Link Between Wrinkles And Osteoporosis: Fact Or Fiction? - Save Our Bones

According to a well-known proverb, the eyes are the mirror of the soul. But what if your skin could be the mirror of your bones? In a brand new study, Yale School of Medicine researcher Dr. Lubna Pal suggests that there might be a direct correlation between common wrinkles on the face such as laugh and frown lines, the neck, and bone density.

After analyzing facial skin firmness, depth, and quantity of wrinkles, Dr. Pal observed that the worse the skin condition, the lower the hip, lumbar and spine density found in middle-aged study subjects- all women. And the opposite appears to apply as well; firmer facial skin was linked to greater bone density.

As Dr. Pal explains, “Bones and skin share common building blocks – a group of proteins known as collagens. As we age, changes in collagen may account for age-related skin changes, including worsening skin wrinkles and sagging skin, and also contribute to deterioration of bone. Ultimately, we want to know if intensity of skin wrinkles can allow identification of women who are more likely to fracture a bone.”

So What’s Wrong With Making This Connection?

On the surface, Dr. Pal’s observations seem logical. After all, if aging skin suffers damage, and skin and bones are made of the same proteins, more wrinkles reflect more collagen damage. And since bones are made up of mineralized collagen and a collagen matrix, the visual observation of facial lines could offer a glimpse into the condition of bones.

But once we start digging deeper, it’s easy to realize that this study misses the point entirely.

Dr. Pal is in-step with reductionism, a ‘philosophy’ (if it can be called that) applied by the medical establishment where scientists study small and defined phenomena rather than the whole picture. The biological phenomena under observation is fragmented and simplified by omitting relevant information, most often leading to conclusions that are completely disconnected from reality.

Terrible Unintended Consequences

A perfect example of reductionism is GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia, the world’s best-selling diabetes drug. Used to increase insulin sensitivity in Type II diabetics, its sale was suspended in Europe and severely restricted in the US in 2010.

Indeed, Avandia performed its task, but with terrible unintended consequences: a Cleveland Clinic study showed that patients taking Avandia had a 43% greater risk of a heart attack or other cardiovascular problems.

This is what happens when scientists fail to look at the whole picture.

Another good example of how the isolation of one health condition from the rest of the body leads to dreadful unintended consequences is – you guessed it – osteoporosis drugs and their side-effects, including the irreversible Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ).

And these side-effects unleash a vicious cycle of yet more prescriptions to mitigate them. As s I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program:

“…more often than not, side-effects of osteoporosis drugs are treated with yet more medicines that have their own side-effects. For example, when patients taking bisphosphonates complain of gastrointestinal discomfort, doctors are typically not ready to stop the drug treatment and therefore prescribe an acid reducer such as Nexium or Prevacid. Little does the patient know that these medicines hinder calcium absorption, causing even more bone loss…”

The Yale Study Flaws

What I find truly baffling is that some are surprised by these study results. It is no secret that poor nutrition and lifestyle habits lead to poor health, which leads to – among other things – lots of wrinkles. For example, The Standard American Diet is not only highly acidifying; it is also practically devoid of antioxidants and many other important nutrients that protect the skin. And not surprisingly, you need those antioxidants and nutrients to build strong bones too.

Add to this the myriad of chemicals added to foods and the rampant use of artificial sweeteners, and it is not difficult to see how damaged skin is tied to weak bones that could easily fracture.

Also, lack of sleep or poor sleeping habits can ravage your skin while elevating your stress levels. And high levels of stress is another factor that contributes to weak bones.

You see, the number of studies one can conduct in this vein would be endless. That's because unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits for the most part will have an overall negative effect on your entire body. And in your body's wisdom, it gives you “warning signs”. Sometimes those come in the form of pain and other times as wrinkles.

As I mentioned earlier, reductionism doesn't look at the whole picture. Instead of isolating and fragmenting our biology, we have to look at it as one perfectly synchronized and interdependent system designed for optimal health. And the Osteoporosis Reversal Program does just that, with the clear understanding that …

Beauty Comes From the Inside Out

Like your bones, your skin needs to be nourished with the right nutrients – vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – working in harmony with each other and with other metabolic processes. It also needs to be free of other harmful substances.

And the great part is that you'll be feeding your skin what it needs as well.

For example, you may know that Vitamin C is a Foundation Supplement. This potent antioxidant and crucial nutrient plays a critical role in collagen production. Other Foundation Supplements involved in collagen integrity are Copper, Manganese, and Silicon. Plus when you are on the Program, you are already eating a large variety of antioxidant-rich foods.

Again, one of the unintended consequences of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is that your skin will have a healthy and luminous glow.

Keep smiling!

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. anne

    I do find the news letters very informative, but find it frustrating that we can not buy the book in the UK.

