Antioxidants Protect Bones

September 29, 2010 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Antioxidants Protect Bones
The more we learn about genes the more obvious it becomes that nutrition is the key to health, including bone health. A gene regulatory protein called Maf1 has now been identified which is needed in order to change bone stem cells into the important bone-building carpenters called osteoblasts. Too many free radicals, or the use of the diabetes drugs Avandia or Actos, causes Maf to turn off. This causes the stem cells to turn into fat cells instead of osteoblasts.

Over the past several years a large body of science has shown how inflammation, which invariably involves excess free radical production as a consequence, interferes with osteoblasts and causes excessive activity of the osteoclast demo crew. This new study pinpoints the precise gene regulation that enables new osteoblasts to form.

A primary mechanism that deactivates Maf is too many free radicals. Excessive free radicals occur when you lack antioxidants and have various forms of stress that use up your antioxidants. Almost any type of stress uses up antioxidants including a poor quality diet, pollution, alcohol, smoking, numerous medications, excessive exercise, no exercise, lack of sleep, pain, emotional stress, etc. To remedy this problem you must offset stressors in your life and boost up antioxidants.

This study lends significant support to the fact that anti-inflammatory nutrients which typically have antioxidant activity are a primary tool for bone health.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Bone Loss Caused by Free Radicals  Journal of Clinical Investigation  1.Keizo Nishikawa, Tomoki Nakashima, Shu Takeda, Masashi Isogai, Michito Hamada, Ayako Kimura, Tatsuhiko Kodama, Akira Yamaguchi, Michael J. Owen, Satoru Takahashi, Hiroshi Takayanagi.

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