In the past decade or so, we’ve seen massive growth in the number of electromagnetic fields (EMF) in our environment. And we wouldn’t necessarily want to stop this growth because doing so would impede human progress. However, by welcoming this much unnatural EMF into our surroundings, we also have to accept the biological consequences that tag along with it. In this post, we’ll dive deep into one of those consequences – the effects of EMF on our bone health.
So, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
EMF’s Many Effects on Human Health
Thousands of research studies have conclusively proven that EMF interacts with human biology. And this interaction has caused us to face problems ranging from minor sleep disorders to chronic diseases like cancer.
As we know, bones play a crucial role in providing structural support, protecting vital organs, and serving as a reservoir for minerals that are essential for bodily functions. And studies suggest that prolonged exposure to certain types of EMF can adversely affect your bone density and strength and your bones’ ability to recover and function.
But before we dive into the adverse effects, let’s first understand the advantages of EMF-bone interaction according to modern science.
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Enhancing Bony Ingrowth through Mechanical Strain
In 1994, researchers from the State University of New York performed a research study to identify the effects of very low-intensity EMF therapy on bone healing in a turkey ulna model.
They placed a titanium implant across the bones of these animals and exposed them to EMF pulses on different frequencies.
This experiment had three groups:
- One group received no stimulation
- One received EMF stimulation at 1 Hz frequency for 100 seconds a day
- The last group received EMF stimulation at 20 Hz frequency for 100 seconds a day
After eight weeks, they examined the amount of new bone growth. They found that the control group experienced decreased bones around the implant, and a fibrous membrane formed between the implant and the bone.
Meanwhile, the subjects that received 1 Hz stimulation had a 28% increase in bone growth, and those who received 20 Hz stimulation had around a 69% increase in bony ingrowth.
This suggests that controlled mechanical stimulation could enhance the success of implant surgeries and promote better healing and integration of the implant with the surrounding bone.
Stimulating Collagen Production
Another study from 1997 suggests that exposure of osteoblastic cells (responsible for new bone formation) to 20 Hz EMF produces similar results as:
- TGF-beta (a protein molecule that is involved in regulating cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis)
- And IGF-I (a growth hormone that plays a fundamental role in skeletal development)
For this study, the scientists grew osteoblastic cells in a three-dimensional culture model and exposed them to 20 Hz EMF. They used cells from a healthy individual and a patient with myositis ossificans (a condition where muscle tissue turns into bone).
The study’s findings indicated that the use of EMF treatment led to a significant increase in the production of collagen type I.
Collagen type I is a vital building block of the bone structure, and this increase suggests that EMF treatment may be beneficial for bone health.
Moreover, the cells taken from the patient with myositis ossificans produced a material surrounding the cells called the extracellular matrix.
This matrix had specific characteristics similar to those seen in cells responsible for forming bone, known as osteoblasts. The characteristics included the production of collagen type I, alkaline phosphatase, and osteocalcin. Additionally, they also noticed the presence of collagen type III and two other markers that indicate the cells were undergoing a process of transforming into osteoblasts. This suggests that the cells were showing signs of developing into bone-forming cells.
EMF’s Adverse Effects on Bones
So, now that now we know EMF definitely interacts with your bones and other bodily elements, let’s have a look at what high-frequency EMF can do to them.
Effects of EMF on Bone Mineral Density
In 2016, nine Turkish researchers set out to understand the impact of high-voltage electric transmission lines (HVETL) on bone metabolism, oxidative stress, and the prevalence of thyroid nodules in electrical workers.
They used a special type of X-ray called Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) to measure the density of the subject’s bones. They also drew blood to look at other markers in order to find out how the HVTEL they were exposed to daily affected their bone health.
The findings revealed that electrical workers who were exposed to HVETL had lower bone strength in the spine and thigh bone compared to the control group (the group not exposed to HVETL).
Additionally, they found that these workers had low amounts of osteoprotegerin (which plays a crucial role in regulating bone metabolism), hinting that exposure to high-voltage power lines might negatively impact bone health.
But it doesn’t stop there. The researchers also suggest a potential association between HVETL exposure and changes in thyroid size, thyroid hormone levels, and oxidative stress.
Oxidative Stress on Bone Health
Oxidative stress happens when there is an imbalance between harmful molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the body’s ability to control them using antioxidants. These ROS are called free radicals, and they can cause severe damage to our cells and tissues.
Free radical production in your body isn’t a medical condition. It’s part of our natural metabolic process, and our bodies do a great job of cleaning them up with antioxidants.
But if something were to cause the free radicals to grow beyond what the antioxidants can handle, it could cause a problem. Things like pollution, unhealthy habits, and certain conditions can cause an excessive buildup of these harmful molecules, potentially damaging different parts of our body, including our bones.
Research indicates that EMF pollution in our environment may contribute to increased levels of free radicals in our bodies. And this is not really good for our bones.
Oxidative stress caused by excessive free radicals in our bodies can cause problems like:
- Impaired bone formation
- Increased bone resorption
- Inflammation and bone remodeling
- Altered bone matrix composition
- And decreased antioxidant defense
Effects on Bone Mineralization
Bone mineralization is a process that fortifies our skeletal structure with essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus. The job of this function is to keep our bones robust and resilient, ensuring optimal skeletal health throughout our lives.
