It has been known for a while that chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis will increase the risk for bone loss.
But what about chronic low grade inflammation?
There is now more and more evidence that low grade inflammation will also increase bone loss.
The authors of this paper state that the modern diet promotes inflammation and weight gain and will suppress osteoblastogenisis (Ilich JC, et al. 2014). Bone is constantly remodeled; osteoclasts will break down old bone, while osteoblasts will stimulate new bone formation.
As we get older there is a tendency to get more inflammatory, and this can increase the risk for osteoporosis (Ginaldi L, et al. 2005). Osteoporosis makes us more prone to fractures.
The good news is that you can do something to prevent this.
A huge study, which included 40,644 men and 34,947 women, with an average follow up time of 14.2 years, showed that the participants with zero fruit and vegetables intake had 88% higher rate of hip fracture compared with those consuming 5 servings per day (Byberg L, et al. 2015).
A high nutrient, low glycemic index diet can be very effective in lowering inflammation.
Learn to Eat:Recommendations that work. This is not a regular diet program.
Knee pain is very common as we get older, and so is systemic inflammation, but what is systemic inflammation? Systemic inflammation is the type of inflammation that you may not even know you have an issue with, because you don’t have to have a swollen joint. This type of inflammation is low grade, and it affects your whole body. It can, however, be measured by checking certain inflammatory markers. The reviewed research investigated if there was an association between increased knee pain and systemic inflammation(Stannus OP et al. 2013). The participants were 149 men and women with an average age of 63 years. Knee pain was determined using an osteoarthritis pain questionnaire at the start of the study and then five years later. Radio graphs as well as MRI were used in the examination. Several inflammatory markers were tested, highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
The conclusion was that systemic inflammation is an independent predictor of worsening knee pain over 5 years. Adjustments for radio graphic osteoarthritis or structural abnormalities detected on the MRI did not make much difference regarding that association.
Does this mean that you can’t do anything about this?
No, you can do something about this, and I suggest you do, because systemic inflammation is also a risk factor for chronic disease.
Research has documented that the food you eat can be quite effective in reducing this type of inflammation.
You don’t want to have a slow metabolic rate because that would make it harder to maintain a lean body composition. You can probably also agree that most of us are exposed to plenty of stress during a average day.
I think you will find the reviewed research interesting because it investigated how stress may affect our metabolic rate (Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et al. 2014).
Fifty-eight healthy women, with the average age of 53.1 years, participated in the study and were given high fat test meals. The day prior to eating the test meals, stressors were also assessed using a standard test. Fat and carbohydrate oxidation, triglycerides, cortisol, insulin and glucose were measured before and after the 2 high fat meals.
It was found that greater numbers of stressors were associated with lower fat oxidation after the meals and also higher insulin levels. The difference between stressors the day before and no stressors turned out to be 435 kj which is approximately 104 calories. The researchers estimated that it could add up to almost 11 pounds per year in weight gain.
This means that stress can contribute to weight gain.
You may not be able to control the factors contributing to stress, but you can, with some training, control how you react to stress.
In other words you can make yourself more stress resistant. Meditation is a great tool for that.
Who knew that even at the age of 53 you can get an idea about your risk of dying without doing extensive laboratory testing. Put another way, it can give you an indication of how likely you are to achieve a long and healthy life.
The reviewed research tested 1355 men and 1411 women at age 53 and followed them for 13 years(Cooper R, et al. 2014). The three tests consisted of grip strength, chair rise speed and standing balance time. The chair rise speed was done by timing how long it took to rise from a sitting position to standing with straight back and legs, and then sit down again 10 complete times as fast as possible.
The results suggested that the participants that were in the lowest one-fifth when it came to performance were almost four times as likely to die during the follow up compared to the ones in the highest one-fifth. The participants that were not able to do any of the tests were more than eight times more likely to die than the best performers.
This shows how important it is to stay in good shape even at middle age. Keep in mind that these tests, even if they were testing physical ability, also reflected on the biochemistry of the body, since balance is affected by receptors and the health of the nervous system. The nervous system is again affected by free radicals related to the food we eat and our lifestyle.
As we get older we gradually experience a certain degree of brain atrophy. The rate of which the brain volume is changing is, however, not the same for everyone. The good news is that there is something you can do to slow down this process.
An Austrian study of 201 participants evaluated brain volume changes over 6 years. Using MRI scans, it was documented that the participants with higher Hemoglobin A1c levels also had a higher rate of brain atrophy (Enzinger C, et al. 2005). Hemoglobin A1c is a measurement of long term glucose control.
The participants with high alcohol intake also lost brain volume faster, and so did the ones with a high body mass index.
As you can see, these are things you can do something about. If you get into the habit of eating low glycemic index meals it will help to make you more insulin sensitive and lower Hemoglobin A1c. If you also add some exercise to that, it will help even more.
Green tea seems to be one of the best things you can drink for your health. One of the reasons is that it contains a lot of antioxidants.
One of the most important things we can do to stay healthy is to be sure we stay insulin sensitive. When we are insulin sensitive the glucose is transferred from the blood into the cells very easily without the pancreas having to release a lot of insulin. This will keep the blood glucose at a low and normal level, and also help to keep inflammation low, both are very important if we want to be healthy.
The reviewed research investigated if green tea could improve glucose control and increase insulin sensitivity(Liu K, et.al.,2013). 17 studies were included in the analysis. It showed that green tea consumption significantly reduced the fasting glucose and Hemoglobin A1c. Hemoglobin A1c is a test for long-term glucose control.
If you don’t like green tea and if you want to be sure your green tea does not contain a lot of pesticides, you can take it in capsule form like our “Better Green Tea“ formula which meets the German standards for pesticide content, which is very strict.