Bones Structure and Osteoporosis
The process of bone formation in living organisms is called osteogenesis in biology. It begins at the embryonic stage in humans and reaches its peak from adolescence to young adulthood. After the age of 25, the natural gradual loss of bone mass starts. Bone formation is performed by osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes in both compact and cancellous bones. Osteoblasts are the ones that create bone tissue, while osteoclasts reabsorb it (Nabil ebraheim, 2015). Osteocytes are the cells that provide communication between the bones and the environment (Breeland et al., 2021). They also detect various abnormalities in the formation of bones.
HydroxyColl has the potential to be a versatile cure for bone disease and injury. Injected HydroxyColl scaffold, which consists of collagen and hydroxyapatite crucial for bone health, triggers stem cells to move to the damaged area (Evans, 2010). The regeneration process begins when stem cells replace missing and damaged bone tissue and form new blood vessels (Evans, 2010). Hypothetically, HydroxyColl can reverse osteoporosis when the osteoclasts become too active, which destructively affects the bone. Excessive osteoclast activity destroys the structure of spongy bones and makes compact ones thinner. Osteoblasts do not have time to create new bone tissue. Substances such as calcium and phosphorus are directly related to osteoporosis. A high intake of calcium reduces osteoporosis, while a high phosphorus intake increases the likelihood of the disease.
HydroxyColl and calcium are not the only known substances to help medical workers and scientists combat osteoporosis. Estrogen is another natural hormone that humans have adapted to treat the disease. According to Khosla and Hofbauer (2017), “oestrogen treatment is effective in both the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis” (p. 899). The first significant discoveries about the role of estrogen in bone formation, maturation, and metabolism first were made in the 40s of the last century (Khosla & Hofbauer, 2017). However, there was little progress in developing osteoporotic therapy until the late 1980s. The 90s is when large-scale research began in this direction (Khosla & Hofbauer, 2017). As a result, a new generation of drugs has emerged that help people prevent and treat osteoporosis and other bone conditions.
Estrogen-based medication is most effective in treating osteoporosis in women, but it also has a therapeutic effect in men. Today’s estrogenic therapies primarily include selective estrogen-receptor modulators and raloxifene (Khosla & Hofbauer, 2017). Other osteoporosis medications developed over the past two decades include calcitonin, bisphosphonates, teriparatide, and denosumab (Khosla & Hofbauer, 2017). The current major problem in osteoporosis treatment is to ensure the long-term efficacy of therapeutic practices.
The author of this post has well described what the bones are made of and what happens in the early stages of osteoporosis. However, the question arises of what factors contribute to the emergence of the condition. The most common causes of osteoporosis are eating disorders, low calcium intake, hormonal imbalances, and gastrointestinal surgery (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2021). Other things include alcoholism, tobacco dependence, and a sedentary lifestyle (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2021). Liver and kidney disease, all forms of cancer, and related treatments also contribute to osteoporosis in an individual.
Some permanent and unchangeable things in the human body increase the chance of osteoporosis. It is scientifically proven that “women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than are men” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2021, para. 9). Moreover, osteoporosis is more prevalent in white people and Asians than in other races (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2021). Age and family genetic history also influence the possibility of osteoporosis in one.
Fortunately, there are several effective preventative practices that almost every person can do daily. One of them is the daily intake of food containing calcium or taking calcium supplements (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2021). Vitamin D is also vital for bone health; individuals should regularly consume it with food or via sunbathing (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2021). Exercise is another effective measure; regular and diverse training will have a positive effect not only on the person’s skeleton but also on their muscle mass and internal organs.
Breeland, G., Sinkler, M. A., & Menezes, R. G. (2021). Embryology, bone ossification. NCBI.
Evans, N. (2010). Innovations in human-bone repair and replacement. Strategic Business Insights.
Khosla, S., & Hofbauer, L. C. (2017). Osteoporosis treatment: Recent developments and ongoing challenges. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 5(11), 898-907. doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(17)30188-2.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2021). Osteoporosis. Mayo Clinic.
Nabil ebraheim. (2015). Osteoporosis – everything you need to know – Dr. Nabil Ebraheim [Video]. YouTube.