|To Your Health
August, 2017 (Vol. 11, Issue 08)
Your Bones Deserve Better
By Editorial Staff
Think your bones will always be strong and supportive? Think again. While the human body reaches peak bone mass by the late 20s (and up to 90 percent by age 18-20), that doesn’t mean things will stay that way, particularly if you don’t eat right, exercise and pursue other bone-friendly health behaviors.
What’s more, our bones naturally start to lose bone mass / density with age, even if you’re living a healthy lifestyle. The consequences can be staggering, starting with osteoporosis and leading to bone fractures, which can be debilitating, particularly if you’re older.
With all that said, why would you ever do anything that puts your bone health in jeopardy? You wouldn’t. But unfortunately, too many people are doing just that, and one of the culprits is insulin resistance.
When we eat, your blood sugar levels naturally rise. The pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the bloodstream, which helps deliver the sugar into the cells, where it can be used to meet the body’s energy demands. If your body doesn’t need all that sugar, insulin helps store it in your liver and then releases it to the body when it’s needed.
The problem is when we consistently have too much sugar in our blood. At a certain point, the body can become ineffective at using insulin to reduce blood sugar levels, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and related complications. This ineffectiveness is known as insulin resistance or poor sensitivity.
Now, back to our story. Research suggests insulin resistance can do more than contribute to diabetes; it can also reduce bone density. A large study of men and women ages 25-35 revealed that participants with the highest levels of insulin resistance had lower bone density than participants with healthy / normal insulin function. The key here is that study participants were only 25-35 – an age range at which bone density / mass should be fairly optimal and not yet influenced by age, hormones (e.g., menopause) and related factors.
Your bones deserve better. Support them and they’ll literally support you. Talk to your doctor about bone health; how you can help your bones with proper diet, weight-bearing exercise and other considerations; and why insulin resistance can be a big problem not only for your bones, but your health in general.