are active and some inactive, but the underlying DNA sequence remains the same. Epigenetic change is perfectly natural and occurs frequently on its own at the cellular level. But it can also be influenced by factors such as age, nutrition, and lifestyle.

Methylation, Epigenetics, And The Biological Clock

Amazingly, your body keeps a sort of “record” of our age. Certain genetic factors get turned on and off as you move into puberty, reach menopause, and experience other developmental milestones. As a matter of fact, your body’s genes are routinely turned on and off inside your cells moment by moment. And methylation plays a role in this process.

Methylation involves the addition of a methyl group, and these additions send a signal for various chemical and neurological factors to leave that particular gene alone. In other words, a methylated gene does not get expressed or activated.

But here’s the good news: you have some control over which genes are switched on and off. It involves influencing methylation, and amazingly, it can be achieved with two vitamins and exercise.

Let’s begin with folate, a B vitamin that is also a Foundation Supplement in the Save Our Bones Program.

1. Folate (B9)

As with all nutrients, there are benefits for your bones and overall health.

Bone Health Benefits Of Folate

  • Folic acid, folate, or Vitamin B9 is critical to the metabolism of amino acids, which make up proteins.2 Bones are in part made of organic proteins. 

Whole Body Benefits Of Folate

  • Folic acid is involved in red blood cell development, preventing anemia. It plays a role in nucleic acid metabolism (both DNA and RNA), mainly in the production of genetic material from its precursors.
  • It lowers homocysteine levels, a marker of inflammation often linked to heart disease, and encourages normal brain function.
  • Prevents neural tube defects in newborns.

Foods That Contain Folate

  • Beans: pinto*, garbanzo*, navy, black*, and kidney*
  • Asparagus*
  • Lentils*
  • Spinach*
  • Turnip Greens
  • Broccoli*

*Foundation Food

The RDA for Folate is 400 mcg/day for adults.

2. Vitamin B12

Found primarily in acidifying, animal-based foods (but there are vegetarian sources, as you will see below), B12 is, surprisingly, a crucial vitamin for your bone health.

Bone Health Benefits

  • A Vitamin B12 or cobalamin deficiency is associated with decreased hip bone density and an increased risk of hip fracture.3,4
  • Low B12 levels were shown to decrease the number of osteoblasts (bone-building cells) by two-thirds.5

Whole Body Benefits of B12

  • Vitamin B12 is involved in the processing of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to get energy from food. 
  • It also helps make all of the blood cells, acts as a coenzyme in the synthesis and repair of DNA, and is required for maintenance of nerve sheaths, which supports nerve conduction and memory.
  • Pernicious anemia, a condition characterized by general weakness, numbness of the extremities and pallor, is caused by low levels of Vitamin B12. A B12 deficiency also increases levels of homocysteine, which can lead to heart disease.

Foods That Contain B12

  • Calves’ liver
  • Sardines*
  • Salmon*
  • Venison
  • Lamb
  • Shrimp
  • Halibut*
  • Scallops*
  • Grass-fed beef*
  • Yogurt*
  • Cod

*Foundation Food

All B12-rich, animal-based foods are acidifying (with the exception of plain, organic yogurt). But there are 3 alkalizing foods that contain B12.

Alkalizing, Vegetarian Foods That Contain B12

  • Mushrooms*

    According to a Japanese study, certain types of mushrooms contain significant amounts of B12: black trumpet, golden chanterelle, Lion’s mane, and dried shiitake.6

  • Chlorella

    This single-celled, fresh-water algae has been on this planet for 2 billion years. It has the highest amount of chlorophyll of any other plant on earth. And in addition to many other vitamins, chlorella contains B12.

    It has other benefits as well – it increases healthy gut flora, which are essential for strong bones, and helps heal ulcers and ease the inflammation of gastritis. Chlorella is a powerful detoxification agent, too.

  • Spirulina

    Also fresh-water algae, spirulina is named for its spiral-shaped cells. It has many of the same health benefits as chlorella, and is a rich source of vegetarian protein. Because of its incredible nutritional profile and ease of production, spirulina has been explored as a possible solution to world hunger.

*Foundation Food

The RDA for B12 is 2.4 mcg per day, but you can take much more without any worries, since it’s water soluble. To correct a B12 deficiency take at least 1000 mcg a day for several months.

In addition to getting plenty of folate and B12, there is a third way to influence DNA methylation: exercise.

