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Mother Nature naturally heals your broken bones, but if she can be
        helped along by today’s scientists, that’s even better !!





CHAPEL HILL, NC, June 18, 2008 ( - Scientists have continued to expand the horizons for adult stem-cell therapies, with new
research revealing the latest stem-cell breakthrough for people whose broken bones fail to heal, especially sufferers of osteoporosis.
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have unveiled research that shows transplantation of adult stem-cells to the site of a
fracture can improve vastly the healing of broken bones and give real hope to those who suffer from them.
"This finding is critical to patients who lack the proper healing process and to individuals prone to broken bones, such as those with osteoporosis
and the rare genetic condition known as brittle bone disease," said Dr. Anna Spagnoli, an associate professor of pediatrics and biomedical
engineering in the UNC School of Medicine and senior author of the UNC study.
The study reveals that normally in the course of healing a fracture, a person’s stem-cells migrate to the site of the break, where they form the
cartilage and bone that will knit the broken bones back together. However, more than 600,000 Americans every year suffer from fractures that do
not heal according to this process, meaning these bones stay broken, and can cause severe pain, bone deformities, and even death.
"Man-made materials do not address the normal bone’s function, and recurrent fractures, wear and toxicity are a real problem," Spagnoli said.
"There is clearly a need to develop alternative therapies to enhance fracture healing in patients with bone union failure."
In order to discover the healing potential of adult stem-cells, scientists transplanted adult stem-cells taken from the bone marrow of mice that
produce luciferase, the molecule that allows fireflies to glow in the dark. The researchers had also engineered the stem-cells to express a molecule
called "insulin-like growth factor 1" (IGF-1). IGF-1 helps bones to grow in size and strength.
The UNC researchers transplanted the stem-cells into mice that had fractures of the tibia with an intravenous injection and then put the mice in a
dark box where they could watch the glowing stem-cells traveling within them. The stem-cells were attracted to the fracture site, where a molecule
called CXCR4 acted as a homing beacon that was necessary for the cells’ migration.
A CAT scan showed the stem-cells improved healing at the fracture site by increasing the bone and cartilage between the bone gaps. The bone in
the treated mice was about three times stronger than that of untreated mice, whose bones were permitted to heal naturally.
"The beauty of regenerative medicine is that we are helping the body improve its innate ability to regenerate healthy tissue on its own, rather than
introducing manmade materials to try to patch up a broken bone," Spagnoli said.
Spagnoli added that the team chose adult stem-cells over the unethical embryonic stem-cells, because adult stem-cells are present in all tissues of
the body and are easier to manipulate. In this case, the team chose stem-cells from bone marrow since the procedure to gain such cells was
minimally invasive and needed the easiest method.
Doctors would need only a teaspoon of bone marrow from a patient to obtain what scientists call mesenchymal stem-cells, which have the po
tential to turn into bone, cartilage, fat, muscle and blood vessel cells. The patient’s own stem-cells would not face immune rejection from the body
- another strike against embryonic stem-cells, which are known to cause tumors.
The researchers say further trials on animal models will be necessary before their research can be developed into a safe and effective therapy in
human patients.
The study was presented Monday at the annual Endocrine Society meeting in San Francisco by the first author, Froilan Granero-Molto, Ph.D., a post
-doctoral associate researcher in UNC’s pediatrics department.
Other co-authors of the study include Dr. Lara Longobardi, UNC assistant professor of pediatrics, along with the following researchers from
Vanderbilt University: Dr. Michael Miga, assistant professor of biomedical engineering; Dr. Jared A. Weis, postgraduate fellow in biomedical
engineering; Benjamin Landis, medical student; and Lynda O’Rear, research specialist.
Funding for the study came from the National Institutes of Health.
The research from the US scientists is the latest success in the field of adult stem-cell research, following closely a study released earlier in June
by Australian researchers that showed promise for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease. Scientists with Griffith University used a technique to obtain
adult stem-cells from the nose that successfully developed into dopamine-producing brain cells - giving the search for a cure for Parkinson’s more
real hope than ever.


High calcium intake doesn't prevent broken bones

Getting more than the recommended daily amount of calcium doesn't stop women getting osteoporosis, researchers have found. Low calcium intake can lead to weak bones, but the risk goes away for women who get around 700 milligrams of calcium a day, and there’s no benefit to having more.

