How bad air leads to broken bones

You know the risks, and you're taking action.

If you're a little older and facing bone loss... if you're at risk for osteoporosis and all the misery that comes with it... I know you're doing what you can to protect yourself.

But even the best bone-boosting supplement might not be enough!

New research reveals one more risk factor for weaker bone. It's one that could lead directly to a painful fracture and increased risk of osteoporosis.

This "hidden threat" isn't in your food, and it's not a bad habit.

It's something that's completely unavoidable -- because it could be in the very air you breathe!

The new study links common pollutants to higher risk of bone problems. The more of this junk in your air... the more likely you'll suffer a break or fracture... or develop osteoporosis.

One of two new studies looked at folks admitted to the hospital for bone breaks and fractures, then checked out the pollution levels based on their home zip codes.

And this one should be a wake-up call for anyone who lives in an urban or industrialized area.

Higher levels of particulate matter in the air can increase your risk of hospitalization for a break or fracture by about 5 percent.

The second study digs into the details to show what happens inside your body after years of inhaling pollutants and why it's so bad for your bone.

I have to warn you -- it's not a pretty picture.

All of that pollution in the air -- including both particulate matter and black carbon, a pollutant from vehicles -- can cause your levels of parathyroid hormone to plunge.

That's the hormone that controls the balance of calcium between blood and bone. As you can imagine, it's essential to a strong frame.

When your levels of this hormone plunge, your once-strong bones turn weaker than twigs.

As a result, the same study finds that folks exposed to pollutants -- especially that black carbon -- have a faster loss of bone mineral density in multiple places throughout the body.

And that will increase your risk of osteoporosis.

You can't stop breathing, of course.

But you can cut your exposure and minimize your risk with two simple action steps.

First, get a quality air purifier with a HEPA filter for your home. Don't forget to wash and replace the filter regularly.

And second, keep clean!

House dust can contain pollutants, so vacuum and dust often (just be sure to wear a mask to stop yourself from inhaling this junk).

That's not the only risk literally floating in the air.

Even if you live in an area that's virtually pollution-free, there's STILL something out there that can hurt you and I'll have the scoop later today.

Keep an eye on your email!