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Muscle Strength Determines Bone Strength

Two new studies show that people with strong muscles also have stronger bones. All women will get osteoporosis if they live long enough. If you break a hip from osteoporosis, you have a 20 percent chance of dying from complications within a year. A study from Johns Hopkins shows that heart and lung fitness is not associated with stronger bones, but muscle strength and belly fatness are. The second study from Turkey shows that grip pressure is associated with strong bones.

Just exercising will not strengthen bones. Female marathon runners who stop menstruating because they do not eat enough food to meet their calorie requirements, develop osteoporosis even when they run more than 100 miles per week. A muscle can only be as strong as the bones on which it attaches. These studies show that people who store fat primarily in their bellies also tend to grow large muscles and have strong bones. High blood levels of insulin make a person store fat primarily in the belly, and call out insulin-like growth factor which cause muscles to grow.

1) Fitness, fatness and activity as predictors of bone mineral density in older persons. Journal of Internal Medicine, 2002, Vol 252, Iss 5, pp 381-388. KJ Stewart, JR Deregis, KL Turner, AC Bacher, J Sung, PS Hees, M Tayback, P Ouyang. Stewart KJ, Johns Hopkins Univ, Johns Hopkins Bayview Med Ctr, Johns Hopkins Heart Hlth, Sch Med, Dept Med, Div Cardiol, 4940 Eastern Ave, Baltimore,MD 21224 USA.

2) Bone mineral density and grip strength in postmenopausal Turkish women with osteoporosis: Site specific or systemic? International Journal of Fertility and Womens Medicine, 2002, Vol 47, Iss 5, pp 236-239. G Sahin, MN Duce, A Mikan, OB Cimen, B Cimen, C Erdogan. Sahin G, Fatih Mah 13 Sokak Istanbul Evleri, C Blok, Kat 1-1, TR-33170 Mersin, TURKEY

Checked 8/31/08

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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