Today, more than 50% of the American population is estimated to suffer from osteoporosis or low bone mass density.
This is a direct result of decreased milk consumption and age-related issues that have surfaced in the past decade.
In fact, postmenopausal women are dealing with bone conditions at nearly the same rate as heart disease. To combat this researchers are exploring different avenues for treatment and have made significant progress in the realm of probiotics.
According to research done by the National Institute of Health, probiotics can have a significant effect on bone mineral content and bone mass density in both animal and human subjects.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the two main strains under analysis for bone health benefits. Evidence suggests that the presence of these particular strains increases calcium absorption and resulted in a 35% higher bone density in growing rats.
These results are transferable to humans as well—studies show that when probiotics are introduced to a group of postmenopausal women there was a significant increase in total calcium levels compared to the control group.
Research shows that probiotics are involved in several mechanisms that allow them to have an impact on bone health. One of the major benefits is that probiotics aid in the synthesis of vitamins, particularly vitamin D, C, and K.
Additionally, probiotics are able to increase bioactivity and subsequently boost the bioavailability of minerals, leading to improved calcium absorption. Another recent study shows that probiotics are key in relieving intestinal inflammation, also leading to improved absorption. Although research is still ongoing, probiotics are at the forefront of medical research as natural remedies to common health concerns.