This is not new information; the risk has been known about since scientists identified it nearly 20 years ago, but what has been unclear is just why this happens and what the mechanism is that causes it.
Until now, when a new study appeared in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Proteome Research that is shedding light on exactly how cigarette smoke weakens bones. The report concludes that cigarette smoke makes people produce excessive amounts of two proteins that trigger a natural body process that breaks down bone and this can occur at any age.
Guishan Xiao and colleagues, authors of the study, point out that previous work suggested that it was the toxins in cigarette smoke that weakened bones. They did this by affecting the activity of osteoblasts, the cells which build new bone, and osteoclasts, which resorb, or break down, old bone. When this occurs osteoporosis results and the best protection against this, and to successfully rebuild existing bone, is to supplement with bioidentical natural progesterone. Osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures and is a major cause of disability and even death in older adults.
That was the commonly held belief, but to shed light on how cigarette smoking weakens bones, the scientists analyzed differences in genetic activity in bone marrow cells of smokers and non-smokers. What they found was that smokers produce unusually large amounts of two proteins that foster production of bone-resorbing osteoclasts compared to non-smokers.
This means that a greater amount of bone is being lost (reabsorbed) than is being built and that is a major risk factor for osteoporosis.
If you still smoke, or know someone who does whether they are menopausal or not, then this information is important in knowing that smoking is a major risk factor leading to weakened bones and osteoporosis. To protect bones it is essential to have good progesterone levels to ensure bone building continues throughout life, to have regular weight bearing exercise and if vulnerable for osteoporosis to have a bone mineral formula containing calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, as well as additional zinc, vitamin C and B complex.
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