  2. Dr Michael Moltom

    I think it important to point out that the Yale paper hypothesised that severity of skin wrinkles may indicate the presence of osteoporosis. The cohort was small (114 subjects) and intended as a pilot study for further investigations. The prime idea was to produce a potential simple predictor as a primitive screening facility to identify potential sufferers without subjecting them to extensive testing first up. So long as professionals and the public alike recognise that the presence of osteoporosis can also occur in patients without severe wrinkles as false negatives, I think we could probably tolerate the false positives.
    I would disagree that this paper is an example of reductionism. I would imagine that all efforts to identify simple indicators of the risk of osteoporosis should be welcomed by most responsible health care providers. Dr Michael K Molton MBBS FFMACCS Adelaide Australia

  3. Connie

    Thank you, Vivian, for literally saving my life. I was disagnosed 4 years ago (age 62)with osteoposis, losing 40 percent of my bone. Someone at church gave me your book, and I’ve closely followed the diet (always 7.0). I am in remission. I have a multitude of autoimmue illnesses and am extremely limited in what I am able to eat. I’m very frail, ony 95 lbs. After being under much stress, I developed an stomach acid problem, which is extremely painful. I had to start the acid reducer med. which I can’t seem to do without. I tried the vinegar plan, but it didn’t help. After reading about the calcim absorption, I’m fearful of losing more bone. Do you have any suggestons? Thank you again for all your help. I’ve saved every one of your messages.

  4. Marth

    Dear Vivian
    Two years ago I had a bone density test with a minus four T score in my spine, made with Dextra. Now I had a test with a sonogram for bone density, I had to put my feet in to a machine and the result -0.1for bone mineral density and saying that I am a low risk for osteoporosis. How is this possible?
    Two years ago I start to fallow your diet. It is possible that I recovered in 2 years?
    I turned to sonogram test because Dextra work with radiation which I try to avoid.
    What would you think it happened?
    Best regards

  5. Nu Ly

    Hi! Vivian,

    The facial wrinkles and osteoporosis are two
    thing. I think there is no relationship between

  6. Nuala

    I would be interested to hear your views on denatured whey protein as an aid to bone building. I take roughly a heaped tablespoon each morning mixed with organic plain yogurt and strawberries.
    In reply to Sharon, June 18th, may I say that initially I was very sceptical of your programme, probably because of the potential to make money from peoples’ health worries. There is such a deluge of material on the internet you can be easily confused and most do seem to be money spinners.
    However I am in the lucky position to have an experienced pharmacist locally who only deals in Natural Health Products and makes herself available for advice. She is very much along the same lines as Vivian although she has not had first hand experience of it, unlike Vivian.
    When you are first told that you have Osteoporosis you can feel isolated and at a loss as to what to do if you do not want to take drugs. Vivian’s materials and knowledgeable advice are very affirming. I also appreciate the fact that she keeps us up to date on all new developments in Osteoporosis and her views on it, advice we can take or leave – all free!
    Thank You Vivian. Looking forward to the long awaited cookbook!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Nuala,

      Whey is highly alkalizing and a fine addition to your diet.

  7. Erlinda Siaton

    Hi Vivian,
    Thank you very much for the informtion. I have been using Mary Kay products since 1980.
    I am a retired Independent Beauty Consultant of Mary KAY. Until now Iam using their basic skin care. Thanks for your suggestion.

  8. Sharon

    If you really believed in a “natural and holistic approach” why did you have gastric bypass surgery? You couldn’t stick to a “natural and holistic” diet? Don’t be a hippocrit.

    • Annie


      Could you sent the website where you say Vivian had gastric by pass surgery?


    Hi! Vivian,
    Your Articles Are Always Very Informative! Thank You VERY MUCH For The Time You Take To Research This Information, In TryIng To Help People Like Me!

    LOVE, MS. L.

  10. Carmen

    Also, one of the issues with this study is flawed regarding the wrinkles. One is location of where the person is living. In the southwest where there is abundant sunshine and lower humidity, you’ll find more wrinkles on people, but higher levels of Vitamin D in their system, which is a good bone builder. In the northern states, you’ll find more humidity and less wrinkles, but also lower Vitamin D levels in people due to the lack of sunshine, especially in winter months.

  11. Diane

    I think thin people wrinkle more than heavier people. More thin people have osteoporosis I believe. Heavier people don’t seem to have many wrinkles because their skin is plumped out. I don’t think that means wrinkles are not really tied to bone density, just thinner people happen to have smaller bones, and less density.

  12. Louise Stewart

    Hi Vivian;

    Another interesting email! It is all so

    informative to read others’ comments too.

    Thanks. Louise

  13. Edith Cain

    My teeth started just melting away about a year and a half ago. Could this mean that my bones are doing the same thing? No problems with bones yet and hope they never happen. Anything I can do or eat to keep bones strong?

