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Category: General Wellness
Toxins in cigarette smoke may increase the production of two proteins that help drive the bone-wasting disease known as osteoporosis. These findings suggest that smokers may benefit from a lab test to measure their risk for this illness.
More than 40 million individuals in the U.S. either have osteoporosis or are at risk for the condition, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a division of the National Institutes of Health. This disease is the result of an imbalance between the actions of two cells: osteoblasts, which create new bone tissue, and osteoclasts, which break down old bone tissue.
According to NIAMS, risk factors for osteoporosis include excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, deficiency of calcium and vitamin D, and smoking. However, it was not always clear why smoking could lead to osteoporosis.
In order to investigate further, a team of researchers analyzed the genes of bone marrow cells, collected from both smokers and non-smokers. Results showed that smokers produced large amounts of two proteins that drive production of osteoclasts.
This study is published in the Journal of Proteome Research.
People who are concerned about the health of their bones may take a lab test in which urine samples are analyzed for markers of bone resorption.
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