Want bigger stronger bones as you age? The answer is in the gut

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Want bigger stronger bones as you age? The answer is in the gut

Much to the surprise of researchers scientists have found that the creation and destruction of bone in humans occurs with the release of chemical serotonin that is manufactured in the gut itself.

The more serotonin your gut produces the more your bones grow weaker. The solution then as you age will be to create a simple drug that inhibits the production of serotonin in the gut itself.

Bone growth is controlled in the gut through serotonin, the same naturally present chemical used by the brain to influence mood, appetite and sleep, according to a new discovery from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center.

Until now, the skeleton was thought to control bone growth, and serotonin was primarily known as a neurotransmitter acting in the brain. This new insight could transform how osteoporosis is treated in the future by giving doctors a way to increase bone mass, not just slow its loss. Findings are reported in the Nov. 26, 2008 issue of Cell.

Researchers have known that 95 percent of the body's serotonin is produced by a part of the gastrointestinal tract known as the duodenum, where it was presumed to be involved in digestion. The brain is where the remaining five percent of the body's serotonin is produced.

The Columbia research group had originally set out to elucidate two rare human diseases affecting bone that are both caused by a mutation in a gene called Lrp5. To their surprise, Dr. Karsenty and his team found that Lrp5 regulates synthesis of serotonin in the gut, and that by turning on or turning off the production of this chemical within the gut, they could control bone formation.

Specifically, they found that serotonin tells cells in the skeleton to slow production of new bone. By turning off the intestine's release of serotonin, the team was able to prevent osteoporosis in mice undergoing menopause.

... Quote:
This proof-of-principle paper shows, to our amazement, that bone formation is regulated to a significant extent by the gut!

Through our observations of two rare and severe forms of osteoporosis, one that causes drastic bone loss and one that causes extremely high bone mass, we were able to see clearly what happens with over-production or under-production of serotonin. Our hope is that this novel discovery will inform the development of new therapies for the millions of people with osteoporosis.
said Dr. Karsenty.

Reducing serotonin release from the small intestine should be relatively simple to achieve with a drug, according to Dr. Karsenty, because the cells that produce serotonin come into direct contact with drugs that pass through the gastrointestinal tract. An inhibitor of gut-derived serotonin synthesis would not need to enter the general circulation, thereby avoiding many potential side effects.

More on the link http://www.sciencecodex.com...
By netchicken: posted on 27-11-2008








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