These Five Foods Can Help Build Bone

New research has shown probiotics can benefit bone density, according to a study from Michigan State University.

Probiotics, the “good” bacteria found in yogurt and a long list of supplements, have already been shown to have a number of health benefits. Previous research has shown that certain strains of probiotics can lower bad cholesterol and even respiratory infections.

The study from Michigan State University is the latest to show yet another health benefit of probiotics: bone building. Although this study was conducted on mice and has yet to be examined on humans, researchers are optimistic about their findings. They say the improved bone density resulting from probiotics can have a positive impact on future osteoporosis medications, which currently come with a host of unwanted side effects.

It’s unclear why, but inflammation in the gut has been found to contribute to bone loss. Probiotics have been shown to limit inflammation in the gut, while they also work to effectively promote stronger bone density. The study, which was published in the Journal of Cellular Biology, examined the impact of a probiotic called Lactobacillus reuteri on mice. The mice were fed the probiotic over a four-week period. At the end, male mice showed a noticeable improvement in bone density. Female mice, however, did not show the same results.

I’m already an advocate of using probiotics to promote a healthy, well-functioning body, so this is great news to me. Once further work is done to see if the same results are found in humans, probiotics could be a great alternative to current osteoporosis treatments, while also offering a number of other health benefits. Probiotics are most commonly associated with digestion and gastrointestinal remedies, but this new research adds to the growing list of health benefits they can provide. A study presented at the American Heart Association showed that taking two daily doses of Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 lowered bad cholesterol.

If you’re not already supplementing your diet with probiotics, it’s recommended you look into it. It could be a great way to build stronger bones and combat the onset of osteoporosis.

In addition to probiotics and popular medications, there are also some foods you can eat to strengthen your bones. Foods high in calcium, vitamin D and magnesium all contribute to strong and healthy bones. Here are a few food facts to consider:

Soy, Milk and Cheese

These foods are great for your bones-even if they can be a little difficult on your stomach. However, when taken in conjunction with a daily probiotic, the digestive problems caused by these foods are likely to improve greatly. Calcium-rich foods like these contribute to strong bones.

Fatty Fish like Salmon and Tuna

If you’re going to be eating foods that are high in calcium, you also want to eat foods that are rich in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is required by the bones to absorb calcium, so the two work together. The vitamin D gets the bones ready to take in the calcium. Without the vitamin D, your body won’t get the same benefits from calcium. Try to get at least 600–800 mg of vitamin D per day. In fact, research has shown that women who get more than 500 mg of vitamin D per day were 40% less likely to fracture a hip.

Leafy Greens

Greens like kale and spinach are high in vitamin K, which enables bone-forming proteins to do their job. Getting 90–120 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K a day is what you should aim for; and that’s actually quite easy to do, because one cup of kale has 547 mcg and one cup of spinach has 145 mcg.

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