What do we know already?

Osteoporosis causes around 200,000 broken bones every year in the UK. Older women are most at risk, with more than 1 in 3 women suffering at least one broken bone because of osteoporosis during their lifetime.

Calcium plays an important part in keeping bones healthy, along with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium from food. It's not clear exactly how much calcium people need though, and the recommend intake varies from country to country. The NHS recommends that adults get 700 milligrams a day, but in the United States and Australia the recommended intake for older women is almost double this.

Calcium has become even more controversial recently, with several studies suggesting that taking extra calcium as supplements could increase a woman's risk of a heart attack.

Now, a new study has looked at more than 60,000 women in Sweden, with an average age of 53, to look at whether the amount of calcium they got affected their risk of developing osteoporosis or breaking a bone.

What does the new study say?

Unsurprisingly, women with the lowest intake of calcium had a higher risk of getting fractures or developing osteoporosis. But the risk disappeared once women reached about 700 milligrams of calcium a day. Higher amounts of calcium didn't cut the risk any further.

The researchers split the women into five groups, based on the amount of calcium they were getting.The women with the lowest calcium intake had a 17 in 1,000 risk of a broken bone over a year. In the middle group, this fell to 14 in 1,000. The two groups with the highest calcium intake also had a risk of around 14 in 1,000 per year.

The pattern was the same when the researchers looked at calcium supplements the women were taking, as well as calcium from food.

During the 19-year study, 1 in 4 women got a broken bone. Some of the women were offered bone x-rays to check for osteoporosis, and around 1 in 5 women were diagnosed with the condition.

The study threw up one oddity: women who got the most calcium seemed more at risk of a broken hip. The researchers don't know why this happened, but one possibility is that women who knew they were at risk of weak bones deliberately upped their calcium intake.

How reliable are the findings?

The study was carefully done, and took into account several factors that could have affected women's bone strength, such as whether they smoked, how much exercise they did, and their vitamin D intake. However, it's impossible to rule out some other factor that could have influenced whether they got osteoporosis.

The researchers used questionnaires to find out how much calcium women were getting from food. These aren't always reliable, as it's easy to misremember how often you eat particular foods.

Where does the study come from?

Most of the researchers were based at Uppsala University in Sweden. Their study was published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), which is owned by the British Medical Association.

Funding came from the Swedish Research Council.

What does this mean for me?

Women had a higher risk of a broken bone if they got less than 700 milligrams of calcium a day. That's in line with the amount recommended by the NHS.

A half pint (280 millilitres) of milk contains around 320 milligrams of calcium. Green vegetables and nuts are also good sources. It should be fairly easy for most people to get enough calcium from their diet.

With recent studies suggesting the risks of calcium supplements probably outweigh the benefits for most women; talk to your doctor.


 doctor before you start taking them.



Stem Cells May Heal Broken Bones
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Each year, approximately 7.9 million bone fractures occur in the United States alone, costing an estimated $70 billion. Of
these, 10 to 20 percent fail to heal. However, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have discovered
through 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 researchers found 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, which speeds up the healing process. Fractures that do not heal during the normal
timeframe are called non-union fractures. The team used an animal model of a non-union fracture, called a "knockout" mouse that lacks the ability
to heal broken bones.
They took adult stem cells from bone marrow of mice and engineered the cells to express IGF-I. Then they transplanted the treated cells into
“knockout” mice with a fracture of the tibia, the long bone of the leg. The researchers showed through computed tomography scanning, that the
treated mice had better fracture healing than did mice either left untreated or treated only with stem cells. The treated mice had more bone
bridging the fracture gap, and the new bone was three to four times stronger.
"More excitingly, we found that stem cells empowered with IGF-I restored the formation of a new bone in a mouse lacking the ability to repair
broken bones. This is the first evidence that stem cell therapy can address a deficiency of fracture repair," Anna Spagnoli, M.D., the study’s team
leader and associate professor of pediatrics and biomedical engineering at UNC Chapel Hill, was quoted saying.
The study’s discovery “is a crucial step toward developing a stem cell-based treatment for patients with fracture non-unions. I think this treatment
will be feasible to start testing in patients in a few years,” Spagnoli said.




How many new  broken bones are there in the World
                                every year  ??