3. Scientifically Proven: Exercise Reverses Aging At The Phenotypic Level

When scientists studied the effects of exercise on 25 volunteers with an average age of 70, they were startled to discover that the genetic profile of the participants had actually reversed back to younger levels. In other words, their genes fit the profile of someone much younger.7

Here’s their startling conclusion:

“We conclude that healthy older adults show evidence of mitochondrial impairment and muscle weakness, but that this can be partially reversed at the phenotypic level, and substantially reversed at the transcriptome level, following six months of resistance exercise training.”7

Remember phenotypes? They are the observable biochemical characteristics and physical traits that result from certain genes being “switched on.” So when researchers noted reversal of aging at the phenotypic level, it means they were able to observe obvious changes in gene expression.

They also noted that:

“…following exercise training the transcriptional signature of aging was markedly reversed back to that of younger levels.”7

Putting It All Together – What Does This Mean For You?

Getting good amounts of vitamins B9 (folate) and B12 and exercising regularly are key factors in turning back the clock on your age.

So when you follow the Save Our Bones Program and the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, you’re on track toward reversing the aging process and building younger, stronger bones.

It’s long been known that exercise strengthens bones and keeps you fit. But the revelation that exercising can actually make you younger at the genetic level – the level where aging takes place to begin with – is nothing short of extraordinary.

This is just further proof that you’re never too old to embrace a healthy lifestyle!

Till next time,

Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!

Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.

Learn More Now →

References

1 Delgado-Calle, Jésus and Riancho, José A. “The Role of DNA Methylation in Common Skeletal Disorders.” Biology. 2012. 1(3), 698-713; doi:10.3390/biology1030698. Web. http://www.mdpi.com/2079-7737/1/3/698/htm

2 Bailey LB et al. “Folate metabolism and requirements.” J Nutr. 1999;129(4):779-782

3 Stone, KL, et al. “Low serum vitamin B-12 levels are associated with increased hip bone loss in older women: a prospective study.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Mar; 89(3):1217-21.

4 McClean, Robert R. “Plasma B Vitamins, Homocysteine, and Their Relation with Bone Loss and Hip Fracture in Elderly Men and Women.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 June; 93(6): 2206–2212.

5 Roman-Garcia, Pablo, et al. “Vitamin B12–dependent taurine synthesis regulates growth and bone mass.” J Clin Invest. 2014 Jul 1; 124(7): 2988–3002. 

6 Watanabe, Fumio, et al. “Vitamin B12-Containing Plant Food Sources for Vegetarians.” Nutrients. May 2014. 6(5): 1861-1873. doi: 10.3390/nu6051861. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4042564/

7 Melov, Simon, et al. “Resistance exercise reverses aging in human skeletal muscle.” PLoS One. May 2007. 2:5 e465. Web. http://www.buckinstitute.org/scripts/viewPub.php?pmid=17520024&pi_id=13

The Top 14 Things You’re Doing That Are Damaging Your Bones... And More!

  • Stop The Bone Thieves! report
  • Email course on how to prevent and reverse bone loss
  • Free vital osteoporosis news and updates.
Get It Free Now
33 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Georgina May 25, 2015, 4:50 am

    Thank you Vivian. For all the invaluable information you give us.God bess.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 25, 2015, 12:47 pm

      You are most welcome, Georgina. 🙂

  2. Ingrid April 27, 2015, 7:46 pm

    Hi Vivienne,
    Re taking extra folate and Vitamin B12. Last time my doctor said my folate blood levels were normal. Do I still insist or do I just buy it myself? So far I’ve been using a B complex from the shelf (especially when my energy levels drop).
    I also have coeliac disease and heard folate is good for that too.
    I appreciate your advise on these conversations. But how do I key in and find out your reply to me? I haven’t found them yet and asked a few questions before?
    Thanks. Ingrid

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 28, 2015, 8:34 pm

      Hi Ingrid,
      You could simply add in more B9-rich foods into your diet. You don’t need your doctor’s “approval” to do that!

