Has your doctor told you that you have bone loss with diseases such as osteopenia or osteoporosis? If you do have bone loss, or are concerned about bone loss, then you should be aware how your gut health affects bone metabolism.
Your bones are connected to your gut in what is known as the gut-bone axis. An imbalance in the gut can contribute to bone mass loss through chronic inflammation as well as nutrient deficiencies.
The Journal of Leukocyte Biology reports that the gut microbiome has emerged as an important modulator of bone metabolism. In addition, the same researchers note that prebiotics and probiotics improve calcium absorption and enhanced bone mineralization, as well as increased availability of magnesium and phosphorous (nutrients required for bone health).
“Research is now demonstrating that probiotics may help improve bone density.”
In addition, short chain fatty acids produced by gut bacteria fermentation on carbohydrates modulates osteoclasts and osteoblast, which are cells involved in bone turnover. In one study published in JCI Insight, researchers found that women going through the menopausal transition had greater degrees of leaky gut. The increased gut permeability was also associated with increased markers of inflammation and lower bone mineral density.
Research is now demonstrating that probiotics may help improve bone density. A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that probiotic supplementation in women between the ages of 75 and 80 resulted in increased bone density compared to those taking placebo. The same researchers note that the gut microbiome modulates the immune system and the bone metabolizing cells known as osteoclasts.
Dr. Mark Stengler NMD, MS, is a bestselling author in private practice in Encinitas, California, at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine. His newsletter, Dr. Stengler’s Health Breakthroughs, is available at www.americasnaturaldoctor.com His clinic website is www.markstengler.com
Shieh, Albert, Marta Epeldegui, Arun S. Karlamangla, and Gail A. Greendale. “Gut Permeability, Inflammation, and Bone Density across the Menopause Transition.” JCI Insight 5, no. 2 (December 12, 2019). https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.134092.
Tu, Ye, Ran Yang, Xin Xu, and Xuedong Zhou. “The Microbiota-Gut-Bone Axis and Bone Health.” Journal of Leukocyte Biology 110, no. 3 (April 22, 2021): 525–37. https://doi.org/10.1002/jlb.3mr0321-755r.