Dr Nick Harvey from the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre and University of Southampton, told delegates at the 35th European Symposium on Calcified Tissues in Barcelona that patterns of bone growth in the first few years of life can strongly influence the onset of osteoporosis decades later.
The study, part of a larger programme of research into the early life origins of osteoporosis under the leadership of Porfessor Cyrus Cooper, involved more than 12,500 non-pregnant women aged 20-34, recruited between 1998 and 2002 into the Southampton Women's Survey. The women underwent comprehensive assessment of diet, lifestyle and body measurements before, and for those who conceived (now around 3000 women), during pregnancy. A subset of their children had measurement of bone mass at birth and four years old, and additionally the four year old children underwent similar assessment of diet, lifestyle, health and body measurements. In this group of 250 children and their mothers, Dr Harvey and his colleagues used this information to determine what influences a child's bone growth compared to that in other children in the group of the same age.
"We wanted to find out what factors determine whether a child with lower bone mass at birth catches up compared with other children in later life. We think that diet during childhood may make a difference," said Dr Harvey. "In our study, catch up in bone mass compared with other children in the group was associated with drinking more milk in childhood. This continued after we took into account genetic factors such as the mother's height, suggesting that both the genetic make-up of the child and factors such as diet are important for bone growth."
Bone mass peaks between the ages of 20 - 30 years. Babies and children who are underweight and undernourished are likely to have a lower bone mass in early adulthood than normal which would make them more vulnerable to osteoporosis in later life.
After peak bone mass is reached in early adulthood, bone mass delines with age, particularly after the menopause in women. research has shown that the highter the peak bone mass gained, the lower the risk of osteoporosis in later life. "Thus factors which influence bone growth from conception to peak are likely to be curcial in reducing the risk of fractures in older age," explained Dr Harvey.
The Southampton data suggest the importance of both genetic and envirnomental factors in determining the trajectory of bone growth. "The big question now is to find way to improve bone mass to reduce the risk of osteopporosis," he said. The team is now studying whether viatmin D supplements could help.
"Our research shows that the biological processes involved with bone growth start before the child is even born. It is, therefore, important to consider what can be done to improve bone health throughout the life time of the individual. Since this starts when the baby is conceived, parental health and lifestyle at conception and during pregnancy are likely to be vital factors," Dr Harvey concluded.
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy