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.
TSRI researchers develop new method to 'fingerprint' HIV
29.03.2017 | Scripps Research Institute
Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows
29.03.2017 | Technische Universität München
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences