June 05, 2011
Stem Cell Therapy To Fix Broken Bones

Stem cell therapy speeds the healing of broken bones in an animal model.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown in an animal study that transplantation of adult stem cells enriched with a bone-regenerating hormone can help mend bone fractures that are not healing properly.

The UNC study team led by Anna Spagnoli, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and biomedical engineering, demonstrated that stem cells manufactured with the regenerative hormone insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) become bone cells and also help the cells within broken bones repair the fracture, thereby speeding the healing. The new findings are presented Sunday, June 5, 2011 at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

Peak bone mass is reached most often in one's 20s. Well, why wait for broken bones before delivering stem cell therapies? Once youthful bone stem cell therapy becomes available it will make sense to get it ones 40s or 50s to reverse the bone loss long before breaks become a risk.

Lots of people have problems healing from fractures, including some with genetic defects of bone formation.

A deficiency of fracture healing is a common problem affecting an estimated 600,000 people annually in North America. "This problem is even more serious in children with osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, and in elderly adults with osteoporosis, because their fragile bones can easily and repeatedly break, and bone graft surgical treatment is often not successful or feasible," Spagnoli said.

Approximately 7.9 million bone fractures occur every year in the United States alone, with an estimated cost of $70 billion. Of these, 10 to 20 percent fail to heal.

Stem cell therapies that get developed to treat assorted medical problems will be usable for general rejuvenation. This report is an example of therapy development that will have uses beyond the initial purpose.

While waiting for stem cell therapies you can slow your bone loss by eating a less acidic diet.

Chevy Chase, MD—Diets that are high in protein and cereal grains produce an excess of acid in the body which may increase calcium excretion and weaken bones, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). The study found that increasing the alkali content of the diet, with a pill or through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has the opposite effect and strengthens skeletal health.

"Heredity, diet, and other lifestyle factors contribute to the problem of bone loss and fractures," said Bess Dawson-Hughes, M.D., of Tufts University in Boston, Mass. and lead author of the study. "When it comes to dietary concerns regarding bone health, calcium and vitamin D have received the most attention, but there is increasing evidence that the acid/base balance of the diet is also important."

For additional bone protection use turmeric as a spice on the veggies.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 June 05 10:32 PM  Aging Joint Repairs

Lou Pagnucco said at June 6, 2011 9:20 AM:

And, FDA bureaucrats appear to be needlessly impeding stem cell therapies --

"Stem Cells May Prevent Need for Joint Replacements, if FDA Allows It"

(Excerpt - 'Development may, however, be stalled by the Food and Drug Administration’s attempt to impose costly, onerous regulations that treat the processing of the cells like mass production of a drug. The FDA is quite inconsistent in its regulation of cellular therapy.')

Full paper is at --

"The Use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Orthopedics: Review of the Literature, Current Research, and Regulatory Landscape"

Too bad, but you may have to become canine to get the best treatments.
Someone should tell the CBS "60 Minutes" show producers who recently did a ridiculous, sloppy hit-piece on stem cells.

A quick web search reveals that olives and cruciferous vegetables may preserve bone density also.

Don W said at June 6, 2011 5:32 PM:

Good evening,

I wonder why stem cells are not in use by more professional athletes. When one of these guys is out for any time it impacts their team and very large sums of money. Major league pitchers are always requiring surgery on their arms and very long recoveries. The slide that broke the Giants' catcher's leg may have removed them from contention in the NL West If a product could return these professional players to the field within weeks not a year, there would be enormous sums spent on it.

I understand that one player is using stem cell treatment somewhere in the Carribean.

This would seem to be a golden opportunity for someone to open a clinic (on an American Indian reservation, perhaps)and rake in the green while, I'd hope - advancing medical science.

Nanonymous said at June 7, 2011 8:33 PM:

At least as far as bone non-unions are concerned, there is much cheaper, faster and probably as efficient treatment: local injections of recombinant BMP-7 (bone morphogenesis protein type 7, one of the many growth factors). Making individual stem cells overexpressing something is infinitely more hassle than injecting a solution of recombinant protein.

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