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If you break a bone, do not drink alcohol

Oct 25th 2013 at 12:37 AM

Consuming alcohol in excess is harmful to human bones, especially for healing after suffering a bone fracture because alcohol reduces the presence of mineral in structure. This emerges from a study conducted by researchers at University Medical Center Loyola in Chicago (USA), which gives an idea of how alcohol slows healing at the cellular and molecular level.


During the experiments, a group of rodents was exposed to alcohol levels equivalent to three times the legal limit for driving, while a control group exposed to identical amounts of saline. The analysis showed that the callus, hard bony tissue that forms around the ends of the broken bones, was less mineralized in rodents who had consumed alcohol, and bone that was formed was not as strong.


During the healing process, the body sends immature stem cells to the fracture site and, after arriving at the site, the stem cells mature into bone cells. Two proteins, known as SDF-1 and OPN are involved in cell recruitment mother to the site of injury, but in the group of mice exposed to alcohol, OPN levels were significantly lower. Added to this is that mice exposed to alcohol showed signs of oxidative stress , a process that affects the functions normal cell, because they had significantly higher levels, a marker of this type of stress. Researchers now pose two possible treatments to counteract the negative effects of alcohol on bone healing:
Injecting stem cells into mice to improve healing and manage NAC, an antioxidant that combats oxidative stress.

If these therapies are effective for heavy alcohol consumers, you may also be able to accelerate healing in non-drinkers, the study authors suggest.

 

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