This Save Our Bones Bulletin covers a range of topics related to bone health and fracture prevention.
First, we'll look at scientists' high-tech plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) to flag patients who are at risk of osteoporosis. If the attempt is successful, it will have major implications for the future of bone health interventions.
Next, we'll turn to new research about the deadly effects of ultra-processed foods. You'll learn how they impact both lifespan and bone health. We end with some very positive data on exercise and brain function.
Artificial Intelligence In Development To Predict Osteoporosis
A team of Scottish consultants has teamed up with an Israeli medical startup in an attempt to develop artificial intelligence (AI) that can predict osteoporosis risk.
Their stated goal is to use the software to analyze medical imaging data like DXA scans that measure bone density and patient records to help identify people at risk of fracture before a fracture occurs.
“The two firms will combine their platforms, of data and artificial intelligence models, to “transform osteoporosis screening,” said Paul McGinness, director at Storm ID in the statement. “By predicting ahead of time the potential risk of bone fracture, we can intervene earlier to treat and manage the risk, which is better for the patient and for the health system.”
“Being able to re-analyze information from patient records and imaging is an important advantage of modern artificial intelligence,” said Dr. Michal Guindy, head of Imaging and Innovation at Assuta. Assuta performs over 200,000 CTs annually, she said, and can thus “play a significant role in early detection of osteoporosis. By analyzing studies that were done for other clinical indications, we can help prevent fractures and contribute to solving a public health challenge of growing concern.”1
Early detection of fracture risk creates the opportunity for effective interventions that can preserve bone health. Patients who learn they're at risk can make dietary and lifestyle changes early to prevent osteoporosis.
However, we can expect that Big Pharma will use this new technology to encourage doctors to prescribe more osteoporosis drugs.
A collaboration between Scottish consultants and an Israeli medical startup aims to develop artificial intelligence (AI) that would predict osteoporosis risk. Early intervention could help prevent bone loss and fractures. However, Big Pharma is likely to use this technology to push for more and earlier osteoporosis drug prescriptions.
Ultra-Processed Foods Increase Risk Of Early Death
Ultra-processed foods undergo significant industrial preparation before they are sold for consumption. Examples include processed meats, microwaveable meals, and pre-prepared convenience foods.
A new study has found that regular consumption of ultra-processed products increases the risk of early death by more than half.2 Over a period of eight years, researchers studied the health and eating habits of 22,000 participants in search of correlations.
“Along with people who regularly consume ultra-processed foods increasing their risk of death by a quarter, the threat of heart disease skyrockets even further. Eating these foods increases a person’s chances of death by cardiovascular disease by a staggering 58 percent.”
“According to our analyses the excess of sugar does play a role, but it accounts only for 40% of the increased death risk,” co-author Dr. Augusto Di Castelnuovo reveals. “Our idea is that an important part is played by industrial processing itself, able to induce deep modifications in the structure and composition of nutrients.”2
This is plenty of reason to remove these foods from your diet, but for Savers, there's an additional one: Ultra-processed foods are acidifying. That makes them a direct danger to bone health.
Chronic acidification causes the body to pull alkalizing minerals from bone to restore its desirable pH. The loss of bone mass leaves bones weak and prone to fracture. This negative health impact no doubt contributes to the grave outcomes revealed by this study.
An eight-year study of the health and eating habits of 22,000 participants revealed that those who ate ultra-processed foods on a regular basis had an increased risk of early death from cardiovascular disease by 58%. These same unhealthy foods are acidifying, so they contribute to bone loss.
10 Minutes Of Daily Exercise In Middle Age Protects Brain Function Later In Life
Researchers from Columbia University Irving Medical Center found that middle-aged people who regularly performed moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity had healthier brains 25 years later than their sedentary counterparts.3
For their study, they examined 1,600 people for two and half decades. Each participant attended five examinations over that time and reported their weekly physical activity levels.
“Our results show that staying active during midlife may have real brain benefits,” Dr. Palta adds. “In particular, consistently high levels of midlife moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity were associated with fewer brain lesions in later life.”
Previous studies suggest that that the cause of brain lesions may be inflammation or other damage to the small blood vessels in the brain.
“Our research suggests that physical activity may impact cognition in part through its effects on small vessels in the brain,” Palta concludes. “This study adds to the body of evidence showing that exercise with moderate-to-vigorous intensity is important for maintaining thinking skills throughout your lifetime.”3
This brain health benefit also supports healthy bones. Loss of cognitive function results in changes to lifestyle and behaviors that directly impact your ability to maintain strong bones. Studies have even found that cognitive training has the ability to reduce frailty, resulting in increased strength.4
Exercise benefits bones by stimulating bone growth. In the long term, it helps preserve the brain function that is required to continue exercising– which allows you to keep strengthening your bones!
A study that followed 1600 participants over 25 years found that just 10 minutes per day of exercise in middle age lead to better brain health and cognitive function later in life. Studies have found that cognitive function is essential for maintaining healthy bones.
What This Means To You
Scientific studies continue to provide us with new and valuable information that we can use to make smarter and better choices. Advances in artificial intelligence may create more reliable predictions of health risks.
Meanwhile, our essential understanding of the path to a long and healthy life is continually deepened and refined. We already knew that processed foods are bad for us, but now we know more about what is at risk.
Similarly, exercise has always been at the heart of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program because of its ability to build new bone. That's why we created SaveTrainer, to help Savers build an enjoyable and sustainable workout practice.
Now we know that the same exercise you do for your bones will help keep your brain sharp and ready for decades to come.