When I ask my female patients what areas of concern they have as they get older, the one that keeps coming up again and again is bone health.
I get it… As a woman, your risk of breaking a bone is higher than your risk of a heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.1
In fact, you have a 50/50 chance of breaking a bone as you get older. And nearly 75% of all hip fractures occur in women.
Most doctors prescribe Big Pharma’s osteoporosis drugs to prevent fractures. But here’s the tragedy…
Bone drugs lead to MORE fractures. Drugs like Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel and Reclast are the perfect way to create brittle, crumbling bones.
I don’t prescribe those drugs. Instead I help my patients build strong bones with natural therapies including one that most doctors have never heard of.
I’m talking about whole body vibration (WBV) therapy.
With WBV therapy, you lie, sit or stand on a platform with plates.
The plates vibrate rapidly. The vibrations stimulate receptors on your muscles and tendons. They cause your muscles to contract and relax anywhere from 30 to 50 times a second. And that rapid contraction has powerful effects on your bones…
You see, your bones grow and harden in response to the stress you place on them. Research shows the rapid stress from WBV improves bone strength, bone mineral density and bone formation.2
In one study, researchers divided 46 postmenopausal women into three groups. Two groups got 20 minutes of WBV therapy either once or three times a week. The third group got sham vibration treatments. After eight weeks the group getting WBV three times a week had 34.6% less bone breakdown than the sham group.3
In another study, 28 postmenopausal women were assigned to two groups.
One group walked for 55 minutes three times a week. The other group did six rounds of one-minute WBV sessions with a one-minute rest in between, also three times a week. After eight months, bone mineral density in the femur increased by 4.3% in the WBV group compared to the walkers. The WBV group also improved balance by 29%, helping to prevent falls.4
And in a China study, 116 postmenopausal women did 10 minutes of WBV five times a week. After six months, the women increased their bone mineral density in their hip by 4.9%.5
I recommend WBV therapy three times a week for the best results. You can get the benefits no matter what your age or physical condition is.
I’m excited to be able to offer Whole Body Vibration Therapy here at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine. If you’re in the South Florida area, just call my staff at 561-784-7852 for more details.
3 More Ways to Build Bones of Steel
But even if you don’t have access to WBV therapy, you can still build bones of steel in your own home. Here are three things I recommend to keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis.
1. Stress your bones. Weight-bearing exercises like walking, Pilates or calisthenics all improve the strength of your bones and help prevent fractures. Weight-bearing means gravity is involved, so swimming does not work so well.
My PACE anti-aging exercise program is a great way to challenge your bones. With PACE, you strengthen your entire body with focused short bursts of activity. If you want specific workouts, resources and information about creating your own PACE routine, just click here.
2. Soak up the sun to build better bone. Vitamin D directs how much calcium you store in your bones. Too little vitamin D can lead to thin, brittle bones.
Your best source of vitamin D is sunshine. It takes no more than 20 minutes in the sun to get all your vitamin D for the day. But unless you live in a year-round sunny climate, you might have to get your vitamin D from other sources.
Vitamin D foods include salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, eggs, beef, liver and cheese. You can also take a vitamin D3 supplement. Take 3,000 to 5,000 IU per day.
3. Make strong bones with vitamin K2. This little known vitamin regulates calcium. It directs it into your bones. In America the most popular food sources of K2 are egg yolks organ meats, grass-fed raw milk and traditionally cultured cheeses like Emmental and Jarlsberg.
You can also supplement with vitamin K2. It comes in several different forms called menaquinones (MK). Look for a supplement containing MK-4 or MK-7. And it’s fat-soluble, so take K2 with a meal to improve absorption. I recommend 45 to 90 micrograms per day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. J. A. Cauley et al. “Incidence of fractures compared to cardiovascular disease and breast cancer: the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.” Osteoporos Int. 2008.
2. J. Flieger, TH. Karachalios, L. Khaldi, et al. “Mechanical stimulation in the form of vibration prevents postmenopausal bone loss in ovariectomized rats.” Calcified Tissue International. 1998.
3. Turner S, et al., “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Whole Body Vibration Exposure on Markers of Bone Turnover in Postmenopausal Women,” Journal of Osteoporosis. 2011.
4. Gusi N, Raimundo A, Leal A. “Low-frequency vibratory exercise reduces the risk of bone fracture more than walking: a randomized controlled trial.” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2006.
5. Ruan XY, Jin FY, Liu YL, Peng ZL, Sun YG. “Effects of vibration therapy on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.” Chin Med J (Engl). 2008.