This 2015 experiment from Poland sought to understand how EMF radiation from mobile phones affects the skeletal system of rats.
They divided some male rats into two groups: one that would be exposed to cell phone EMF and one that wouldn’t. This experiment ran for 28 days, and the researchers measured various aspects of the rats’ skeletal system, including bone size, mechanical properties, calcium and phosphorus content, and markers of bone formation and resorption in their blood serum.
The study found that exposure to EMF didn’t directly change the size of the bones or the L4 vertebra (a specific bone in the lower back). However, it did affect how strong the bones were and how much force they could handle before breaking. The bones became weaker, and the amount of calcium in them also decreased due to EMF exposure.
Direct Effects on Bone Strength
In this study, researchers wanted to see how the radiation from mobile phones affects the strength of bones. They used rats for the experiment and divided them into different groups.
- One group wasn’t exposed to any radiation
- Two groups were exposed to radiation at different frequencies for 30 minutes each day for 28 days
- And two groups that were exposed to identical amounts of radiation but given a compound called CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester) simultaneously.
The results showed that the rats exposed to radiation had weaker bones. Their bones were not as good at resisting breaking or bending and were more prone to fractures. However, the rats receiving CAPE treatment and radiation exposure had stronger bones. The CAPE seemed to protect their bones from the negative effects of the radiation and even improved their bone strength.
In simple terms, the study found that the radiation from mobile phones can weaken bones in rats. But if given CAPE, it helps strengthen the bones and protects them from EMF-induced effects.
What Can You Do?
There haven’t been many studies on this topic yet, so we can’t be certain about the direct relationship between EMF and bone density. However, what we do know certainly indicates that non-therapeutic levels of EMF can have a negative effect on bone density.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, it’s hard to say conclusively, but one thing we can say is that it can’t hurt to be cautious about your bone health.
Here are some of the things you can do to protect your bones from possible EMF-induced damage.
Nutrition to Build EMF Resilience
While there is no direct evidence suggesting that specific foods can shield bones from the impact of electromagnetic fields (EMFs), certain nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining bone health, which may indirectly support resilience against EMFs.
Foods rich in calcium, like dairy products, leafy greens, and specially made plant-based alternatives, are extremely good at enhancing bone strength.
Besides these foods, it’s important that you maintain a good amount of Vitamin D in your diet. You can get it from fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods. It helps your body absorb calcium more effectively, which results in stronger bones.
Finally, foods that contain a high amount of magnesium, like nuts, seeds, whole grains, and collagen-rich foods, like bone broth, help maintain good bone health.
Exercising strengthens your bones, making them more resilient to external influences like shock, impact, and electromagnetic fields (EMF).
As you engage in weight-bearing activities like walking, running, or resistance training, your body responds by stimulating bone-forming cells, known as osteoblasts. These cells increase bone mineral density, fortifying the skeletal structure and reducing the risk of fractures and bone-related ailments.
While the effects of EMF exposure on bone health remains a topic of ongoing research, don’t wait around for all the answers – start exercising regularly and witness the amazing transformation of your bones, as they become resilient and robust guardians of your overall health.
EMF Mitigating Techniques
There are many ways you can mitigate your EMF exposure. But almost all of them fall into these two key rules – Minimize Use & Maximize Distance.
These rules are very simple. You just have to minimize how much you use EMF-emitting tech and maximize your distance with EMF sources. For example, to minimize use:
- Reduce the amount of time you spend on your phone
- Turn off your WiFi at night
- Don’t buy “smart” gadgets you don’t need
And to maximize your distance with EMF sources:
- Don’t sleep with your phone
- Keep your WiFi router as far away as possible (at least 5 meters)
- Carry your phone in a bag instead of your pocket or bra
You can learn more about these two key rules in my post, “What is the Best EMF Protection? Hint: It’s Free. And You Can Start Right Now.“
EMF Protection Products
Though the two key rules of EMF protection seem easy enough, it can be difficult to follow them all the time. For example, if you don’t have the space required, you can’t place your router 5 meters away. If your work requires you to be near your phone, you can’t keep it far from your body.
So, for situations like these, we have EMF protection products. Now, I want to stress that EMF protection products are a second line of defense. The first will always be a change in your lifestyle. But if you can’t make the required changes for some reason, EMF protection products are here to help.
Take our SYB Laptop Pad, for example. There are situations where you can’t use your laptop on a table at a certain distance from your body. You have to use it on your lap. So, in this case, you can simply place the SYB Laptop Pad on your lap and your laptop on top of it. This way, the EMFs from your laptop will get deflected and flow in the opposite direction, protecting your sensitive reproductive organs.
Another example would be our SYB Picture Frame. Say you don’t have enough space in your room, and you have to keep your WiFi router close. In this case, you can simply place the SYB Picture Frame in front of the router, creating an EMF-free zone where you sit.
We have a huge catalog of EMF protection products designed for your specific needs. You can check all of them out in the SYB store.
The relationship between EMF and bone health is a complex and evolving topic, and undoubtedly, it requires more research. But at the same time, we can also make an educated guess based on the information we have right now.
Ultimately, the scientific community will reach a consensus. But until then, let us err on the side of caution and foster habits that promote bone resilience and overall well-being. Our actions today lay the foundation for a healthier and more informed tomorrow, where human progress and health walk hand in hand.