  14. Elizabeth Porter

    Prilisec gave me spinal fractures.
    Evista gave me blood clots.
    Reclast recommended but after studying found that it also causes fractures.
    Why oh why didn’t I let Mother Nature and alkaline foods and exercise do the job and not try to prevent bad health with medicine?

  15. liz marsh

    The skin certainly cannot be a way of diagnosing the bones in my case. Although I’ll be 70 next month, my skin looks younger than a 50 year old, thanks to good care, diet and genes. However, two years ago I was diagnosed with extreme osteoporosis (40% bone loss in the lumbar spine, etc.) I never did go on the MD’s drugs. Thanks to Vivian and her program, I gained back 10% density in the spine the first year, and am continuing to gain.

    • Sandy

      Hi Marsh
      You really encourage me to stay on Save Our Bones program. I also have 40% bone loss. And I was so scared not to go on Fosamax, what kind of excercise do u use? I would appreciate all the information of how you gain 10% density. Which supplements are you using?

  16. Shula

    Yes, it’s an overall health issue, not a skin issue.



  17. Suzanne

    Vivian, your emails are very informative. Thank you for the time you spend researching bone health and for using your scientific background to help us improve our bone health. Take care, Suzanne

  18. eileen ward

    why cant we buy your book in shops in england?

  19. Lucy

    I have a low t score in my hips, and I do have a lot of wrinkles around my mouth. I thought it was from skin exposure. It makes me wonder…

  20. Virginia Parks

    I like to give my bones the nueryshment&
    Viteiams needed. So I can look &feel good.

  21. Susan

    My mother is 87 years old with virtually no wrinkles on her face. Yet she has severe osteoporosis which includes 3 compression fractures in her lumbar vertebrae as well as spinal stenosis. Maybe people with lots of wrinkles tend to have osteoporosis, I don’t know, but the opposite is clearly not the case.

    • Sheryl Ann

      Worked for a beautiful woman who was 93, without a wrinkle in her face, but her bones were a mess along with spinal stenosis.
      The public always seems to jump every time a NEW study comes out REVEALING something. People suddenly panic, believing that just because a scientist or doctor, or group of them, says something, it must be true. Studies are many times biased or as Vivian appropriately reveals that reductionism is used in the wrinkles=poor bone density study. These same people may also have hair loss & weak nails, or a mole on their left shoulder, or diabetes as well, we don’t know either way, as the study focuses only on the appearance of the face & the density of bones. Researchers wanting recognition & funding for future studies are drawing conclusions with that aim.

  22. elle

    I eat irish oatmeal every morning with almond butter. Is this too acid or alkaline? Thank You

  23. Lori

    A little known link between bone health and skin is vitamin K2. When skin is nourished with whole, real food and important supplements, it can look great at any age, even if deficient in K2. But bones will suffer if we don’t get enough K2.

  24. MARY

    As always great information. I too would like to know where I can get the Avalon Organics Vitamin C renewal facial cream.

    • Lori


      Regarding the Avalon Organics wrinkle cream, it is great that this product does not contain parabens but it does contain phenoxyethanol which I have done some research on. Many companies are using this chemical in place of the parabens and it may appear to be worse. Have you any comments?

    • Martha

      WalMart has it.

    • Jane

      Just Google it.

      • Sue Wall

        Or, better yet, just scroll up on this page and Vivian gave it to you, it’s in red letters; hover the mouse over it, and when it turns to a hand, left click the mouse, and presto, you have everything you want. Have a great day.

  25. Debbie

    I don’t think these studies prove a thing. I am 60 and have very few wrinkles on my face and neck, yet I still have osteoporosis. People never believe me when I tell them how old I am. I think how we age has a lot to do with genetics. My father never looked his age either. I do follow your Save Our Bones plan as best I can, and it has increased my bone density a little. So there are times when we can believe what we are told, and others when we must take it with a grain of salt.

  26. Dean

    Where can the Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Facial Cream be purchased?

    • Sarah

      I believed it was henadig to be some boring aged publish, however it definitely compensated for my time. I will post a website link to this web page on my weblog. I’m positive my site visitors will locate that pretty useful.

  27. Susanna

    Vivian, I hate to say this, but this article appears to be “grasping at straws” on your part, more of a marketing strategy than a real critique. I’m not clear why you’re contesting this new information from Yale since it appears you’re saying the same thing! It’s a bit of an insult to one’s intelligence.

    And, with that said, what they do with their information, whether it’s just to put yet another drug on the market or really take a more holistic approach, will be telling.

