Your March Osteopenia newsletter has four specific items.

1. Please. If you email me, be sure that the word OSTEOPENIA is in the subject line.(It does not have to be in capitals) My email address was distributed to spammers who are trying to sell me male enhancers and microsoft products.

My defense? Automatically deleting messages that do not contain the term, Osteopenia.

2. When I reviewed your questions and comments from the last few months, I found there were more questions about Calcium Supplements than any other topic. Then last week I saw reference to a new study indicating that 'over supplementing' with calcium may be a cause of cardio vascular 'incidents'.

Since I was raised on a 'if one is good, two must be better philosophy, I hunted down the study and read it.

With so many email questions AND this new study I revised the section about calcium on the web site.

You will now find a new introductory page AND I am expansing the pages about specific brands. A few brands have been added to the site and you will now find a form for asking me to research any brand not yet listed.

The new Introduction to Calcium page is at:

http://www.osteopenia3.com/Calcium-Osteoporosis-Osteopenia.html

or for those who get the newsletter in html: Overview of Calicum Supplementation

3. Last month I shared info about Onions and bone building. This month I can report some new studies:

FIRST STUDY is about arthritis and Osteopenia: We all know that arthritis is painful and that most arthritis drugs have a negative effect on bone building. Researchers at the University of Texas and the National Institutes of Health reported that an extract of the Chinese herbal remedy Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TWHF) is effective in the treatment of severe rheumatoid arthritis in persons whose condition had been 'resistant to treatment'.

The first symptom to improve was morning stiffness.

TWHF has been used for centuries in China to treat rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, and IgA nephropathy.

SECOND STUDY: Researchers at the Tongji Medical University, Wuhan, China have been studying another traditional Chinese remedy: Bushen Jiangu (BNJ), normally used as a Kidney tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Remember that TCM holds that bone building is directly related to kidney function.

They report that in a double blind study of Bushen Jiangu (BNJ) they found that 92% of the post menopausal women who took BNJ for three months showed improved bone density while those taking calcium supplements alone had shown some loss of bone density in the same time period. Six months after the treatment began the bone density of the lumbar vertebrae of 69% of the patients taking BNJ was significantly higher than before the treatment

THIRD STUDY. In a controlled study at this same university they studied 43 patients who were within 5 years of menopause (The time when women normally experience excessive bone loss). Patients were randomly divided into two groups. One group received the Chinese herbal remedy Bushen Migu Ye (BSMGY) orally the other group did not.

The participants’ bone metabolism, serum estradiol and forearm bone density were taken before and after treatment. The results showed that five months after the treatment, the women in the treatment group showed improved bone mineral content whereas those women in the control group showed decreased mineral densities.

Also, the ratio of fasting urinary calcium and hydroxyproline to creatinine was lower in the herb group than before the treatment and significantly lower than that of the control group. The researchers concluded that BSMGY is linked to slowing bone mineral loss in post-menopausal women.

Now, I realize that many receiving this newsletter do not have access to a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. But I have noticed a increase in listings of TCM practiioners in cities, in university towns and in areas where there is a growing interest in green and organic products. Then, too, I just think it is important in a global economy to realize what research is being done around the world...even if I am not using the products myself. But.....

4. Some of you have written to me about how helpful Tai Chi has been for IMPROVING YOUR BALANCE and for REDUCING STRESS.

Now there are a number of studies that showing that Tai Chi REDUCES BONE LOSS both among those who have been practicing for awhile AND in those new to Tai Chi.

As I researched Tai Chi in scientific and medical journals I was amazed at the number of conditions that Tai Chi can improve.

So, last week I put a web page about it on the web site.

And the bonus for us. Remember that Tai Chi does NOT include any of the forward stretching movements that can make some stretching programs and some yoga postures problematical for those with spinal osteopenia or osteoporosis. (Please I am not knocking Yoga! Just repeating the heath fact that if someone has low bone density in the spine, s/he needs a very knowledgeable teacher lest some positions lead to spinal crush fractures.)

But Tai Chi has none of those moves. AND now there are some solid online programs for Tai Chi.

The new page is at: http://www.osteopenia3.com/Tai-Chi-exercise.html

Tai Chi for better bone density

As I reread this month's issue, I realize we could call March 2008 issue "health ideas from China". I did not plan it that way. It just happened.

....And yes, I am adding Tai Chi to my repertoire.

Be well and remember there are so many things that you can do to improve your bone density. Add one or two a month. Go at your own pace. You can reverse bone loss.

Thanks for reading

Kate