According to ScienceDaily.com, a bone’s strength or weakness is not only seen when something hits it--the answer also lies in a protein called osteocalcin.
A recent multi-university study led by Deepak Vashishth, head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, has revealed that bone integrity is dependent on two joined protiens: osteopontin and osteocalcin. When a person slips, falls, or is hit by any hard object, it deforms both, and the bone compensates by creating tiny holes only 500 atoms in diameter called “dilatational bands,” which act as a defense mechanism against further deformation. However, if the impact is too great, or if the bone lacks osteopontin and osteocalcin, it could break.
Researchers note that osteocalcin plays a key role in bone durability. In order for the bones to completely absorb osteocalcin, it must first be processed by Vitamin K. Vashishth continues, "Currently, all of the advice for treating osteoporosis is related to calcium. We believe there's more to the story than just calcium, and the results of this new study raise an important question about vitamin K. Leafy green vegetables are the best source of vitamin K--wouldn't it be great if eating spinach and broccoli was not only healthy, but also good for your bones?”
Vitamin K is known to improve blood clotting, prevent artery hardening, and promote bone strengthening. Aside from spinach and broccoli, this fat-soluble vitamin is normally found in asparagus, soybeans, sea kelp, among others. It’s best to add these to your list of good eats in order to keep your bones--and the rest of you--strong and healthy.
(Photo by Pranjal Mahna via Flickr Creative Commons)