Evidence shows correlation between smoking and the bone disease osteoporosis

A report published in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research, has investigated the connection between cigarette smoking and the development of bone fractures, as well as the bone degeneration condition osteoporosis.

Sufferers of osteoporosis will usually experience the spine, wrist and hips affected, but other bones such as the arm or pelvis can deteriorate too.  Once becoming weak and fragile, the bones are at a higher risk of fracturing (breaking).

Common risk factors for osteoporosis include:

. Family history of the disease.

. The inability to absorb certain nutrients from food (malabsorption).

. Diseases of the hormone glands, such as an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).

. Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

. Having Rheumatoid arthritis is a risk factor.

Another risk factor for osteoporosis is cigarette smoking, which may come as a surprise to some people to know that it was first established as a cause of the bone disease nearly 20 years ago.

The latest analysis into the link was carried out by Gary Guishan Xiao and colleagues from the Functional Genomics and Proteomics laboratories at the Creighton University, USA. They decided to compare the genetic activity in the bone marrow cells of both smokers and non-smokers.

Their intrigue developed after they had realised that past studies  had just primarily centred on how toxins in cigarette smoke debilitated bones by having detrimental impacts on osteoblasts (cells that originate in bone marrow and contribute to bone production), and osteoclasts (cells that break down and absorb bone tissue back into the body).

After concluding their investigations, Xiao and his team found that smokers produce abnormally vast amounts of two different proteins that support production of bone-resorbing osteoclasts compared to the non-smokers.

There are currently around 3 million people in the UK who are believed to be suffering from osteoporosis and because of this, an estimated 250,000 bone fractures occur each year. Once thought of as just an older woman’s disease, the condition is actually a widespread global problem. In fact, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, there are 2 million North American males who suffer from it, which equates to approximately 20% of the 10 million US sufferers.

There are numerous steps you can take though to minimise your chances of developing the disease, and they include:

. Avoid excessive levels of alcohol consumption and this can hinder your body’s ability to absorb calcium.

. If you think you are suffering from depression, seek immediate help from your doctor. Depression that is left untreated can lead to the production of cortisol, a stress-related hormone that can actually deplete minerals from your bones.

. Exercise regularly. The workout you give to your bodily muscles can help to stimulate bone-making cells and bolster your bones. It is recommended that adults undergo at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. Weight-bearing and resistance exercise is also vital for enhancing bone density.

. Quit smoking. Chemicals from tobacco smoke enter the bloodstream and have been shown to make bone loss worse. If you do smoke then we advise that you make an effort to stop, and Medical Specialists Pharmacy can help you, providing effective treatment for this.

Champix is a prescription medication that works out from as little as just £75.00 per pack, an incredibly small price when it comes to your long-term health. Champix mimics the effect of nicotine on the body, reducing the urge to smoke and relieving withdrawal symptoms. It can also decrease the enjoyment you experience of smoking if you are still smoking whilst on the treatment. Studies have shown 44% smokers who used champix on a daily basis where able to quit smoking.

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