Your belly bugs can beef up your bones

Good health begins and ends in your gut.

Boy, is that becoming clearer and clearer.

Researchers keep stumbling upon surprising ways that probiotics — which are beneficial bacteria that populate your gut — can support your health in parts of your body far removed from where they take up residence!

Recently, I’ve told you about how probiotics can wipe out seasonal allergies and protect you from blood poisoning (a.k.a. sepsis ).

And according to a new study, they can even fortify your BONES!

In the study, Swedish researchers randomly divided a group of 90 older women with low bone mineral density (BMD, a measure of bone strength) into two groups.

Half of them took a powder containing probiotics every day over the course of a year, while the other half took a placebo.

By the end of the study, when the researchers compared CT scans of the women’s lower legs to scans taken at the beginning of the study, they found that those who took the probiotic powder lost HALF as much bone as those who took the placebo.

That means that their bones were a heck of a lot stronger and less likely to snap like twigs.

And unlike osteoporosis drugs — which can come with some pretty hefty hazards, from a-fib to increased cancer risk — the probiotic powder caused NO side effects.

Now, the study didn’t determine exactly how critters that live in your gut can slow deterioration in your bones.

But previous research on mice has shown that probiotics can up the levels of a bone-building hormone called “osteocalcin” in your blood and increase the number of bone-forming cells called “osteoblasts” in your skeleton.

Plus, we know that probiotics can lower the levels of inflammation throughout your body — and inflammation is a major risk factor for osteoporosis .

And in the study, probiotics were so effective at slashing bone loss that the researchers wagered that they’ll “be an effective and safe way to prevent the onset of osteoporosis in many older people in the future.”

But why wait for the future when you can start beefing up your bones right NOW?

Look for a brand of probiotic supplements with multiple human-tested strains and colony-forming units (CFUs) in the billions.

Drinking tea… exercising regularly… and getting ample amounts of magnesium and vitamins D and K (which help calcium do its job) can also strengthen your bones and ward off osteoporosis.