Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


How binge drinking impairs bone healing

Physicians have long observed that binge drinking can significantly impair the healing process following a bone fracture.

Now a study by Loyola University Medical Center researchers is providing insights into how alcohol slows healing on the cellular and molecular levels. The findings could lead to treatments to improve bone healing in alcohol abusers, and possibly non-drinkers as well.

Roman Natoli, MD, PhD, will present findings Oct. 6 during the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2013 Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Senior author is John Callaci, PhD. The study was funded by the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation.

"Many bone fractures are alcohol-related, due to car accidents, falls, shootings, etc.," Natoli said. "In addition to contributing to bone fractures, alcohol also impairs the healing process. So add this to the list of reasons why you should not abuse alcohol."

Researchers studied the effects that alcohol consumption had on bone healing in mice. One group of mice was exposed to alcohol levels roughly equivalent to three times the legal limit for driving. A control group was exposed to equal amounts of saline (salt water).

The study found three ways in which alcohol impaired bone healing after a fracture:

There were differences between the control group and the alcohol-exposed group in the callus, the hard bony tissue that forms around the ends of fractured bones. In the alcohol-exposed group, the callus was less mineralized, meaning not as much bone was forming. Moreover, the bone that did form was not as strong.

Mice exposed to alcohol showed signs of oxidative stress, a process that impairs normal cellular functions. The alcohol-exposed mice had significantly higher levels of malondialdehyde, a molecule that serves as a marker for oxidative stress. Additionally, levels of an enzyme that decreases oxidative stress, super oxide dismutase, were higher in the alcohol-exposed mice (but not quite high enough to be considered statistically significant).

During the healing process, the body sends immature stem cells to a fracture site. After arriving at the site, the stem cells mature into bone cells. Two proteins, known as SDF-1 and OPN, are involved in recruiting stem cells to the injury site. In the alcohol-exposed group, OPN levels were significantly lower.

As a follow up to this study, Natoli is planning an animal-model study on two potential treatments to counter the negative effects of alcohol on bone healing. One treatment would be to inject mice with stem cells to improve healing. The other treatment would be the administration of NAc, an antioxidant that combats oxidative stress.

If such treatments were shown to be effective in alcohol abusers, it's possible the treatments also might speed healing in non-drinkers as well, Natoli said.

Natoli is a resident physician in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Callaci is an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation. The third author is Rachel Mauer, BS, a research technician.

Jim Ritter | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>