How can you improve your body by improving your bones? Part 1

iStock_000006376735SmallWhen I wrote my book Better Bones, Better Body, I wanted to make the clear, simple point that everything a person does to support bone health is going to help support their overall health. But every now and then, I like to get specific about how true it is that bone health is fundamental to total health. So here’s one quick example:

Supporting bones helps improve metabolism and may prevent heart disease & diabetes

When I tell most people a bone health program helps reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, they assume it’s because exercise is such an important part of bone building. That’s partly true, but it’s far from the only reason.

Simply put — the bone building process helps lower your risk of obesity and related diseases, including diabetes. This is because our skeletons aren’t simply the support structure for movement — they also produce bone hormones. During normal bone building, the hormone osteocalcin is produced, which helps keep blood sugar and insulin sensitivity at healthy levels while simultaneously reducing fat stores. In fact, research shows that many people with Type 2 diabetes also have low osteocalcin levels, which been suggests that helping people with diabetes to produce more osteocalcin could become a way of improving their health.

You don’t get these same cardiovascular and metabolic benefits from bone drugs

Commonly used bone drug therapies generally suppress bone turnover and thereby limit the production of osteocalcin — which, of course, may have implications for the long-term cardiovascular and metabolic health of the people taking these drugs. Another reason why a life-supporting program of alkaline diet, exercise, and stress reduction should be the first step when addressing bone loss!

In upcoming blogs, I’ll share even more ways how better bones help lead to a better body and overall health.  Stay tuned!


[No author listed.] 2009. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ. Columbia News. URL: (accessed 05.07.2009).

Wolf, George. Energy regulation by the skeleton, Nutr. Rev., 66(4):229-233

Bouillon, R., & Decallone, B. 2010. The white adipose tissue connection with calcium and bone homeostasis. J. Bone Miner. Res., 25 (8), 1707–1710. URL (abstract): (accessed 02.15.2011).

Lee, N., et al. 2007. Endocrine regulation of energy metabolism by the skeleton. Cell, 130 (3), 456-469. URL: (accessed 05.07.2009).

Kanazawa, I., et al. 2009 Serum osteocalcin level is associated with glucose metabolism and atherosclerosis parameters in type 2 diabetes mellitus. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.,  94 (1), 45-49. URL: (accessed 02.15.2011)


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