Treating Osteoporosis May Mean Eating More Spinach and Broccoli

Spinach Pancakes

Spinach Pancakes (Photo credit: Rantz)

A study from researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute demonstrated the role the protein osteocalcin plays in the strength of our bones. Osteocalcin is found in spinach, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables.Along with the engineers from Rensselaer, researchers from Villanova University, the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, and Yale University demonstrated how fractures in bones start with tiny holes, about 500 atoms in diameter, within the bone’s  structure. When a physical force impacts a bone, two joined proteins, osteopontin and osteocalcin, become altered to create nanoscale holes. These holes, called dilatational bands,  prevent any additional damage to the bone. If the bone has low levels of osteopontin, osteocalcin, or both, then it will either fracture or break.

Another important factor in the equation is that osteocalcin must be in its carboxylated form in order for bone to absorb it. Carboxylation of osteocalcin is aided by vitamin K, which is found in spinach, broccoli and leafy green vegetables.

The researchers called for additional studies of the link between vitamin K intake, osteocalcin, and bone strength to determine possible treatments for osteoporosis.


~ by chasm63 on December 12, 2012.

One Response to “Treating Osteoporosis May Mean Eating More Spinach and Broccoli”

  1. Cool blog you have over here! Just wanna say thanks for that and keep up the great work!

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