Sweat off the grime on old bones so they look brand new

a little bone jiggling gets rid of the junkEver tried to fix up, a “fixer upper”.

The DIY experts will tell you – the success of the project depends on removing all the junk first. You want to spend time – scrubbing off the grease and grime that has accumulated over the years, before you try to put a fresh coat of paint on. Skipping this step, will mean the fresh coat of paint – doesn’t REALLY stick.

So……… in a short time, you will once more be sitting with, a “fixer” upper.

Bones work the same way.

The bone crew

The bone crew, consists of the cleaners and the painters. The cleaners are known as the osteroclasts, while the painters are the osteoblasts.

They work in tandem – the osteoclasts cleans the surface of the bone, so that the osteoblast can put on a fresh coat of bone paint.

This little ritual is performed year in and year out.

As long as both crews are working, you don’t gain or lose bone, so your bones won’t become “fixer” uppers.

The trouble with grimy bones

But, sometimes the bone surface is really “sticky” and “grimy” – making it particularly difficult for the osteoclasts to clean things off.

The source of this sticky goo, is the bone itself. The osteocytes, which are the cells that make up your bone, push out a sticky protein, called slcerostin, as part of their day-to-day routine.

A little shaking ………. should see it drop off.

BUT, if you’re not in the habit of moving too much – it can end up forming a rather thick layer on the bone surface. The osteoclasts invariably don’t have enough elbow grease to rub it off.

Putting a spanner in the wax on, wax off process. And leaving the osteoblasts stuck, with nothing to do.

And this tips the delicate balance …. you end up with less bone i.e. lowered bone density.

Long term, this brings on serious bone troubles in the form of osteoporosis, especially when the estrogen leaves after menopause.

Sweat if off

Fortunately, you can help the osteoclasts clean off the grime, without actually getting your hands dirty.

Bones that are put through their paces, end up “sweating” it off.

This is the finding of a team of researchers from King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia.

A two hour a week rinse cycle

The team enrolled several premenopausal women in to their study. (These ladies still have estrogen) so the wax on, wax off process should be running pretty smoothly.

The women were divided into two groups.

  • Group 1 (58 ladies in total), were signed up for “bone” bootcamp – which involved 8 weeks of blood, sweat and tears. Actually, it was not that bad, they did have to exercise for at least 2 hours a week.
  • Group 2 (62 ladies in total), just went about life as normal, doing nothing exceptionally physical.

At the end of the 8 week period, the team recorded their bone mineral density, bone turnover markers, serum scleostin and IGF-1 levels.

Two hours of physical activity improved all the bone parameters i.e. bone mass improved.

Move – its good for you

Sweating up a storm, is probably not going to do that much for your figure…………… despite what is commonly believed.

It takes a remarkable level of effort, to burn off a few calories and you’re often ravenous by the time you done and you deserve a “little” sweet reward for all that effort.

So gym membership ends scores a zero, for fat loss. Eish !

But that session on the treadmill, is still a win, because you SCORE MORE BONE. And the improved fitness, also gives you staying power.

So, get those bones jiggling, to protect yourself from osteoporosis.

PS. If you’re not gym type walking will do just as nicely or dash for the bus on a regular basis. Aim to do some kind of exercise which bangs your bones a bit, this will encourage the slcerostin to fall off, allowing the bone building crew to do what they do.

Physical Activity in Relation to Serum Sclerostin, Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1, and Bone Turnover Markers in Healthy Premenopausal Women: A Cross-Sectional and a Longitudinal Study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2012) Mohammed-Salleh M. Ardawi, Abdulrahim A. Rouzi, and Mohammed H. Qari.  

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Further reading

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