    • Sharon

      The study is just informational more than anything else. They do not say that there is a definite link between wrinkles and osteoporosis just that the wrinkles may be one more piece of the picture. Do you really believe that doctors don’t look at the whole picture? Diabetes by itself increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and is the leading cause of both blindness and kidney failure. I agree that diet and lifestyle changes should come first but people are stubbornly resistant to eating a healthy diet and exercising. If everyone ate well, maintained a healthy weight, exercised andstopped smoking physicians would have a lot less to do and the healthcare crisis would disappear. You would not be making any money with your book either. Don’t pretend you are some altruistic angel only wanting to help people. Judging by the poorly spelled, grammatically incorrect comments I suppose your audience needs a little more education.

  28. helga goerigk

    my mum had nearly no wrinkles, a beautiful skin, never smoked, hardly touched any alkohol, didn’t ate any junkfood, lived a healthy lifestyle and suffered from osteoporose since 1996, died after long painful illness ( demenzia, osteoporose …) in 2009…
    you tell me?????

  29. Edna Snyder

    I have tried probably every osteoporosis drug they have could not take any of them because I have GERD. Last year they had me try RECLAST. Please anyone out there that it is suggested to DO NOT DO THIS. I have had so much trouble since then. I have hurt so much in my joints, my GERD is worse than ever, I have trouble with nausea, my vision is worse, I don’t know if it is to blame for everything but I do know that it all came about within weeks of this treatment.

  30. Hilda

    I am lactose intolerent and although I am following your nutrition advice, and I exercise on a regular basis, my hands, finger-joints and wrists are getting stiffer and weaker. I find it difficult to grasp, and my wrist feels as though it is breaking when opening tight bottle lids. I take calcium supplements every day.
    Thankyou for your excellent e-mails. I really appreciate them as I am a pensioner.

    • Maureen Cooper

      the stiffness may be due to lack of magnesium to balance the calcium and help them both to absorb better. Also, do check out your water intake


    • Sylvia


      You may be developing rheumatoid arthritis. Check with your doctor.
      Good luck!

  31. Wanda Brown

    are the new drugs for osteoporosis any better than the old class drugs. my doctor wants to put me on one of the newer class drugs.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Wanda,

      I have not yet found an osteoporosis drug that doesn’t have potentially devastating side effects. In addition, none that I have found is actually effective in building bone health. I’ve reviewed most of the osteoporosis drugs on the market. If you know the name of the drug your doctor is recommending, do a search for it on this site — I’ve most likely written a blog post about it. 🙂

      • Sharon

        Can you find any drug that does not have a potentially devastating side effect? ALL drugs have side effects even “natural” and “herbal” remedies. Red rice yeast taken for high cholesterol can cause liver failure. Plain old aspirin can cause death from a bleeding ulcer. Saw palmetto can cause a blood clot in your lungs. Black cohosh can cause liver failure. Vitamin E can cause serious bleeding. High doses of vitamin C can cause kidney stones. My point is that you must always balance the risk to benefit ratio, meaning Wilkins good it does out weigh the risk of bad.

  32. Jayne Place

    My second dexa scan came back with an improvement of 10% in bone density. The doctor thinks i take evista but although they are prescribed for me I throw them away, I do this to avoid being bullied into taking them. So why the increase in bone density? I can only assume that it is due to my daily walking with the dog for an hour and a half and my dancing which is a major part of my life. I have adjusted my diet since reading Save our Bones and have a well balanced diet and a Gold Standard Multi Vitamin supplement. What else can it be? I am so glad I read your book and decided to avoid the nasty drug rememdies.

    • Sharon

      Bullied into taking them? What, you don’t know how to be honest with your doctor? You don’t know how to say no? If your bone density has improved, why don’t you tell your doctor what you are doing to improve it?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Jayne,

      Good for you! I’m so pleased to hear that you’ve gotten such good results from following The Osteoporosis Reversal Program. And you might want to review Doctor Dialogues, one of the supplemental reports that was included with your program — it contains several tips that will help you communicate with your doctor and avoid being bullied. 🙂

      • Sharon

        I resent the premise that doctors are bullys If your doctor is a bully, find a new doctor.

        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

          Hi Sharon,

          I was replying specifically to Jayne, who stated that she was concerned about being bullied by her doctor. That is certainly not to say that all doctors are bullies, but the fact is that many people do feel bullied and powerless.

          Yes, ideally one should be able to find a doctor who is willing to work with them, but that is not always easy. Learning to communicate with your doctor can be an essential skill.

    • Lesley B

      Good to hear of your increase in Bone Density – gives us all hope and incentive.

  33. Celestina Marie

    Hi Vivian,
    As always, great info on the relation between skin and bones.
    Thank you so much.

  34. Dorothy Macielag

    Can you explain why you recommend “green” bananas as opposed to eating the usual ripe bananas? Thank you for your devotion in furthering the knowledge of defeating osteoporosis.

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