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What's Hot
Unfavorable homocysteine, vitamin B12 levels linked with increased risk of lumbar osteoporosis
What's Hot  

An article appearing online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on July 29, 2015 reported the outcome of a study of older women which found an increased risk of osteoporosis of the lumbar spine among those with higher levels of methylmalonic acid (MMA, which is elevated in up to 98% of those with vitamin B12 deficiency) and the potentially damaging amino acid homocysteine.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health utilized information obtained from 2,806 women aged 50 and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2004. Whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry results provided data concerning lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD). Concurrent blood test results included total homocysteine, red blood cell (RBC) folate, serum vitamin B12, methylmalonic acid and other factors.

Women with normal lumbar spine BMD had lower homocysteine and higher RBC folate than those who had low bone mass or osteoporosis. Elevations in homocysteine and methylmalonic acid were associated with a greater risk of lumbar osteoporosis versus low or normal bone mass. Among those with low serum vitamin B12, the risk of having a total body BMD that was among the lowest 25% of participants was significantly greater than the risk experienced by the remainder of the subjects.

"Our analysis suggests that elevated homocysteine and MMA are significantly associated with increased likelihood of osteoporosis in a nationally representative sample of US women," Regan L. Bailey and colleagues conclude. "Given the public health burden of osteoporosis and age-related bone disorders together with the rapidly aging US population, we hope this work will serve to stimulate additional research aimed at addressing the role of vitamin B12 and folate in bone health in older women in the United States."


Life Extension Clinical Research Update
Effects of Nutritional Supplements on Cognition, Mood, and Fatigue

Life Extension is sponsoring a study to assess the effects of nutritional supplements in support of cognition, mood and fatigue in individuals with memory complaints, an altered mood and/or feelings of fatigue within the past six months.

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Health Concern


Osteoporosis, defined as a reduction of bone mass or bone density, was long viewed as a disease unique to aging women, and has been treated primarily with conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) in hopes of mitigating the decline in endogenous female hormone levels that occurs during menopause (Leong 1998, Wylie 2010). Sadly, much of what conventional wisdom held true about osteoporosis turns out to be flawed; it is now clear that osteoporosis (like many age-related conditions) is not a disease with a singular cause affecting a specific population. Rather, it is a multi-faceted disease driven by a barrage of interrelated factors, and must be addressed as such for optimal prevention and treatment (Clarke 2010).

Today we realize that osteoporosis not only impacts the lives of women, but of men as well; fully one third of those affected by the condition are males (about 2.8 million of them as of 2011), and that number is likely to grow as the population ages (Cawthon 2011, Kawate 2010, Nuti 2010).

Scientific advancements have revealed that the etiology of osteoporosis stems not only from hormonal imbalances, but oxidative stress, elevated blood sugar, inflammation, and components of the metabolic syndrome as well (Clarke 2010, Confavreux 2009, Lieben 2009; Zhou 2011).

Overlooked by mainstream medicine is the critical role that micronutrients play in bone health. For instance, emergent research on vitamin K has attracted great scientific interest through the revelation of its involvement, along with vitamin D, in both bone health and atherosclerosis, a condition to which osteoporosis is intimately related (Baldini 2005, Abedin 2004). In fact, these two conditions can be thought of as mirror images of one another (McFarlane 2004, D'Amelio 2009).

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