2012 April 18 Wednesday
Oral Bacteria Harm Joints And Blood Vessels

Got enough bacteria in your mouth to cause gum bleeding when you (not often enough) floss or brush your teeth? Oral bacteria that get into the blood mess up joints.

The culprit behind a failed hip or knee replacements might be found in the mouth. DNA testing of bacteria from the fluid that lubricates hip and knee joints had bacteria with the same DNA as the plaque from patients with gum disease and in need of a joint replacement.

This study is one of many coming from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine that have linked oral bacteria to health problems when they escape from the mouth and enter the blood.

Keep your teeth and gums clean in order to protect your joints and blood vessels.

Inflammatory gum disease causes plaque build-up in blood vessels which is mediated by a protein found in blood cells.

A protein involved in cellular inflammation may increase the risk of plaque containing blood vessels associated with inflammatory gum disease, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2012 Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

The protein, CD36, is found in blood cells, as well as many other cell types. Research has shown that CD36 may increase the harmful effects of "bad cholesterol," or low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

Investigators "knocked out," or deleted, the gene responsible for CD36 production, then induced plaque in blood vessels by feeding mice a high fat diet. Some animals were also infected with the bacteria associated with gum disease.

More fatty plaque accumulation occurred in the blood vessels of the animals that were infected with gum disease. In the animals with the deleted CD36 gene, however, vessels remained free of new plaque even when oral inflammation occurred.

Want to live longer? Floss regularly.

By Randall Parker    2012 April 18 10:23 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (11)
2010 October 25 Monday
Vibrations Slow Bone Aging?

Shake away those aged aching bones?

AUGUSTA, Ga. - A daily dose of whole body vibration may help reduce the usual bone density loss that occurs with age, Medical College of Georgia researchers report.

Twelve weeks of daily, 30-minute sessions in 18-month old male mice which equate to 55- to 65-year-old humans appear to forestall the expected annual loss that can result in fractures, disability and death. Dr. Karl H. Wenger, biomedical engineer in the MCG Schools of Graduate Studies and Medicine, reported the findings with his colleagues in the journal Bone.

Researchers found vibration improved density around the hip joint with a shift toward higher density in the femur, the long bone of the leg, as well. Hip fractures are a major cause of disability and death among the elderly.

They also found a reduction in a biomarker that indicates bone breakdown and an increase in the surface area involved in bone formation in the vibrating group.

Remember those vibration machines that fat people using to try to shake off the weight back in the 1960s or 1970s? I have only very faded recollections of what those belted vibrator machines were used for. Weight loss? Muscle toning? Well, maybe machines like them will make your bones stay stronger longer.

So I went poking around looking for those body vibration machines of yesteryear with the leather belts that wrap around your body and shake it. Couldn't find any of those kind. But I did find body vibration machines that appear to work from your feet up. They are touted for weight loss and massage. No mention of slowed bone aging. But that might be their biggest real benefit.

The vibrations are thought to stimulate activity by bone-building osteoblasts.

The findings provide more scientific evidence that the technique, which dates back to the 1800s and is now showing up in homes, gyms and rehabilitation clinics, has bone benefit, particularly as a low-risk option for injured individuals with limited mobility, Wenger said.

The scientists theorize that the rhythmic movement, which produces a sensation similar to that of a vibrating cell phone but on a larger scale, exercises cells so they work better. Vibration prompts movement of the cell nucleus, which is suspended by numerous threadlike fibers called filaments. "The filaments get all deformed like springs and then they spring back," Wenger said.

All the movement releases transcription factors that spur new osteoblasts, the cells that make bone. With age, the balance of bone production and destruction by osteoclasts tips to the loss side.

I like the idea that vibrations will help because it is such a lazy treatment. This report also claims vibrations really do help with weight loss and muscle strength. Who knew?

Update: A thought occurs to me: Motorcycles, ATVs, and other vehicles that have higher levels of vibrations could actually be good for you, Off-road driving in vehicles which do not much dampen the effects of uneven terrain could deliver real benefit to your bones.

Update II: Mthson reminds me of my October 2007 post: Vibrated Mice Form More Bone And Less Fat. Want your office chair to vibrate?

By Randall Parker    2010 October 25 10:33 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (15)
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