  3. Marianne April 24, 2015, 8:46 pm

    Dear Vivian,

    Please clarify the interchangeable use of the words folic acid and folate. Folate is natural, folic acid is a synthetic compound that does not work well for most people. Doctors are handing out folic acid pills like candy and it is in most processed foods. Dr. Ben Lynch has an excellent video on the differences and why we should stick to folate. Thank you for all that you do! Except for this, this article is awesome. I also recommend the book Could It Be B12 by Sally Pacholok because there is a B12 and folate epidemic of deficiencies in this country.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 25, 2015, 9:49 am

      Hi Marianne,
      You are correct – folate is the naturally-occurring form of folic acid. I noted this in a previous post on the health benefits of peas: “…studies have shown that Vitamins B6, B12, and folate (the naturally occurring form of synthetic folic acid or B9) are involved in the chemical reactions that convert homocysteine into other amino acids.” You can read the rest of the post here:

      https://saveourbones.com/the-tiny-food-with-big-bone-building-benefits/

      • Marianne April 25, 2015, 11:23 am

        Thank you Vivian for answering my post! You are awesome! I am very concerned that too many people are being prescribed folic acid and not folate, and this could cause serious problems for some people. Dr. Ben Lynch has a great video in which he explains the differences. I appreciate all that you do! You are helping so any people avoid the dangers of bisphosphonates and letting them know they have a choice and not to be bullied by their conventional doctors. 🙂

  4. Barbara April 24, 2015, 5:42 am

    Hi Vivian,
    I would like to learn more about resistance exercise as mentioned in point no 3. (The Scientifically Proven quote) above. I would like to know what specific type of exercise is considered resistant without the use of an exercise machine.
    Thank you
    Barbara

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 24, 2015, 10:30 am

      Hi Barbara,
      Resistance exercises build muscles that support the skeleton. Some examples are wall push-ups, chair dips, and wall squats. You don’t need special equipment; resistance exercises can be done using light weights or your own body weight. 🙂

      • Barbara April 25, 2015, 5:31 am

        Thank you Vivian, I look forward to finding these exercises and making them part of my routine.
        Barbara

  5. June April 24, 2015, 2:54 am

    Dear Amy,
    Regarding your wet macular degeneration treatment, there have been successful treatments for this especially if you have just been diagnosed with the use of saffron. This is the website to find the information, they are in New Zealand where the climate is perfect for growing of the Crocus flower – mdrevision.com. It can slow the disease down, halt or even reverse in some cases. I have dry macular degeneration and have been taking these saffron drops for 6 months and upon my eye check up was found that the disease has halted and is still the same. Another thing is do not take aspirin of any kind as it causes bleeding in the eye. These are for wet or dry. They are expensive but what price can you put on your eyes. The little stigmas have to be picked by hand and then made into little pills so they have to grow an enormous lot of crocus flowers to make a small amount of powder so can understand why it is expensive to make.

  6. shula April 23, 2015, 11:45 pm

    THANKS

  7. Linda K. April 23, 2015, 10:16 pm

    I’ve been drinking distilled water but I use a Sodastream to make it fizzy. Is using the CO2 okay or is it detrimental? I do put lemon/lime juice in it as well.

  8. Joyce April 23, 2015, 7:30 pm

    How is the best way to add Chlorella to your diet? Thanks fore the great info.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 23, 2015, 8:40 pm

      Hi Joyce,
      A good quality organic broken-cell wall chlorella supplement is the best way. 🙂

  9. Diane Cario April 23, 2015, 4:57 pm

    I was wondering if your exercises are on a DVD that I could just put in instead of having to go to the computer to watch or transfer to On Demand. This would be more convenient for exercise time.

  10. Amy Combs April 23, 2015, 12:10 pm

    Dear Dr. vivian,
    I have been diagnosed with wet macular degeneration. Now, I KNOW you aren’t an ‘eye’ doctor, but I do so respect your knowledge and opinion on general health and nutrition. I have been told to take some eye supplements that contain amounts of vitamins/minerals that have been found effective for eye health. The problem is that the ones I’m finding ALSO have dyes & preservatives that I do not like to put in my body. Any suggestions? Thanks so much, Amy

    • Marianne April 24, 2015, 8:33 pm

      Amy, I have been using Healthy Eyes by DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont, a supplement recommended for me by my naturopath. I do not have WMD but cataracts and suspected glaucoma. Since working with my naturopath, my eyeglass prescription has not changed in several years and my cataracts have not progressed. You can check these out at PureFormulas.com to see if they might work for you. No bad fillers. My naturopath is awesome! I have severe arthritis in my hip and using prolotherapy I have avoided a hip replacement. The cartilage is coming back. It was bone-on-bone! Good luck to you! I hope this helps!

  11. Louise April 23, 2015, 12:03 pm

    Hello Vivian, As usual I enjoyed your email this morning.It is so empowering to know that we can take control of our health, Love you, Thanks for sharing the information. Louise

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 23, 2015, 8:33 pm

      Knowledge and information are indeed empowering! 🙂 And you are welcome.

