Website EP20

20: Does Yoga Increase Bone Density?

Today, we answer the question, “Does yoga increase bone density?” We’ve chosen 3 research studies to dive into and how it might affect the way we present the benefits of yoga to students. Though it does seem like yoga has a positive effect on osteoporosis and bone density, for the most part this is another case of, “We just don’t know enough.” We briefly discuss the limitations of current research and pose some interesting questions about bone and yoga.

In This Episode

  • Osteoblasts and osteoclasts and why bone is remodeled relatively quickly (19:18)
  • Stress and its relationship with magnesium and calcium balance and why bone is involved in this balance (20:55)
  • What is Peak Bone Mass and when do humans generally achieve it? (24:39)
  • “It has been theorized that achieving a 10% higher peak bone mass in young adulthood could delay the development of osteoporosis by around 13 years, and ultimately reduce the lifetime risk of fracture by 50%. While there is no experimental evidence from large life-long studies required to test such a notion, a growing body of evidence suggests that adaptations to mechanical loading in youth translate to greater bone strength over a lifetime.” (Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) position statement on exercise prescription for the prevention and management of osteoporosis, 2017) (27:01)
  • We discuss progressive resistance training, impact activities, and balance training as it pertains to bone density (35:49)
  • Study: Twelve-Minute Daily Yoga Regimen Reverses Osteoporotic Bone Loss (2016) (36:55)
  • Our opinions on yoga and weights (41:45)
  • Study: Effects of an 8-Month Ashtanga-Based Yoga Intervention on Bone Metabolism in Middle-Aged Premenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Study. (2015) (45:59)
  • Does someone with a stiffer body build more bone density than someone with lots of flexibility? (57:32)

Resources & Links

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