A probiotic supplement could be good for your bones.

Researchers studied 90 women, 75 to 80 years old, all generally healthy but with low bone mineral density. The women were randomly assigned a placebo or to two daily doses of freeze-dried Lactobacillus reuteri, an intestinal tract microbe that occurs naturally in many, but not all, people.

After one year, the reduction in density in the shin bone was nearly half as large in women taking L. reuteri supplements as in those taking the placebo. The study is in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Midlife fitness may lower depression risk

Physical fitness in middle age is tied to a lower risk of later-life depression and death from cardiovascular disease, a study reports.

Depression and cardiovascular disease are common in older people, and rates of depression are high in the presence of cardiovascular illness. Researchers examined 17,989 men and women, average age 50, from 1971 to 2009. Depression and cardiovascular disease rates declined steadily as fitness in middle age increased.

Compared with those in the lowest fitness category, people in the highest were 16 percent less likely to have depression, 61 percent less likely to have cardiovascular illness without depression, and 56 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease after becoming depressed. The study is in JAMA Psychiatry.

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