  12. ev April 23, 2015, 10:40 am

    Is the dosage correct for B12 recommendations? You show it to be
    2.4 mcg. Over the counter bottles contain 2000 mcg.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 23, 2015, 11:36 am

      Hi Ev,
      The RDA for adult women is 2.4mcg; but this is very basic a guideline for the absolute minimum required. It’s typically not enough due to bioavailability and other factors. That is why more often than not, supplements contain a higher dosage than the RDA.

  13. Becki April 23, 2015, 9:52 am

    I purchased dencercise and the moves are so fast.. I thought I was purchasing a real video to go along with the moves???

    • Customer Support April 23, 2015, 10:17 am

      Hi Becki,
      To clarify, the main part of the The Densercise Epidensity Training System is the Densercise manual, which contains all of the information, illustrations and instructions. The Online Video Collection is not meant to be used as a stand-alone exercise video – it contains a brief demonstration of each exercise, but the videos are meant to be used in conjunction with the manual. 🙂

  14. Dorothy Robinson April 23, 2015, 8:36 am

    What about as person 86 years of age and older.

    Thank you.

    • Aarohi July 23, 2015, 6:36 am

      I recently read Nutrient Power and I rlaely got a lot out of it. I agree it is a bit technical in some parts, but there is also a lot of valuable info.Regarding the fact that dosages are not given, this could definitely be a liability for the author. I have been diagnosed with both pyroluria and overmethylation and have been seeing a kinesiologist who does muscle testing to see which supplements as well as how much of each my body needs. Everyone’s biological make up is different so the dosages would be different for each person, even with the same diagnosis. BTW, I rlaely appreciate your blog. This is a great resource for those of us with pyroluria:)

    • SHIRLEY April 23, 2015, 10:18 am

      To Dorothy, When you ask “What about a person 86 or older, Im guessing you mean in relation to exercise.. If you haven’t been exercising, start carefully, check with your doctor. I suggest walking, and gradually increasing the time or distance walked. LIisten to your body. itI it wiil let. tou know when to slow down. As for B12 and other vitamins. Take what yiu need., yiur body doesn’t absord as much from food as ir did when you were younger. My husband and I are both 87 so I’m goinh to follow mmy advice and start walking more. Then I’ll order Denccer size. Join me.

    • Ruth Heidrich, Ph.D. April 23, 2015, 9:44 am

      There have been studies that show exercise works even in 90-year-olds! It’s never too late!

      • Marianne April 24, 2015, 8:41 pm

        Shirley, age is just a number and ageism is rife in this country! Read Goddesses Never Age by Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D. The book is awesome and will give you a different perspective on age. My new theory is: conventional medicine is aging people with all of the prescription medications it hands out like candy, and of course, candy/sugar is killing us, too. Studies do show that we can build muscle at any age and sitting too much is what is killing us. Good luck! Go slow if you have not exercised in a while and speak to your doctor if you must.

        • Marianne April 24, 2015, 9:27 pm

          Oops! I said Shirley when I meant to address Dorothy! But I also love Shirley’s advice, and Ruth Heidrick is amazing! This is a fantastic article! Lots of great comments! Thank you Vivian!

  15. Carolyn wagner April 23, 2015, 7:42 am

    I would like a printed copy of Densercise rather than online.

    • Customer Support April 23, 2015, 10:16 am

      Hi Carolyn,
      At this time, the Densercise manual is delivered in a digital downloadable format (PDF) and is not available in hard copy.

      The e-book format allows you to get instant access to the system so you can start Densercising right away. Plus it saves you the shipping and handling fees. You also get instant access to all 52 Densercise moves demonstrated by Vivian on video, so you can watch her on your computer screen on-demand, then do the moves right away.

      • Lily July 26, 2015, 5:06 am

        Hi Customer Support
        All well and good, but the majority people prefer Densercise in a manual version. I purchased the digital version and is completely useless as I cant exercise in my study. Waste of money for those of you considering.

Join the Conversation. Leave a Comment.

The purpose of this comment section is to encourage you to interact with the other Savers. Thank you so much for joining the conversation!

Get Started With Your FREE
Natural Bone Building Kit.

Get a free copy of our ‘Stop The Bone Thieves’ eBook, exclusive content that you can’t find anywhere else, plus vital osteoporosis news and updates.

Get It Free

My Cart

Edit Total: