Today's newsletter offers 3 topics - ranging from research to practical tips. I hope you find something useful.

Topic 1: Stem cells in your future?

For several months I have been looking at research in stem cell therapy and it appears that work in stem cells for medical interventions is moving forward at an increasingly rapid pace....inculding work related to Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.

In 2000 Stavros c. Mangolagas published a study, "Birth and death of Bone Cells: Basic Rgularoty Mechanisms and Imlications for the Pathogensis and Treatment of Osteoporosis". (This article is availabe on line. Search by author name and stem cell. The url is too long for this newsletter.) .

In June 2011 The Journal of Current Opinion Organ Transplant published "Prospects for Osteoprogenitor Stem Cells in Fracture Repair and Osteoporosis." As the title suggests the work in this area remains preliminary but it is worth noting since the whole area of therapies using stem cells is moving fast. The funding is there (and if you buy the right company stock, you could reap a fortune. Of course backing the wrong company will mean 'big' losses.)

Now there is nothing 'practical' to report in this area yet but I like to keep you informed of what is on the horizon... especially since many of you enjoy reseaching topics on your own. Do be careful though. Be sure the articles you access have been published in a reputable journal. There seem to be some web sites making all sorts of claims. A peer revied journal gives you the assurance that other scientists think an article is solid.

Addenda: If you go to YOUTUBE and search for Stavros c. Mangolagasyou will find his video showing that his institute has found a connection among the major 'diseases of aging': osteoporosis, neuro degeneration. alzheirmers etc. and that his lab believes it may be possible to find a mechanism that would remedy all of these at once.

Here is a link to his video. Sorry I can not make it clickable. Just copy and paste. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6gI2IAOtw

Topic 2 - What form of calcium is best?

For years there has been a spirited debate about which form of calcium supplement is best. In July the American Jounal of Clinical Nutrition published a study comparing the effects of two types of calcium: calcium phosphate and calcium cabonate.

The researchers concluded. "Tricalcium phosphate and calcium carbonate appear to be approximately equally effective in supporting bone building with a potent anabolic agent; phosphate salt may be preferable in patients with restricted phosphorus intakes."

Practical use? This study may be of interest to anyone using calcium supplements who has kidney disease and so follows a low phosphorus diet....or those avoiding high phosphorus foods for other reasons. (There are many web sites with lists of high and low phosphorus foods.)

Topic 3 STRESS As we come to the change of seasons there is often an increase in stress levels. Also world wide economic issues are impacting so many individuals and families. Remember that stress is one of the major causes of bone loss. Reducing your stress is important.

Here are some no cost stress reducers that you can do each day.

#1 - Laugh. Go to YOUTUBE and type in the comedian of your choice. Jack Benny, Carole Burnet, Charlie Chalin, Max Sennet, various British Comedy teams.

Or better yet, relax your brain - you do not need the computer to laugh. Just begin laughing. Yes, ha ha ha, ho ho... Do it. Keep doing it. At some point the laughing will take off on its own. Give it a try. It works even better if you do it with others. In Japan, a high achievement culture, they have laughing clubs and laughing sessions. 10 - 15 minutes a day. It sounds silly.....and maybe it is. But once you learn to laugh at will, you will find your muscles relax and stress disappears by the end of 10 minutes. Remember you do NOT need something to laugh at. You can learn to just laugh. I wish I could convince everyone to laugh before and after every stressful event.

#2 Sing. Sing with abandon. Sing anything you like. Folks songs, patriotic songs, hymns, opera, happy birthday, inky binky spider....' Just sing. Full throated singing. This is NOT a performance. It is singing for the sheer activity of singing. No, not mindless whistling or huming. You want to SING.

#3 Touch. Touch can reduce stress. Take 2 fingers and barely touching let them move down your arms, do the same for your legs and the soles of your feet. Lightly massage your face and neck. You may find yourself heaving a sigh in the middle of such light touching. Ordinary touch of a gentle kind can help you relax and drop stress from your body.

#4 Take up contour drawing (See the book: Drawing for the Right Side of your Brain for directions). Of course many of the arts can be relaxing. But contour drawing is extra special since it engages 'attention' and prevents thinking (which is stressful).

#5 Build yourself a set of pleasant memories and images. Review them in your mind for some time each day. Lolling day dreams of walking in the woods, watching the sun set or the ocean is relaxing.

#6 Go for a walk AND do not think or problem solve. Just walk when you are walking...just run when you are running. Put your mind in 'neutral' for the duration.

Relaxing your mind and body is important....and not just for your bones. Stress breaks down uour body's natural defenses. As Hans Seyels showed stress can kill....in the long or short run. At this time in history it is really important for each of us to build in 'stress reducing activities and times' into our days....every day.

Be well. Take care. Enjoy November. I wish you the best.

Kate