The ability to control whether certain stem cells ultimately become bone cells holds great promise for regenerative medicine and potential therapies aimed at treating metabolic bone diseases.
Vitamin D and calcium are dietary requirements, but it's unclear how much is best for us. New draft findings by the United States Preventive Services Task Force conclude that for healthy, postmenopausal women, daily supplementation with low levels of vitamin D -- up to 400 international units -- combined with 1,000 milligrams of calcium, does not reduce fracture risk.
Are your bones getting stronger or weaker? Right now, it's hard to know. Scientists at Arizona State University and NASA are taking on this medical challenge by developing and applying a technique that originated in the Earth sciences. In a new study, this technique was more sensitive in detecting bone loss than the X-ray method used today, with less risk to patients.
Calcium supplements might increase the risk of having a heart attack, and should be "taken with caution," concludes research published in the online issue of the journal Heart. Furthermore, boosting overall calcium intake from dietary sources confers no significant advantage in terms of staving off heart disease and stroke, the findings indicate.
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy have identified the genetic variations that are believed to cause osteoporosis. The study, published in Nature Genetics and involving leading researchers from Sweden and the world, shows among other interesting facts that women with a higher proportion of genetic variations associated with osteoporosis have a more than 50 percent increased fracture risk.
Thirty-two previously unidentified genetic regions associated with osteoporosis and fracture have been identified by a large, worldwide consortium of researchers, including Stanford Prevention Research Center chief John Ioannidis, MD, DSc. Variations in the DNA sequences in these regions confer either risk or protection from the bone-weakening disease. Many, but not all, of the regions encode proteins involved in pathways known to involve bone health.
A new analysis adds to growing evidence that people using proton pump inhibitors to control symptoms of acid reflux are more likely to fracture bones than those who do not. The analysis did not find a similar increase in fracture risk among patients taking older acid reflux medications, called histamine-2 receptor antagonists.
It is a well-established fact that as we grow older, our bones become more brittle and prone to fracturing. It is also well established that loss of mass is a major reason for older bones fracturing more readily than younger bones, hence medical treatments have focused on slowing down this loss.
When it comes to improving bone health in postmenopausal women -- and people of all ages, actually -- a Florida State University researcher has found a simple, proactive solution to help prevent fractures and osteoporosis: eating dried plums.
Birth control pills may reduce a woman's bone density, according to a study published online July 13 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) scientists. Impacts on bone were small, depended on the woman's age and the pill's hormone dose, and did not appear until about two years of use. The study size and design allowed the researchers to focus on 14- to 18-year-old teenagers, and to look at how bone density might change when a woman stops using the pill.
A new technique developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute allows researchers to collect large amounts of biochemical information from nanoscale bone samples. Along with adding important new insights into the fight against osteoporosis, this innovation opens up an entirely new proteomics-based approach to analyzing bone quality. It could even aid the archeological and forensic study of human skeletons.