Bone is one of the strongest materials found in nature.
Ounce for ounce, bone is stronger than steel, since a bar of steel of comparable size would weigh four or five times as much. One cubic inch of bone can in principle bear a load of 19,000 lbs. or more — roughly the weight of five standard pickup trucks — making it about four times as strong as concrete.
With a substance so strong making up our skeleton, one would think that we would be unbreakable.
Well, we used to be pretty close. Or at least a lot less fragile.
Modern humans have a relatively lightly built skeleton compared with those of chimpanzees (the closest living relatives to humans) as well with those of extinct human lineages. It appears that our skeleton is only half as dense as those of our early ancestors.
So what happened? How did our bones become weak?
Research has found that bone density remained relatively constant over the course of human evolution, but sharply declined in the modern era. The drop in bone density correlates with shift from hunting and foraging to agriculture and industrialization
It would appear that our modern lifestyles, food, and environment has taken a toll on our bones. Osteoporosis is a serious concern for our aging population. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates significant bone loss is a public health threat for 55 percent of people 50 years old and up in the United States.
The good news is that problems with bone health can be prevented and even reversed through simple tools at your fingertips. No need to travel back in time to the Paleolithic era, or leave your modern lifestyle to become a hunter-gatherer.
In this week’s article we will pull the skeleton out of the closet and take a good hard look at it. Learn all about your bones – their function in the body, what causes conditions like Osteoporosis, why traditional treatments fail, and how to keep your frame strong for many years to come.