HealthCoach Bone Health - Bone Density

The skeleton is remarkably dynamic during life—even in adults—even in grandparents and it responds to metabolic needs and mechanical requirements very quickly.


When muscles grow stronger, the underlying bone adapts by changing its physical shape to bear the increased stress.

Likewise, atrophied muscles lead to weakened bones. In this way, our bones tell the story of our lives long after we’re gone. HealthCoach increases bone density through diet, and functional physical activity exercises, similar to the way humankind use to move, to survive.

The transition to an industrial agricultural diet starting around 13,000 years ago, signaled changes in the mechanical forces that shape the human skeleton and slowly began to weaken bone density.

The activity of hunting and gathering involved obtaining sustenance from the collection and/or hunting of a wide variety of wild foods that provided adequate nutrients to support a robust skeletal phenotype.


While there are still a number of hunter gatherers today, most foragers began using some cultivation strategies around 13,000 years ago and eventually started using agriculture causing an eventual weakness to skeletal robusticity, brain cortical dimensions, and trabecular microarchitecture.

These different subsistence strategies entail different activity patterns, with agriculture typically characterized by an increase in a grain-based diet and a more sedentary lifestyle.

The confluence of increased longevity and reduced physical activity throughout the lifecycle exacerbate the problem of osteoporosis. As such, osteoporosis is a disease of contemporary human evolution and a growing public health concern in contemporary human populations.

Provisioning of food and childcare by grandmothers for example in a non-reproductive period of life favors longer lives and greater survival over generations and especially for children’s bone health. Maternal grandmothers improve the nutritional status of children and survival probabilities in rural Gambia.


Among the Hadza hunter gatherers, grandmothers spend the most time foraging when the grandchildren are receiving the least from mothers, and they forage least when the grandchildren receive the most from mothers.

Following a lifetime of high physical activity in hunter-gatherer subsistence, these grandmothers continue to engage in physical activity to provide for their families thereby continuing to maintain skeletal bone strength. Extended human longevity, particularly for women, speaks to the importance of continued physical activity to delay the onset of bone fragility.

The transition to agriculture also brought dietary changes. Reconstructed paleolithic diets relied on varied resources, containing larger amounts and types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, tubers, and fish/game.This diet differed in fiber content, micronutrient and antioxidant capacity compared to contemporary diets, and would have more favorably supported bone health as suggested by current studies of diet and bone health described above.


The great majority of fractures occur in adults over 50 and result from minimal to moderate trauma – usually from a fall from standing height or less. Broken vertebrae and wrists are also common in this age group.

There is one condition that leads to far higher rates of bone failure, osteoporosis which affects men and women of all races. But white and Asian women, especially older women who are past menopause, are at highest risk.

Worldwide, osteoporosis causes >8.9 million fractures annually, with the greatest number of osteoporotic fractures occurring in Europe (34.8%). The most serious clinical consequence of osteoporosis is osteoporotic fracture.

Fractures of the hip, vertebrae and distal forearm are considered as osteoporotic fractures with common epidemiologic characteristics: the fracture incidences are higher in women compared to men, and they increase steeply with advancing age and occur at body positions with a large proportion of trabecular bone. Besides, osteoporosis can lead to fractures at other sites. These include fractures of the humerus, ribs, tibia (in women), pelvis femoral fractures.

Bone geometry, microarchitecture and size are the factors influencing the ability of bone to withstand trauma. However, 75%-90% of variance in bone strength is related to bone mineral density (BMD), women and 6 percent among white men.

The bones of our ancestors show that the human skeleton was once stronger than it is today. Studies of modern athletes, however, demonstrate that we are able to achieve such strength. The skeletons in our evolutionary closet ancestors can teach us some valuable lesson about modern lifestyles and their consequences