Osteoporosis even though affects the older adults majorly, loss of bone density can start as early as age 40. According to a recent research, scientists have found probiotics to be safe and acts as an effective treatment tool to help fight bone loss.
There is a general misconception that bones grow at once and then remain the same for life. Instead, the living tissue that comprises the bone constantly breaks and remodels into a new bone.
When we are young, this process is more efficient. At around the age of 30, there is a decrease in bone mass growth and during the 40s & 50s, more bone will be broken than we are replacing.
Older women show a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. But it not just exclusive to women, it can occur in men as well.
Breaking bone after age 50, an occurrence of early menopause, smoking tobacco, a smaller body frame and a family history of osteoporosis are some of the other risk factors.
As we get older, osteoporosis becomes more of an issue and during menopause, women tend to quickly lose bone mass. By the time people reach their 70s, both men and women are bound to lose bone mass at the same rate.
Although medications are available that can treat osteoporosis, prevention or slowing the bone loss that occurs initially can be a major improvement.
Osteoporosis Prevention Through Probiotics
Recently a study was conducted on female laboratory mice to test the ability of the probiotics in enhancing bone growth. For over a period of 4 weeks, scientists gave Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG oral supplementation to the mice.
As per the study findings, probiotics helps to stimulate the growth of gut bacteria through the production of butyrate. This metabolite stimulates T cells in the bone marrow to produce Wnt10b which is a protein that is vital for bone growth.
There are controversial claims regarding probiotics in regulating bone because of lack of information on the mechanism of action. But this research shows that probiotics have a positive effect on the bone structure. As per the researchers, the number of bacteria present in the probiotic is as important as the type of probiotic used.
Limitations of the Study
One of the main limitations is that the study was in mice and not in humans. There is a need to continue the research to understand whether the probiotics can help in other bone-related conditions. The research teamwants to validate the study findings on mice through studies on humans. If the study is successful, then we will have an inexpensive treatment with no side-effects that helps to boost skeletal development in young people and prevent osteoporosis in old people.
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