Good new year to you! May 2009 find you healthier and happier than ever.

The new year is a time to reflect and make some changes for the betterment of ourselves, our loved ones and the world in general. It is in this spirit that I offer these thoughts:

1. The most important thing for anyone with low bone density is.......

Preventing fractures and that means taking 2 minutes each day for improving balance and co-ordination. Do you do this already? Every day?

If you reread the exercises for balance and co-ordination, you will see that you can do the almost anywhere and at any time. (The html coded link for the pageis at the end of this newsletter)

This is one of the most important things you can do - especially if you are over age 50. It costs nothing. It is not difficult. It takes only a few minutes a day AND you will begin to see improvement in less than a month.

Please, please make 2009 they year you improve your balance and co-ordination.....and if possible suggest even one of the moves to your parents and your 'older' friends. You will be offering them a great benefit.

2. With world wide recession, many are cutting back on eating out and buying fewer highly prepared foods. This could be good news for our bones. If you are trying to save some money AND improve your health, do think about this area.

Foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D are not always expensive. Norwegian sardines BUT be sure that you get those with the bones in and YES do eat the bones. Chew them well; break them up with your teeth so they are more easily digested. Also remember dried beans [soak overnight or put them in the crock pot on 'low' for 10 hours. They are great additions to salads as are kale, broccoli and bok choy. Flax seed is also useful - just be sure to keep the refrigerated and make sure they do not turn rancid. You can grind them up and sprinkle some on salads.

Notice I did not mention fish - mostly because the contaminants are so high even in ocean fish. And this deserves some thought.

Oceans and soils around the world are increasingly contaminated by mercury, lead, cadmium from mining operations and industrial waste. Pesticides are spreading. Drinking water is now showing residues of prescription drugs.

If you can find a source of produce and organic yogurt, do consider it. And if you find it a bit more expensive, you can make your own yogurt by taking some of the organic yogurt, adding it to a pot of milk and leaving it in a warm place. In summer I find that putting it in the car on a hot day, does just fine. But in winter, I do use a yogurt warmer. It is much less expensive than store bought and I can get the consistency I like.

Yes, I know that organic foods are a bit more expensive but you may find it worthwhile to buy spend the money for organic and then buy less of the highly processed foods that many use for snacks or fast meals.

I share these thoughts about organic foods because this an increasing concern for me.

I just read a study about Cadmium - one of the causative factors for the bone loss of Osteoporosis. It was published in Environment Health. Researchers at Stony Brook Medical Center found that U.S. women are at risk for osteoporosis who have urinary cadmium levels BELOW the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's 3-microg/g safety standard. They found that non-smokers had such levels and SO concluded that dietary Cadmium, rather than tobacco, is the likely source of Cadmium related osteoporosis risk for the U.S. female population over age 50.

3. And last but not least this 2009, do consider helping others with some of your knowledge. The myth that Osteoporosis is a condition of petite white women is still current. So many men and African American women have low bone density but do not know it because they have not had any screening. If you have a friend or co-worker who seems to have some of the risk factors {see the web site], why not suggest that they ask their physician about getting a dexa scan?

The other day I was talking with someone who was saying that a number of workers had been injured in falls in our recent spate of ice storms. He began listing broken wrists, torn muscles etc. I asked him to consider talking with the men over age 30 who broke bones about getting a dexa scan - research shows that those who break a bone after age 30 often have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis AND that men are often not routinely screened even after a fracture so do not get diagnosed while the condition is more treatable.

The one thing we do need to remember is that what works for us, may not be the solution for everyone.

One of the best things we can do is make others aware that there are MANY forms of treatment, both natural and pharmaceutical. And that it is often helpful to use a multi-pronged approach based on what appears to be the specific cause of our own bone loss. I sometimes suggest reading the web site and making a list of questions and things to try and discussing these with a health care provider. AND never expect anyone to know verything about all the studies! Goodness, there is so much many different health conditions. Who could know it all?

In 2009, I hope you will continue to learn and to work at building stronger bones. Be well and have a good year.

Kate Link in html:

Balance & Co-ordination Exercises