The After-50 Balancing Act

Let me give you the bad news with the good: We’re falling down more often on our way to longer lives. “As the population ages and people live longer in bad shape,” wrote Katie Hafner in Sunday’s New York Times, “the number of older Americans who fall and suffer serious, even fatal, injuries is soaring.” According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, where I serve as ambassador for bone health, even younger boomers must devote some thought to their strength, stamina …

Daily Milk Helps Knee Arthritis in Women, But Not Men

Women who drank up to six glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk a week delayed the effects of arthritis in their knees, a large new study finds. Unfortunately, the same effect was not found in men. In addition, researchers led by Bing Lu, M.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, found that eating greater amounts of cheese had the opposite effect, speeding the progression of knee arthritis in women, while eating yogurt had no effect on arthritis in either …

Vitamin D Pills: Many Labels Can’t Be Trusted

If you need to take a vitamin D supplement, be aware you may be getting far less or far more than the label shows, a new study shows. Researchers found that off-the-shelf pills from 12 different manufacturers plus two from specialty compounding pharmacies contained from a minuscule 9 percent to a whopping 146 percent of the amount listed on the label (which ranged from 1,000 to 10,000 international units [IU]). Not only was there variation among different brands and manufacturers, …

Got…Prunes? Turns Out, They Help Build Strong Bones

Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard all the prune jokes. Except now we call them dried plums and guess what they can do? They help….your bones! A Florida State University researcher says that regularly eating dried plums (aka prunes) can help postmenopausal women — as well as older men — prevent fractures and osteoporosis. Bahram Arjmandi, chairman of FSU’s department of nutrition, food and exercise sciences, says he has tested numerous fruits over the course of his career, including figs, dates, strawberries and …