Daylight Saving and Bone Health


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Turning back the clock from daylight saving on November 6th may give you an hour more of sleep, but there could be negative consequences on your bones. Ivanhoe explains and gives you tips on how to protect your bone health.

The switch from daylight saving time to standard time doesn’t just mean an extra hour of sleep.

Caitlin Nicholson, MD, Sports Medicine Physician, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush explains, “What you’re looking at is a change in the daylight hours and when you might be exposed to sunlight.”

Less sunlight during the winter months is associated with low vitamin d levels. Bones need calcium and calcium needs vitamin d to keep bones strong. Sunshine is one of the best ways to get vitamin d.

Doctor Nicholson says, “So, in those shorter days, you’re at risk for not having enough vitamin d to create healthy, strong bone tissue.”

Low vitamin d levels could lead to poor bone health and diagnosis of osteopenia and osteoporosis in adults or rickets in kids. So, what can you do to protect your bones, even in less sunlight? First …

Dr. Nicholson says, “Getting regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, can help promote good bones or healthy bones.”

You can also get vitamin d from supplements or food sources like salmon, trout, whitefish, tuna, mushrooms, cheese, eggs, and milk. And stopping habits that are bad for your bones like smoking. Also limit alcohol to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

Fifty percent of the world’s population suffers from low vitamin d levels. Experts recommend adults 19 to 70, take in 600 international units of vitamin d per day, which increases to 800 international units per day for those 71 and older.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa.


REPORT #3014

BACKGROUND: The bones in our body provide structure, organ protection, they anchor our muscles, and store calcium. Bones are constantly changing where new bone is made and old bone is broken down. Most people reach their peak bone mass around the age of 30. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain. A condition known as osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle. Developing osteoporosis depends on how much bone mass you attain by the time you reach 30 and how rapidly you lose it after that. There are several factors that can affect bone health such as the amount of calcium in your diet; physical activity; tobacco and alcohol use; your size and age; race and family history; hormone levels; eating disorders; and certain medications.


HOW TO MAINTAIN BONE HEALTH: Research shows that the winter season can be hazardous to bone health because of less sun and exercise. Fifty percent of the world’s population suffers from insufficient vitamin D. An NIH study confirms the amount of vitamin D obtained from the sun may be limited by lifestyle, season of the year, use of sunscreen, and pigmentation of the skin. Vitamin D, also known as “the sunshine vitamin,” is made naturally in the body when ultraviolet-B light absorbs in the skin. Vitamin D supports and enhances the absorption of calcium from the intestinal tract, along with phosphate. When Vitamin D levels are inadequate, calcium absorption is impaired which affects the formation of new bone tissue. There are some measures that experts agree we should all take to ensure bone health. Things like increasing calcium intake; increasing vitamin D intake; performing weight-bearing activities; limiting smoking and alcohol; and maintaining a healthy weight.


BONE BREAKTHROUGH PROGRAM: A company based in Melbourne, Australia is investigating how calculating a bone fragility measure can support clinical decisions and improve patient care. The current standard of care to determine fragility fracture risk in patients is bone mineral density (BMD) measurements obtained by dual energy x-ray. When compared to BMD and other standard measures, the Structural Fragility Score, or SFS, diagnostic, which is calculated from a high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography scan of the wrist, has shown greater ability to assess fracture risk. “The many women in the community with osteopenia who are at risk of a fracture are unlikely to be offered treatment because of the mistaken belief that finding BMD in the osteopenia range means the bone is not fragile,” said Ego Seeman, professor of medicine and an endocrinologist at Austin Health, University of Melbourne. By measuring the breakdown of three-dimensional bone architecture in the wrist, doctors may be better able to identify patients with osteopenia and fracture risk.


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Ann Pitcher

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