This month’s bulletin begins with a groundbreaking study that uncovered a previously unknown antibody that protects the bone-building process. You’ll learn about this naturally-occurring protein that might become a novel osteoporosis drug in the near future.
Next, you’ll get a breath of fresh air: a doctor spreading the word on the efficacy and necessity of prescribing exercise to prevent fractures- especially for people who have already suffered a broken bone due to a fall.
We’ll then look at the sobering statistics on national exercise rates just released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Suffice it to say there’s room for improvement.
Read on to get the details about all of these new developments in the world of osteoporosis.
New Study Finds Antibody That Protects Bone Formation
A groundbreaking study from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) reports on an isolated blood protein that protects against osteoporosis. This naturally-occurring antibody is plentiful in our blood at birth but diminishes as we age.1
The study was conducted on mice who were genetically modified so that the researchers could study the relationship between the antibodies, the oxidation-specific epitopes (OSEs) that they reduce, and bone loss. Epitopes are the portion of an antigen molecule to which an antibody attaches itself.
“Everyone is born with innate immune antibodies that help fight bacteria and other pathogens. The study found that these antibodies protect against bone loss induced by a high-fat diet. Importantly, the UAMS researchers found that even in the absence of a high-fat diet, the levels of these antibodies decrease as mice grow older, which may contribute to age-related bone loss. By giving back these antibodies, Ambrogini was able to stop the bone loss in the mice and build new bone.”2
If this blood protein is turned into a new drug, it would be the first of its kind: an osteoporosis drug that would increase new bone formation, instead of halting the removal of old bone.
Would this sort of treatment have the same dangerous side effects as the drugs that prevent the removal of old bone? Or would it cause problems as yet unimagined? We will find out as research and development continue, and we will keep you informed.
Regardless, the Save Institute maintains that you never need drugs to reverse osteoporosis and avoid fracture. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes can improve your health and strengthen your bones naturally and safely.
New research has isolated a blood protein that prevents bone loss. In experiments on mice with induced bone loss, replenishing this special protein resulted in increased bone formation.
After A Fracture, Exercise Can Prevent Future Falls And Fractures
At the annual European Conference of Rheumatology, Dr. Christian Roux of Paris Descartes University gave a presentation on how to prevent future fractures after an initial osteoporotic fracture.
Studies have shown that after breaking a bone, people with low bone density are immediately at higher risk of sustaining an additional fracture due to a fall. That window of increased risk lasts for two to three years. But that also means that there’s time to increase bone density and decrease the risk of falls and fractures through behavioral and lifestyle changes.
“According to Roux, the main cause of fracture related to osteoporosis is falls. However, treatment can be effective in preventing both the initial and subsequent incidents. Nonpharmacologic treatment examples include exercise and tai chi, home safety interventions, anti-slip shoes, gradual withdrawal of psychotropic medication and first eye cataract surgery.
‘I do not underestimate how difficult it is to prescribe exercise or physical activity to our patients, especially those with osteoporosis, but we have enough data to suggest that, in some individuals with a high risk for falls, we must implement some form of exercise in order to decrease one of the main drivers for their risk,’ said Roux.”3
It’s remarkable to hear a doctor give this advice to his colleagues, but it shouldn’t be surprising. The scientific proof that exercise is an essential tool for preventing and reversing osteoporosis is irrefutable. We have to hope that in the not-so-distant future more doctors will actively educate patients and help them to develop exercise plans instead of prescribing osteoporosis drugs.
Fortunately, Savers are already taking this advice, and building bone through targeted exercise.
A doctor at a European Rheumatology conference advised his colleagues to prescribe exercise and other lifestyle interventions to decrease fracture risk- particularly after an initial osteoporotic fracture.
Americans Don’t Exercise Enough
Now for the bad news: less than a quarter of Americans are meeting the recommended minimum amount of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The dismal percentage estimates in the study are based on data gathered in the 2010–2015 National Health Interview Survey, which included all 50 states, plus Washington D.C.
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people between the ages of 18 and 64 engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week, as well as muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week.
The department’s Healthy People 2020 initiative, which kicked off in 2010, had a target goal of 20.1% of adults meeting these guidelines by 2020. The CDC report, published Thursday, reveals that this goal was surpassed; 22.9% meet it.
When the authors measured the results by gender, an average 28.8% of men met the guidelines. That includes 40.5% of working men in the District of Columbia, compared with 17.5% in South Dakota. Meanwhile, an average 20.9% of women met the guidelines nationally, ranging from 10.5% in Mississippi to 33.6% in Colorado.4
The study broke down the results by state, gender, work-status and occupational type. Overall, the Southeast is exercising the least, and the Western states are getting the most physical activity. People in professional and managerial occupations were more likely to meet the federal recommendation than those working in production or related occupations.5
A just-published report from the HHS shows that, on average, only 22.9% of Americans meet the federal guidelines for exercise, although there is significant variation between states, gender, and occupation types.
A Renewed Emphasis On Exercise
It is a known fact that a lack of physical activity causes or contributes to numerous health problems- from diabetes to cardiovascular ailments to osteoporosis.
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.
Regular exercise is essential for building new bone. Whether it’s by joining a gym, signing up for exercise classes, finding a walking buddy, or practicing bone-targeted exercises at home, adequate physical activity is a fundamental part of increasing your bone density and your health.
Till next time,
1 “Research Paves Way for Novel Therapy to Treat Osteoporosis, Atherosclerosis.” Press Release. UAMS News Bureau Office of Communications & Marketing. June 27, 2018. Web. https://www.newswise.com/articles/research-paves-way-for-novel-therapy-to-treat-osteoporosis,-atherosclerosis-
2 Elena Ambrogini, et al, “Oxidation-specific epitopes restrain bone formation.” Nature Communication Volume 9, Article number: 2193 (2018). Web. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04047-5
3 Jason Laday. “First-time osteoporosis fractures offer ‘window’ to reduce repeat fractures.” Healio. July 9, 2018. Web. https://www.healio.com/rheumatology/osteoporosis-and-bone-disorders/news/online/%7B876646bd-722a-4cce-9226-ad9ab4458134%7D/first-time-osteoporosis-fractures-offer-window-to-reduce-repeat-fractures
4 Maritza Moulite. “Just 23% of US adults get enough exercise, CDC reports.” CNN. June 28, 2018. Web. https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/28/health/cdc-exercise-report-study/index.html?no-st=1532190664
5 Debra L. Blackwell, Ph.D., and Tainya C. Clarke, Ph.D., M.P.H. “State Variation in Meeting the 2008 Federal Guidelines for Both Aerobic and Muscle-strengthening Activities Through Leisure-time Physical Activity Among Adults Aged 18–64: United States, 2010–2015.” National Health Statistics Reports. Number 112 June 28, 2018. Web. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr112.pdf