A recent study’s findings has discovered the role of bone protein osteocalcin, medical experts said uncovering long-standing mystery of its use. The connotations of this latest discovery may presage new strategies and therapeutic treatments for preventing osteoporosis and lessen bone fracture risks. In particular, osteoporosis is considered to be a global pandemic that affects millions of the world’s elderly population and, thus far, resists western medicine’s best endeavors to efficiently treat it. More advice about osteoporosis may be gotten here, http://www.fosamaxclassaction.us/.
The research team of engineers conducted their study at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with additional funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Osteocalcin’s properties were found by the researchers on bone fractures which created tiny holes in healthy bone tissue, all measuring 500 atoms in diameter, within the bones mineral structure. Nanoscale holes, about 500 atoms wide, were found in the healthy bones where the fractures occurred from either falling, tripping, or force of impact; which the research scientists believe were caused by proteins osteopontin and osteocalcin being deformed to form the aforementioned holes. These holes are called dilatational bands and have been noted to function as a defense mechanism which helps in preventing further damage to the surrounding healthy bones. On a related note, the study group noticed that if the bones lacked osteopontin, osteocalcin, or both and were weaker and in the process more prone to fractures if they were damaged with a very strong force.
The team of engineers from other partner universities were headed by Deepak Vashishth who chairs the Department of Biomedical Engineering in Rensselaer, and was also the first to discover evidence of fractures occurring at the nanostructure of bone. Other partner-universities of Rensselaer include Villanova University, the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, and Yale University.
This finding holds even greater importance of the role that osteocalcin and possibly other bone proteins have in strengthening bones against fractures. It is the belief of the researchers that osteocalcin’s role has been discovered, boosting its beneficial properties may lead to an overall strengthening of bones.
Osteocalcin is a bone protein first discovered in animals and later in humans when synthesizing vitamin K, but little was understood about it until now. In recent studies, abnormalities in the production of this protein have been associated with type 2 diabetes as well as problems in reproductive health. Osteocalcin’s role in bone structure and mechanics are due to the efforts of Vashishth’s study of this protein.
The study authors believe that more research into the benefits and properties of osteocalcin and similar bone proteins may yield other benefits in treating osteoporosis and preventing fractures.
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