If you hate exercise, and won’t do it for your own health, please do it for your kids. A recent study out of Sweden, presented at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in 2010, showed that children who received 200 minutes of physical education per week, had significant increases in bone mass and improved bone structure, compared to those children who had 60 minutes of physical education. With the current epidemic in hip and other fractures in this country, espescially in women, this could turn out to be a landmark study. Most studies are from 6-24 months. This study covered 5 years, and involved boys (446) and girls (332) ages 7-9 years old. Measurements were taken in the lumbar spine and the femoral neck (hip socket). Adults, please remember, we are living in their world-lets give them all the help we can.
Vitamin D is getting a lot of love lately, helping everything from Crohn’s disease to Rickets. However, vitamin D supplements don’t improve healthy children’s bone density, according to a meta-analysis by the Cochrane Library. They looked at six trials that had randomized a total of 884 children and adolescents to either placebo or vitamin D supplementation for one to two years (Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from food, among other things). The hypothesis was that if you give children more vitamin D, they could build a bigger bone bank (more density) and ward off osteoporosis when they get older. The result? Children who started with low levels of vitamin D had increased bone mineral density, while those with normal levels did not. My take on it is that supplements are just that, supplements. You can’t trump a good diet.