Special Offer

Healthy Digestion Affects Bone Health. Here's How to Optimize Both.

Did you know that healthy digestion and bone health are intertwined? That healthy digestion affects bone health, and not just due to nutrients being absorbed and metabolized?

It’s true!

The health of the human gut microbiome, or healthy bacteria in the gut, plays a role in bone metabolism (1). But how?

Here’s what we know.

Ways Healthy Digestion Affects Bone Health

Healthy Gut Bacteria Leads to Better Absorption

First, there is a link between healthy gut bacteria and nutrient absorption. It is easily conceivable that a healthy gut simply absorbs more vitamins and minerals that are important to bone health. These vitamins and minerals include calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, and others.

In animal studies, when antibiotics use has wiped out good bacteria, there is poorer bone formation during developmental years.

In addition, bacterial overgrowth in the gut, when “bad” bacteria has overtaken “good bacteria,” is associated with lower bone density.

The Gut is Part of the Immune System

Next, the gut has a direct influence on immune function and whole-body inflammation. The gut helps the body determine when a molecule is beneficial and part of the normal environment of the body, and when it is detrimental and needs to be extinguished.

When the gut is healthy and healthy bacteria are abundant, the immune system is stronger. Bone loss and less bone formation is one result of weakened gut conditions.

The Gut-Brain Connection and Bone Health

Third, there is a gut-brain connection that affects bone health.

The bacteria in the gut have important effects on the nervous system through hormone regulation, hormone synthesis, and neurotransmitters in the brain. Interestingly, these hormones influence bone formation and bone loss, and bone cells themselves have receptors for the hormones.

Of course, when you think about the human life cycle, this makes sense. Bone density can diminish as we age and experience hormonal changes during menopause and thereafter.

Gut Bacteria Byproducts

Next, did you know that healthy bacteria excrete byproducts? And, these byproducts are good for bones. They:

  • *Improve digestive health
  • *Improve nutrient absorption
  • *Have a direct effect on bone density

 

Short-chain fatty acids are one byproduct of healthy gut bacteria. These fatty acids actually influence hormone signaling pathways and affect bone formation and bone mineralization. What’s more, the short-chain fatty acids can reduce the cells that breakdown bone, called osteoclasts (2).

How Healthy Digestion Affects Bone Health in Real Life Conditions

How does this play out in real life and bone conditions?

Osteoporosis - In particular, we highlight recent murine studies that examine how probiotic supplementation can both increase bone density in healthy individuals as well as protect against primary (estrogen-deficiency) as well as secondary osteoporosis. Potential mechanisms are described to account for how probiotic treatments could be exerting their beneficial effect on bone health (3).

Fractures – Bone density plays a big role in the risk of fractures, especially as we age. Since the state of our gut health and healthy bacteria health can improve bone density, it’s worthwhile to optimize it to reduce the risk of fractures.

Joint Surgeries and Replacements – The most common cause of failure after total hip arthroplasty (total hip surgery) is "wear particle-induced inflammatory osteolysis." This is a technical way to say part of the new hardware in the hip or joint causes an inflamed immune response that deteriorates the surgical corrections and causes bone loss (4).

Believe it or not, healthy gut bacteria can reduce this too.

Animal studies have shown that specific probiotic bacteria (such as Lactobacillus casei) may reduce the inflammatory response and breakdown of a surgically repaired joint. In studies, healthy bacteria levels and probiotic supplementation has been shown to do just that, suggesting that they are an important factor in post-operative care and joint health throughout the life cycle (5).

How to Optimize Digestion for Bone Health Today

To keep your digestive tract and bacteria healthy for better bone health:

  • *Consume fermented foods with live bacteria such as plain yogurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, etc.
  • *Eat vegetables and fiber
  • *Avoid aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose
  • *Eat a wide variety of high antioxidant foods such as fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, cocoa, and more.
  • *Only use antibiotics when necessary
  • *Avoid animal food products from animals in which antibiotics are routinely given
  • *Take a daily probiotic supplement, especially if you experience chronic digestive issues and/or low bone density.

 

Starting now, you can improve digestion for better bone health. Healthy Digestion affects bone health and is crucial to whole-body wellness. There are many simple ways to improve it.  What's more, you can further experience the benefits of better bone health with your Silical System today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply