Nutrition / Research / Strontium / May 8, 2012

The European Medicine Agency (EMA) has issued cautionary advice to doctors on prescribing strontium ranelate, sold under brand names Osseor or Protelos by Les Labaratoires Servier, to those who are immobilised, have or run the risk of venous thromboembolism. The warning prohibits doctors from prescribing this strontium ranelate to such patients. Venous thromboembolism is a deadly condition that occurs in those who have been admitted to hospitals for long and even those at home who are immobile due to any health condition. It includes both pulmonary embolism as well as deep vein thrombosis. Strontium ranelate is used in the treatment of osteoporosis in premenopausal women so that they run a lower risk of hip or spinal fractures. Strontium ranelate has a dual function in that it increases the production of bone-forming cells osteoblast and reduces osteoclast production or cells that…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 23, 2012

Biphosphonate class drug Boniva also sold worldwide under the brand names Bonviva and Bondronat is now available for sale in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration has approved it’s use – prescription by doctors and distribution in pharmacies for sale in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. (1) The primary chemical compound in Boniva is ibandronate sodium. The drug is not prescribed for men unless they are participating in clinical trials. The drug approved by FDA is the generic version of Boniva which are essentially tablets of ibandronate. This makes the drug more affordable through cheaper pricing. According to Keith Webber, Ph.D., deputy director of the Office of Pharmaceutical Science in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “Men as well as women are affected by osteoporosis, a disease that can be prevented and…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 23, 2012

While most of the focus on osteoporosis in terms of reported cases, diagnosis, treatment, research and cost burdens have been in the US and Europe, the latest audit report (October 2011) from International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) shows that Middle East and Africa regions are getting left behind in the global effort towards tackling osteoporosis. The data on the markers mentioned were collected from 17 countries of the region including Turkey. Analysis done for individual countries as well as for the regions showed alarming forecasts of fractures to be brought on by osteoporosis. The predictions show that as many as 25% of the region’s population over the age of 50 years will be diagnosed with osteoporosis by as soon as 2020. The percentage will be a staggering 40% for the same age group by 2050. (1) According to lead author of…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 23, 2012

A bone growth molecule has now been developed by the scientific community which once injected into the bloodstream, ‘directs’ stem cells in the bone marrow to form more bones. The UC Davis Health System scientists have created this novel technique. The bone growth molecule which is injected is a hybrid molecule (or a double-stranded nucleic acid molecule which is made by man from two different single-stranded nucleic acid molecules of different sources). This hybrid molecule was ‘created’ by Kit Lam, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. (1) Though the experiments conducted by the researchers were on mouse model, they hold promise as an osteoporosis treatment for human beings especially in cases where bone density and strength are compromised with aging, estrogen deficiency and long-term use of steroid for treatment of chronic conditions. During…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 23, 2012

Chances that a baby who is born with low birth weight or of shorter than the average/mean height or both growing into adult facing fragile bones is more high than for a baby who had good weight and height statistics at birth.  Researchers from the University of Southampton have teamed up with a study group in New Delhi to look at a birth cohort. A birth cohort study is one which examines persons born on the same day/period and are exposed to similar variable factors/conditions such as a drug/medical procedure or pollutant etc – that is they share some characteristics. The study is being conducted over a decade where scientists have been trying to establish a relationship between height, body mass index (BMI) and the outcomes it spells into adulthood for the cohort group. The adulthood outcomes were those of…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 15, 2012

A study from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine warns that patients who were on long term bisphosphonates medication for treating osteoporosis were at risk of developing necrosis of bones in the jaw if they carried a variation of a particular gene. It was also a caution to doctors to have their osteoporosis patients checked for this gene variation before prescribing long-term or high doses of bisphosphonates for them. (1) So what is osteonecrosis? Osteonecrosis is a disease caused by decreased blood flow to the bones and the joints. When there is limited blood flow your bone begins to break down and die. Bisphosphonates are a common class of drug that bind to the bone of the patient taking them and inhibits the production of cells called osteoclasts which are responsible for the breakdown and resorption of bone. They are…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 15, 2012

The effect leukemia has on the bones of cancer patients has been studied by researchers at the University of Rochester and a new perspective which is both thought-provoking and has surprise element to it has been arrived at. The study further sparks potential that therapies which treat bone disorders could aid in the treatment of leukemia. It also lays the foundations of a possible path that newly diagnosed leukemia patients be screened for osteoporosis. (1) Leukemia is a form of blood or bone marrow cancer in which there is an abnormal increase in the production of white blood cells. According to the Leukemia Research Foundation approximately 74,000 people in the U.S will have leukemia diagnosed for them out of which 21,000 may die of the disease.  (2) Blood stem cells are multi-potent in nature and give rise to all types…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 1, 2012

More insights were had on the possible development of osteoporosis through a study of deer antlers by researchers at Research Institute of Hunting Resources (University of Castilla La Mancha), Spain. We have long been reading literature about how important Vitamin D and magnesium are to calcium metabolization. This new study shows another dietary mineral plays a vital role in the osteoporosis equation and that is manganese. The study of deer antlers began when there was a marked increase in the reported breakage of deer antlers in 2005 in Spain. The study pointed out that it was not really the deficiency of dietary calcium that made antlers in deer weak, but low levels of dietary manganese caused the calcium to not ‘stick’ as it were causing poor quality antlers. In that particular year, due to an abnormally cold winter, the plants…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 1, 2012

A study conducted by the American College of Rheumatology over more than a decade brings out a fact that would startle many: 63% of women over 50 years of age experience either incidental, intermittent or persistent knee pain. Even more shocking is that as many as 27 million women over 25 years of age suffer from osteoarthritis in the US alone. Most likely direct causes have been found in being overweight, having a history of knee injury or early onset of radiographic osteoarthritis. The findings of this study has been published in the Wiley-Blackwell publication Arthritis & rheumatism and has set the medical fraternity abuzz with what the realities are and what they have to deal with in terms of management of the condition. Osteoarthritis is a joint disorder that occurs as we age and is generally caused by gradual…

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Nutrition / Research / Vitamin D3 / February 14, 2012

A study on menopausal women in Europe has scientists reveal that as high as 70% of women in this category have low Vitamin D levels. The dip in percentage is very significant and has shocked the European medical fraternity.  This especially so because the percentage is seeing a steady dip without a reversing trend despite increased awareness among women in the last decade over the importance of Vitamin D and it’s bearing on bone health. As per the experts, a good level to be aimed at by menopausal women would be over 30 ng/ml (or nanograms per millilitre). This is also corroborated by the recommendation made by the Office of Dietary Supplements on Vitamin D. They clearly state that persons are potentially at risk for inadequacy at levels ranging from 12–20 ng/mL and that all people are sufficient at levels…

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