Welcome to our February updates! (Sent this out early this morning but no copies seemed to have arrived so I send it again. If its a duplicate, please just delete and chalk it up to electronic oddities. Thanks.)

1. Newsletter updates. The newsletter usually goes out on Tuesdays of the first or second week of the month. If you suddenly stop getting yours, check your SPAM folder. If you can not find it and you want to keep getting the newsletter, just go to the web site and subscribe again. Do the same if you change your email address or unsubscribe by mistake. The subscription program is on 'automatic'. I can not fix your situation. Just SUBSCRIBE again. Thanks.

2. REMEMBER. It is NOT NORMAL to experience so much bone loss as to have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis before age 85. (Re: Japanese population before adopting Western lifestyle) Discover the all causes of YOUR bone loss and you have the keys to increasing YOUR bone density. (I add to the CAUSES page as I find new information in scientific journals.)

3. Vitamin D. Earlier this year there was a lot of talk of Vitamin D. Some 'natural health sites' began advising taking high doses as a way to build bones. After weeks of research there are now 5 pages about Vitamin D on the web site - including a page that gives links to over a dozen scientific studies (for those who enjoy reading them). BUT I think the ones including guidelines from Mayo Clinic and University researchers are most important. Why? It turns out that taking TOO MUCH VITAMIN D can cause all sorts of medical problems. NOTE: YOu can check the Site Index page for Vitamin D.

3. The research community has begun to concentrate efforts outside Vitamin D. Here is a 'just published' abstract From International Bone Mineral Society:

Non-D Vitamins and Bone Health in Adults by Shivani Sahni1, Emilie S. Zoltick, Robert R. McLean1 and Marian T. Hannan1 Of Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife and BIDMC Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University School of Public Health.

"Osteoporosis is a major public health problem. Diet is an important modifiable risk factor for the prevention of osteoporosis. While vitamin D has received significant attention, emerging evidence indicates that other vitamins also play an important role in skeletal health.

This Perspective highlights current understanding of the non-D vitamins (A, B, C, E, and K) and bone health in adults. Several studies of vitamin A (pre-formed retinol) have reported that excessive vitamin A has negative effects on bone. Yet, pro-vitamin A carotenoids, which can convert into retinol, have shown positive associations with bone mass, protection against bone loss and lower risk of hip fracture.

Low levels of B vitamins may influence bone through homocysteine metabolism. While large observational studies have reported negative associations of homocysteine with bone mineral density (BMD) and positive associations with fracture, more controlled trials are needed....

Studies have shown mixed results for vitamin C and bone, indicating complex interactions of vitamin C with smoking, hormone replacement, calcium and vitamin E intake. Vitamin E affects bone formation and remodeling, and appears to be important for the skeleton. However, there is insufficient evidence to conclusively link vitamin E with bone health. Some vitamin K studies have shown that low level intakes increase hip fracture risk, however, intervention trials have been inconsistent.

There is little research on multivitamin use and bone health. For most vitamins, prospective studies are needed to explore their mechanisms and pathways. Longer-term controlled trials are needed to determine whether treatment with specific vitamin supplements can improve bone health or reduce fracture risk.

MY COMMENTS: OK...so there you have the 'careful' scientific review. On a practical level not everyone is willing to wait until ALL the data is in about the effectiveness of a given vitamin. (As a friend said, I could be dead and buried before they are 'scientifically certain'.) But I do tend to pay attention to studies saying what 'too much' of a given vitamin would be or negative effects from 'too much'. There are pages on the web site about all these vitamins.

PLEASE NOTE: if you are on Coumadin [waferin] check with your health care provider before using any supplement with Vitamin K [which interferes with that drug.] I know the manufacturers will say, "No problem with our supplement." But please check if you are on Coumadin. Better safe than sorry.

4. After reading the page about acupuncture increasing bone density, readers often email me to say BUT I have no acupuncturist in my area. Well, there is 'acupressure' something you can do for yourself. After using a book by Cherney for several years, I decided to post it in the BOOK REVIEW section. While the book does not discuss bone density, it does teach you how to stimulate acupuncture points and shows you the location of the points. You can use the Osteopenia3.com web site to find the Ring of Earth points that help bone density.

I have been on an 'orgy' of reading new studies and putting additional information on the site. If you subscribe to the RSS feed, you get notice of updates.

Be well, Be happy.


PS Remember it is NOT NORMAL for human beings to have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis before age 85. Read. Learn. Educate yourself. Much is in your control.