This month's Bulletin offers valuable insights on topics that can help you make smarter choices for your health and your bones.
First, we'll have a look at a study on the relationship between caffeine consumption and calcium loss. You might be surprised to learn that drinking more than just a few cups can rob your bones of their most important mineral.
Then we'll take a look at a study about the effects of load-bearing exercise on bone cells. The implications are significant for both osteoporosis and cancer prevention.
Finally, you'll find out about a newly banned insecticide. After more than half a century of use on common foods, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has only just now decided it's too dangerous. Find out why, and what you can do to avoid chemicals like it.
Cut Back On Caffeine To Protect Your Bones
A new study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that consuming large quantities of caffeine over a short time period increases renal calcium loss.1
To conduct the study, researchers divided 24 participants into two groups. The first group chewed caffeinated gum for five minutes every two hours over a six-hour period. In that time, they ingested 800 mg of caffeine. For reference, that's the equivalent of drinking eight cups of coffee.
The second group chewed a placebo gum that didn't contain any caffeine. Then the researchers compared the amount of calcium that the participants in each group expelled in their urine.
““Our research found that people who consume 800 mg of caffeine over a typical working day will have a 77% increase in calcium in their urine, creating a potential deficiency that could impact their bones,” Dr. Schultz said.
“Understanding the long-term impacts of high caffeine consumption is especially important for higher risk groups,” added study first author Dr. Stephanie Reuter Lange, also from the University of South Australia.
“The average daily intake of caffeine is about 200 mg — roughly two cups of coffee. While drinking eight cups of coffee may seem a lot (800 mg of caffeine), there are groups who would fall into this category.”
“People at risk could include teenagers who binge-consume energy drinks are at are at risk because their bones are still developing; professional athletes who use caffeine for performance enhancement; as well as post-menopausal women who often have low blood calcium levels due to hormonal changes and lack sufficient daily dietary calcium intake.””1
The takeaway is clear. Consuming too much caffeine leads to calcium loss, which imperils the structural integrity of your bones. And of course, even decaffeinated coffee is acidifying– so any form of coffee should be consumed in moderation.
That doesn't mean you have to give up your morning cup of joe. But how you prepare your coffee, and how much you drink can make all the difference. Also, remember to skip the dairy creamer in favor of almond milk, and if you like it sweet, use stevia extract instead of sugar.
By practicing moderation and using bone-smart alternative ingredients you can protect your bones without denying yourself the foods and drinks you love.
Researchers found that participants who consumed 800mg of caffeine over six hours (the equivalent of eight cups of coffee) had a 77% increase in the amount of calcium in their urine. This drastic increase in calcium excretion can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.
Exercise Protects Against Bone Loss And Cancer
Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom recently published the results of their research on the mechanisms by which exercise helps prevent osteoporosis and bone cancer.
We already know that exercise stimulates the growth of new bone cells. Now we have a clearer understanding of how that happens. Scientists have proposed that this process of new bone formation essentially crowds out cancer cells that may be attempting to invade bones when they metastasize.2
Metastasis is when cancer spreads from its original source to other parts of the body. If bone-building exercises can help prevent the spread of cancer to bone, then they could offer an effective life-saving intervention for cancer patients.
To conduct this study, the researchers used a bioreactor to observe the effects of mechanical load on isolated tissue. The bioreactor recreated the physical effects of weight-bearing exercise on osteocytes.
Osteocytes are mechanosensitive bone cells– meaning that they can sense mechanical force. Because they isolated the tissue, the researchers were able to see exactly what the osteocytes did in response to the pressure of the mechanical load.
””The signaling pathways and biological processes we observed in this process in response to exercise were significant,” said lead researcher Dr. Lívia Santos, an expert in musculoskeletal biology in Nottingham Trent University's School of Science and Technology.
She said “Our findings are important from a clinical perspective because they will help to inform regenerative rehabilitation protocols for patients with bone conditions or metastatic cancer. From a motivational standpoint, we hope that a better understanding of the therapeutic benefits of exercise might motivate more patients to engage in such physical activities.”2
The researchers observed that the osteocytes begin the signaling process for bone regeneration with just a single application of force. Meaning that every bit of weight-bearing exercise we get has a positive impact on the strength and quality of our bones.
It's really exciting that scientists acknowledge that exercise is one of the most powerful and beneficial therapeutic interventions available. This research reaffirms the importance of a consistent practice of weight-bearing exercise.
Researchers isolated bone tissue in a bioreactor and observed the effects of mechanical load on mechanosensitive osteocyte cells. They found that even a single application of force triggered the process of bone regeneration.
EPA Bans Long-Used Pesticide Over Danger To Children's Health
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has banned the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on all food. They made the decision in light of dangers to children and farmworkers.
Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide that has been applied to a large number of non-organic agricultural products, including fruit and nut trees, broccoli, cauliflower, soybeans, and many other common foods.3
People who are exposed to this chemical can suffer a temporary breakdown of neurological function leading to cramps, tremors, vision impairment, and in severe cases, convulsions and paralysis. In children, exposure may cause neurodevelopmental problems with lifelong implications.4
The chemical was first registered as an insecticide in 1965 and has been in use since then. However, public health groups like Pesticide Action Network North America petitioned the EPA to revoke approval of chlorpyrifos.
The EPA denied the petition twice, but this year a court of appeals found that the EPA failed to meet the bar of reasonable certainty that the chemical does not cause harm. Their ruling led to the new ban on chlorpyrifos.
“EPA has determined that the current aggregate exposures from use of chlorpyrifos do not meet the legally required safety standard that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from such exposures. A number of other countries, including the European Union and Canada, and some states including California, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, and Oregon have taken similar action to restrict the use of this pesticide on food.
While farmers have historically relied on chlorpyrifos, its use has been in decline due to restrictions at the state level and reduced production. Additionally, some alternatives have been registered in recent years for most crops. There are also other chemistries and insect growth regulators available for certain target pests. EPA is committed to reviewing replacements and alternatives to chlorpyrifos”3
The fact that new chemicals have replaced chlorpyrifos is an excellent reminder to choose organic foods. The EPA may be reviewing them, but it won't be lost on Savers that they previously allowed this dangerous compound to be used on our food for upwards of 55 years.
The EPA has banned the use of a neurotoxic insecticide called chlorpyrifos that has been in use since 1965. The chemical was used on a wide variety of fruit and nut trees, as well as vegetable crops. A court ruled that the EPA failed to protect the public from the dangers of this chemical.
What This Means To You
Make sure you're not consuming too much caffeine, establish a regular routine of weight-bearing exercise, and do everything you can to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals. Choosing organic foods is a great place to start, especially given the failures of the EPA to protect the public from dangerous insecticides like chlorpyrifos.
Unfortunately, in our modern world, we inevitably come into contact with acidifying chemicals, whether from food, cleaning products, or environmental pollution. That's why the Save Institute created the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse. It's a cleansing 7-day bone-building accelerator that helps your body to remove as many toxins as possible. It's a powerful tool you can use to boost your bone health and feel your best.
When you combine regular exercise with smart choices about your diet and daily habits, you're on a path to strength, independence, and longevity.