Lifestyle Works

Exercise Beats Osteoporosis

The strength of our bones is determined early in life. The more bone mass we put on when young, the smaller the risk of fractures as we grow older. Previous research has shown that exercise before and during puberty is particularly important for bone development.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy have studied more than 800 Swedish men, and have shown that physical exercise in the early twenties also aids bone development and growth, countering the risk of broken or fractured bones later in life.

Mattias Lorentzon and his colleagues at the Academy’s Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research show that those who increased their levels of physical activity between the ages of 19 and 24 also increased their bone density in the hips, lumbar spine, arms and lower legs – while those who decreased their physical activity during this period had significantly more brittle bones.

“The men who increased or maintained high levels of physical activity also developed larger and thicker bones in their lower arms and legs,” says Lorentzon. “These findings suggest that maintaining or, ideally, increasing physical activity can improve bone growth in our youth, which probably reduces the risk of fractures later on.”

The degree to which bone strength improves, however, is dependent on a variety of factors, including age, reproductive hormone status, nutritional status, and the nature of the exercise.

In order to stimulate bone mineral density gains in any particular bone, an exercise must overload that bone. This load imposed on a bone during exercise must be substantially greater than that experienced during normal activities of daily living. In other words, there is a certain threshold of loading which needs to be reached in order to produce a bone mass gain. However, much research is needed to more completely identify the recommended intensities for optimal bone adaptation.

A lack of bone density leads to osteoporosis which is a widespread disorder with increased risk of bone fractures. Sweden is one of the highest-risk countries in this respect, with one in two women and one in four men here having an osteoporotic fracture at some time in life.

A regular and complete exercise program that stresses and loads your bones combined with balanced nutrition will keep your bones stronger for longer.

This is yet another excuse to get out in the fresh air and take the dog for a walk—for its sake and yours! Because getting some good exercise beats dealing with osteoporosis later in life!

~Taken from: Bioscience Technology, 14 February, 2012. Mariana Shedden, M.S and Len Kravitz, Ph.D,

Red Onion

Onions are one of the most popular vegetables worldwide. Red onions contain twice as many anti-oxidants as any other form of onion, making them a powerful part of an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.

Red onions get their bite from the many sulfur groups they contain. These sulfur groups help produce cysteine within the body that aids in weight loss and detoxification. Additional research has shown that sulfur compounds have a strong anti-capacity that inhibits blood cell clumping.

The sulfur compounds in red onions also lower LDL cholesterol & triglycerides while boosting HDL levels. They are associated with improving cell membrane function in red blood cells and improving oxygen utilization. This improves cardiovascular function as well as fat metabolism.

Red onions are also a rich source of the anti-oxidants quercetin and anthocyanin. These are very powerful free radical scavengers that neutralize cancer cell growth and dramatically reduce whole body inflammation.

Red onions are also a fantastic source of chromium which lowers blood sugar and enhances cellular insulin sensitivity. Nearly 50% of the US population is deficient in chromium, which is greater than any other developed nation. This is due to over cropping that has stripped the land of chromium and processed food consumption. Chromium deficiencies lead to diabetes and heart disease.

The anti-oxidant flavonoids are extremely rich in the outer layers of the onion. Many people will peel off the first few layers and lose much of these critical nutrients. Be sure to utilize the outer, fleshy edible portions as much as possible. Overpeeling, by taking off the outer 2 layers of flesh will cost you about 20% of its quercetin and over 75% of its anthocyanins.

Simmering onions in a soup or broth will damage some of the anthocyanins but not the quercetin. The quercetin moves into the soup or broth. The lower the heat the more nutrients will be contained in the soup or broth.

Studies have shown that 4-7 servings of red onions each week (equivalent to about 2-3 onions) has been associated with the greatest benefit in reducing colorectal, oral, laryngeal, esophageal & ovarian cancer.

Red onions should be stored in a cool, dry area with good airflow. Until they are opened they should not be stored in a refrigerator or plastic bag as both of these have been shown to speed up spoilage. Once opened, it is best to use the entire onion, or if necessary store in refrigeration. Avoid any onions that are wet, soft, bruised, have dark spots or mold on them.

~Dr. David Jockers,, April 12, 2012

Recipe of the Month

Beetroot and Red Onion Salad

4 med beetroots (peeled)
1 t honey
1 small red onion
2 T lemon juice
2 T fresh coriander
¼ c olive oil
parsley or chives
1 t lemon rind

Grate beetroot and red onion. Toss with herbs. Combine remaining ingredients and then mix all together.

The sweetness of the beetroot combines well with the tangy dressing.
The brilliance of colour makes this salad very appealing. Serves 4-6