Why Angela Bassett Looks Much Younger Than Her 60 Years. It’s Not Just Diet & Exercise2 years ago | Senior Health
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
It’s hard to believe actress Angela Bassett is 60-years-old. She looks much younger which may be due to her healthy diet and exercise routine. But she may also just have an advantage she was born with: her race.
A recent and one of a kind study, which analyzed facial bone changes in black adults as they aged, revealed evidence suggesting that black people’s facial bones age differently than other races (as in they do not age as rapidly).
This all has to do with bone mineral density (BMD), also called bone density and bone mass.
BMD is a “measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone,” according to the National Cancer Institute.
“Bone mineral density measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone mineral density can occur in patients treated for cancer.”
The study, conducted by Rutgers University, found that black adults maintain higher bone mineral density as they age, resulting in fewer changes to their facial structure, according to this report discussing the study.
“As people grow older, they can lose bone mineral density, which results in bone loss. In the face, this loss can affect the shape of the nose, lower jowl area, cheekbones and middle and lower areas of the eye sockets.”
And the benefits of having a higher bone mineral density go beyond possibly looking younger as you age.
“The findings reflect other studies that show black adults have higher bone mineral density, decreased rates of bone loss and lower rates of osteoporosis as compared to the general population,” Rutgers reports.
The study was conducted in the following manner:
- The research team analyzed medical records from 1973 and 2017 of 20 black patients (14 women and six men between ages 40 and 55).
- The patients had at least two facial computed tomographic (CT) images that were taken on average a decade apart. These patients had no surgical intervention (in other words, they did not have plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures with the intention to make themselves appear younger).
“While the comparative images showed a significant change in the facial bones over time in the black patients, these changes were minor compared to similar studies on the aging white population.”
The report says that the majority of previous studies on facial bones have ignored race or have only involved caucasians. Furthermore, these studies were more focused on skin composition differences as opposed to bone changes.
“These other studies have shown that the Caucasian population saw more significant bone changes over a decade, especially in the lower forehead and upper jawbone, than the black group in this study,” said one of the lead researchers.
“Since this population may experience less mid-facial bone loss than whites, it suggests that bony volume loss may not contribute as much to the aging face appearance."
Despite the findings, my opinion is that we all need to be proactive about maintaining our bone mineral density as we age. And one of the best ways we can do this is through nutrition.
Nutrients, such as certain vitamins and minerals, are critical to bone health, and you can read all about how to preserve your bone health with nutrition and other lifestyle habits here.
If you are lucky enough to grow older, you are inevitably going to lose bone mass. But you can still be proactive by eating right and exercising. These habits will help you maintain a youthful appearance and, of course, avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation (if you do drink) and getting good quality sleep are all things you can do to age gracefully and healthily
Let’s make age just a number and live our healthiest lives!
Enjoy your healthy life!
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