Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Rebuilding Brittle Bones

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Rebuilding Brittle Bones

Article excerpt

Rebuilding Brittle Bones

Strict adherence to a program of simple exercises -- walking, jogging, climbing stairs -- increased bone mass in 15 of 17 post-menopausal women participating in a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

This new evidence is the first substantial indication that exercise may be a treatment for low bone mass, a condition that is characteristic of osteoporosis, often referred to as "brittle bone disease."

The key to rebuilding bones throguh exercise is achieving the proper training level and then continuing to exercise, notes principal investigator Gail Dalsky, Ph.D., who published her results in the June (1989) issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Her study shows not only that women who exercise can increase bone mass in the spine, but equally important, that if they stop exercising they lose the benefits -- bone mass returns to its original levels.

"We've found that lumbar bone mineral content increased significantly after just nine months of weight-bearing exercise," says Dalsky, an exercise physiologist. "The exercise must be consistent, though -- if it's sporadic or seasonal, you're unlikely to see an increase. …

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