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Is Sunshine the #1 Bone Builder?

Commented on July 01, 2014
Created January 31, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Is sunshine and what would likely amount to UVB exposure the best way to build bone mass? If not, and if there are more sensible/effective ways to increase Bone Mass or Bone Mineral Content or Bone Mineral Density through diet/exercise/other then please provide sound data (clinical studies).

Background:

The authors' previous investigations have disclosed low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) concentrations in 45 patients during long-term hospitalization following stroke (mean 5.9 ng/mL). This 25-OHD deficiency resulted from sunlight deprivation.

Objective:

To evaluate the efficacy of sunlight exposure in increasing serum 25-OHD, in reducing the severity of osteoporosis in bone mineral density (BMD), and in decreasing the risk of hip fractures in chronically hospitalized, disabled stroke patients.

Methods:

In a 12-month randomized and prospective study of stroke patients, 129 received regular sunlight exposure for 12 months, and the remaining 129 (sunlight-deprived) did not.

Results:

At baseline, patients of both groups showed vitamin D deficiency. BMD increased by 3.1% in the sunlight-exposed group and decreased by 3.3% in the sunlight-deprived group (p = 0.0001). 25-OHD level increased by fourfold in the sunlight-exposed group. Six patients sustained hip fractures on the hemiplegic side in the sunlight-deprived group, and one hip fracture occurred among the sunlight-exposed group (p = 0421; odds ratio = 6.1).

Conclusion:

Sunlight exposure can increase the BMD of vitamin D-deficient bone by increasing 25-OHD concentration.

Please find the study here: Amelioration of osteoporosis and hypovitaminosis D by sunlight exposure .

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on July 01, 2014
at 02:41 PM

I just found this question on the first page of a google search and realized I didn't pick a best answer yet, lol.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on February 01, 2014
at 04:53 AM

So seeing a spread of 7% in BMD in one year from sun exposure to me screams perfection. Something enjoyable, if used in moderation (moderation is important as too much too fast will lead to mutated DNA (Carcinoma)) can likely lead to increased bone mass, increased innate muscle mass, increased insulin sensitivity and likely be very strongly inversely correlated with a host of metabolic and autoimmune diseases. Moderation probably cannot be over-stressed in this situation though.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on February 01, 2014
at 04:53 AM

That being said, it seems to me that there is very strong epidemiological evidence for vitamin D being protective against metabolic bone diseases, cancers and heart disease. The problem is that with metabolic bone diseases aside (Rickets) the clinical research is very weak when compared to the observational. This to me says that vitamin D is better as a marker then as a cure. And what is Vitamin D a marker of? Sun exposure.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on February 01, 2014
at 04:46 AM

The advantage of this would be increased insulin sensitivity and more favorable outcomes with the plethora of diseases mentioned in my Ultimate Hacks 1 and 2 posts.The other advantage of building, but not necessarily of already having a good bone mass, would be the fact that if you are building quality bone then that likely means that the calcium in your body is going into the right places and not into the soft tissues. This means that the calcium is not getting lost in your veins and leading to arterial calcification, which is an accurate marker for heart disease!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on February 01, 2014
at 04:46 AM

Yes, definitely CD. My interest is in building quality bone. This being said, Bone Mineral Density probably is not as good a measure as Bone Mineral Content or Bone Mass would be. The advantages of more bone mass are several fold. On one note the more bone mass you have the more muscle mass you can support. This seems to be supported by observational studies showing a strong correlation between the two.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on February 01, 2014
at 04:38 AM

Thanks Matt, I agree, of all the supplemental clinical trials I've seen vitamin k2 has shown the most promise in building bones. My only issue with this is that most of these studies seem to supplement in a range that is hard to find for sale on Amazon by an order of magnitude.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26207)

on January 31, 2014
at 10:29 PM

May I ask a side question? You have an obvious interest in bone density. Honestly, I have done virtually no research on the topic, so I cannot add to the conversation. What is your interest in bone density? I'm asking because maybe I should be more interested myself.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on January 31, 2014
at 09:08 PM

Hi glacierkn, are there any studies you're aware of that showed a 7% difference between control group and supplementation group in bmd after 1 year of supplementing with calcium/d3? Or a 75%+ reduction in fracture rate?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 31, 2014
at 06:31 PM

There's more to it than the vitamin D perhaps.

10ec51c0e6e41939215a55316ad3d0b7

(40)

on January 31, 2014
at 06:21 PM

Isn't this old news? It's why many calcium supplements also contain vitamin D. I think Vitamin K2 is also an important factor in bone mineralization, but is a lesser known nutrient.

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32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on February 01, 2014
at 12:50 AM

Invention studies using high dose vitamin K2 show about half of what you're describing with simply sunlight.

I know I've also seen a study (I don't collect nutrition studies like I collect research for my work!) that showed a significant gap between plant and animal sourced protein in bone density (animal being superior to plant).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on February 01, 2014
at 04:38 AM

Thanks Matt, I agree, of all the supplemental clinical trials I've seen vitamin k2 has shown the most promise in building bones. My only issue with this is that most of these studies seem to supplement in a range that is hard to find for sale on Amazon by an order of magnitude.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on July 01, 2014
at 02:41 PM

I just found this question on the first page of a google search and realized I didn't pick a best answer yet, lol.

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