Sue was a member of my Bones Tribe membership for several years. A true New Yorker who served as a tour guide and museum docent – always ready to research what needs to be discovered. In addition to Sue’s activity in my Bones Tribe, we worked privately.
Read more about Sue’s Three Very Important Lessons.
Skelly and I love a good cup of green tea for it’s flavor and for bone health. Just taking a break and brewing a mug is a great way for me to slow down and de-stress. I look at my tea break as a mindfulness practice. I sip it peacefully and deliberately. I feel the warmth of the cup as I embrace those precious moments of just being present and still.
But these tea breaks aren’t just for me. One very special tea also makes my Skelly stronger. I’m talking about green tea.
My latest DXA and TBS report. As a reminder, I was diagnosed with osteopenia in 2005 and given a script for Fosamax. I declined. My intention was to implement my 6 pillars for bone health for a better outcome:
Calcium and mineral rich-foods
Researched supplements (I get my calcium through food)
Weight bearing exercise
Bringing joy to my everyday
I took my 90 minutes pilgrimage to Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania. DXA during Covid of course had its moments. Masks, temperature testing, hand sanitizer, distancing…we all know the necessary Covid drill.
Skelly and I love to quench our thirst. Instead of reaching for filtered water, we drink one 750mg bottle of Gerolsteiner Mineral Water. Not only for the bioavailability of the calcium and magnesium but because mineral water offsets a highly-acidic Western diet characterized by high grains and animal products. Drinking 1,500-2,000 mL of mineral water rich in bicarbonate (>1.8 g/L) can help reduce the net dietary acid load. 
Personally, I am a mostly grain-free animal protein eater. Animal protein keeps me grounded. Otherwise I float away and my brain does not function in a sharp way. Not everyone eats this way as we are all individuals with different dietary needs. Vegetarians typically eat more grains which are more acidic.
Vitamin D has gotten a lot of attention lately, especially when talking about bone health. Can we get enough Vitamin D from the sun and Vitamin D from our food?
But, for the average person, the topic of vitamin D can get confusing. Since anyone can be at risk for having a vitamin D deficiency, I want to make it easier for people to optimize this essential nutrient. Here are some tips for getting your vitamin D level just right.
It’s been awhile since our bones have connected. I’ve been in the middle of my own covid-19 experience. I’m missing our communication however, I needed to be in a place of stillness and quiet understanding my own relationship with Covid-19 and how my / our world will be reshaped. We have all been touched by this virus in varying ways.
My physical health is fine. I had imposed a 2-week self-quarantined since my masked and gloved flight home from Florida on March 20th.
As a small business owner I applied for Payroll Protection Program (PPP) to pay my independent contractors, who are the bones of my business. They help me with filming my cooking videos, researching the latest in Food for Healthy Bones food science, keeping the back-end of my website running smoothly and supporting members of my Bones Tribe. All efforts working together.
When I receive my yearly Complete Blood Count blood work, I look over the numbers with my doctor checking if anything is out of range. I didn’t consider blood work to be a measure for osteoporosis related risk factors. However, in this two part series on Complete Blood Count (CBC) we learn from Dr. Keith McCormick’s experience, working with osteoporosis patients for decades, how a simple blood test can assess osteoporosis related fracture ricks.
Complete Blood Count allows a trained practitioner to assess osteoporosis related fracture risk.
RBC count: When the red blood cell count is even slightly low it may indicate an accumulation of fat cells within the bone marrow. An excessive number of fat cells not only crowds out RBC-forming stem cells (hematopoietic stem cells), but also leads to an increase in the level of PPAR- gamma, a protein that stimulates the osteoclasts to break down bone. In addition, a low RBC count may indicate a reduced number of bone-forming osteoblast cells because osteoblasts play a central role in hematopoiesis by releasing red blood cell growth factors.
MPV: Elevated MPV is an early marker for platelet cell activation seen in low-grade inflammation. It is low-grade chronic systemic inflammation that is the main fuel behind all chronic disease, including osteoporosis.
NLR: An elevated neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio is an indicator of chronic systemic inflammation and is negatively associated with bone mineral density. NLR greater than 2.5 is correlated to low bone density.
RDW: The size of red blood cells becomes more variable with age and the RDW is an indication of this variability. An RDW greater than 15% carries a greater risk for fracture. (Kim, K.M., et al. 2019 ASBMR Ann Meeting Abstracts, #1069)
Hgb: Abnormal hemoglobin levels can indicate too much or too little iron in the body. This can impact skeletal health by increasing osteoclastic activity, leading to bone loss.
MCV: This is a measure of the average size of red blood cells. When elevated, it may indicate a deficiency in vitamin B-12 and/or folate. Pernicious anemia is a condition that reduces the absorption of vitamin B-12 and calcium. Vitamin B-12 has a direct influence on osteoblastic bone-building activity. An elevated MCV is a flag to look at homocysteine, a protein metabolite that contributes to chronic systemic inflammation and reduced bone quality.
When it comes to bone health finding a doctor who understands the importance of blood work, has the knowledge to connect the dots as to the reason why you have bone loss, and follows your case is key.
Is Dr. McCormick’s blog post helpful in understanding the importance of bloodwork in addition to your DXA and Trabecular Bones Score (TBS)?
Looking for food information on how to feed your bones? Please join my Free Osteoporosis and Food Facebook page.
There are many bone-loving foods that get a twinkle light shone on them at this holiday time of year and and my Chocolate Almond Date Boney Treats gets a real twinkle. As Skelly and I were making our holiday menu lists, and checking them twice, Skelly realized that the last month of the year can turn into a food free-for-all.
Inroad to Building Stronger Bones
This can be especially helpful food information for those who are using nutrition as an inroad to building stronger bones.
These featured foods include nuts, root vegetables, leafy greens and fish (when they are of the wild variety) and many are likely to be found at one or more holiday gatherings including, possibly, your own festive meal table. It’s good news to keep in mind, particularly if you are a person who does a lot of cooking, baking and entertaining during this time of year. (more…)