Probiotics have long been used to improve digestion. These “good” bacteria are a crucial part of your intestinal health.
But recent studies have shown that probiotics have effects that go far beyond the gut. There is clear evidence they boost immunity, improve mental health, and help people lose weight.
A study just out shows another surprising benefit. It is especially crucial for seniors.
Researchers have found that bacteria called Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) can stimulate bone formation.
The study was published in the journal Immunity. The senior author was Dr. Roberto Pacifici of Emory University. He says the findings show that probiotics are “an effective means to increase bone density.”
Osteoporosis often leads to fractures that cause a downward health spiral that ends in death. Broken hips have lethal consequences in 24% to 30% of cases. And there is permanent disability nearly half the time.
Big Pharma has failed miserably in preventing osteoporosis. The most common drug used to treat and prevent it is Fosamax (alendronate). It belongs to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates.
But studies show these medications have serious side effects. They can cause atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). And there is evidence they cause the very problem they are supposed to prevent—broken bones.
Dr. Pacifici and his fellow researchers gave LGG in supplement form to mice for four weeks. The probiotic increased bone formation. It stimulated the growth of gut bacteria that produce the metabolite butyrate. Butyrate then activated bone-enhancing immune cells.
Dr. Pacifici says there is no question probiotics are effective in improving bone health.
“We show that they work for real in the bone,” he said. “This research could substantiate the use of butyrate or probiotics as a novel, safe, and inexpensive treatment for optimizing skeletal development in young people and to prevent osteoporosis in older people.”
When choosing a probiotic to build your bones, make sure it contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, the probiotic strain used in the study. It is widely available online and in health food stores, both on its own and as part of a probiotic complex.
Editor’s Note: Bone loss is just one more thing we have to worry about as we get older. But recent studies show that the symptoms of aging are just like any others. They can be treated or eliminated. Go here to discover specific ways you can stop the clock – and even turn it back.