Whole Body Vibration—Bone Density

The potential for bone building made national headlines in August 2001 when the journal Nature published a study using sheep at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Adult sheep exposed to gentle vibrations for 20 minutes a day increased their bone density by 34% over one year. A recent study at Leuven University in Belgium, published by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in 2003, looked at the effect of vibration on post menopausal women (those most at risk of developing osteoporosis). Significant (approximately 1%) increases in hip bone density were seen over the 6 month study. While this number is small, this is still the first therapy to show any actual increase, or reverse, of bone loss in post menopausal women. An exciting area of research would be to combine Whole Body Vibration (WBV) with the latest in nutrition and supplemental therapies, and then look at the effects then on bone density after 6 months, especially as no attention was given to these factors in the Leuven study.

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