Binge drinking can significantly impair the bone healing process following a fracture.
A study by Loyola University Medical Center researchers have suggested how alcohol alcohol slows bone 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.
The findings have been presented on Oct. 6 during the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2013 Annual Meeting in Baltimore. The study was funded by the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation.
John Callaci and Roman Natoli have conducted this study on bone healing processes affected by binge drinking,
The study becomes important as many of the fractures are following accidents under alcohol influence.
In an experimental study, the researchers studied the effects that alcohol consumption had on bone healing in mice.
For the study, 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 .
The alcohol affected the bone healing in three ways, the researchers observed.
Also, the mice that were exposed to alcohol showed signs of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress reflects an imbalance between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biological system’s ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage, a process that impairs normal cellular functions.
Malondialdehyde, a molecule that serves as a marker for oxidative stress was found in high levels in alochol exposed mice. super oxide dismutase, an enzyme that decreases oxidative stress,were higher in the same group.
SDF-1 and OPN are the proteins which are are involved in recruiting stem cells to the injury site. Levels of OPN proteins were found to be quite low in In the alcohol-exposed group.
Natoli is planning an animal-model follow up studies study on potential treatments to counter the negative effects of alcohol on bone healing. These are use of stem cells to improve bone healing and NAc, an antioxidant that combats oxidative stress.
If such treatments aer efffective and might lead to increase speed of bone healing in non-drinkers as well.
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