Tag Archives: hypothesis

Hypothesis: Melatonin for Osteoporosis


Is postmenopausal osteoporosis related to pineal gland functions?

There is currently considerable interest in the pathogenesis of postmenopausal osteoporosis, which is the most common metabolic bone disease. Osteoporosis affects approximately 20 million persons in the United States, 90% of whom are postmenopausal women. Although there is evidence that estrogen deficiency is an important contributory factor, the pathogenesis of osteoporosis is multifactorial and presently poorly understood. There is evidence that pineal melatonin is an anti-aging hormone and that the menopause is associated with a substantial decline in melatonin secretion and an increased rate of pineal calcification. Animal data indicate that pineal melatonin is involved in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus metabolism by stimulating the activity of the parathyroid glands and by inhibiting calcitonin release and inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis. Hence, the pineal gland may function as a “fine tuner” of calcium homeostasis. In the following communication, we propose that the fall of melatonin plasma levels during the early stage of menopause may be an important contributory factor in the development of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Consequently, plasma melatonin levels taken in the early menopause could be used as an indicator or perhaps as a marker for susceptibility to postmenopausal osteoporosis. Moreover, light therapy, administration of oral melatonin (2.5 mg at night) or agents which induce a sustained release of melatonin secretion such as 5-methoxypsoralen, could be useful agents in the prophylaxis and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Finally, since application of external artificial magnetic fields has been shown to synchronize melatonin secretion in experimental animals and humans, we propose that treatment with artificial magnetic fields may be beneficial for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Sandyk R, Anastasiadis PG, Anninos PA, Tsagas N
Int. J. Neurosci. Feb 1992
PMID: 1305608

Hypothesis: Melatonin for Facial Bone Loss


Could the Fountain of Youth Be All in Your Bones?

Melatonin, a molecule released from the pineal gland in response to darkness, has long been known to keep one’s sleep-wake cycles entrained to the light-dark cycle; however, there has been a surge in publications showing that melatonin has protective effects on bone. Disruption of nocturnal melatonin levels by light exposure at night, and through the natural aging process, produces adverse effects on bone. Use of melatonin to prevent bone loss or enhance bone formation has great clinical utility, including preventing maxillofacial bone loss and/or enhancing bone regeneration in maxillofacial bone reconstructive surgeries. This brief editorial comment sheds some “light” into a novel use for melatonin in preventing facial bone loss.

Witt-Enderby P
J Oral Implantol Apr 2012
PMID: 22506832

Hypothesis: Animal Protein Associated with Hip Fracture – 1992


Cross-cultural association between dietary animal protein and hip fracture: a hypothesis.

Age-adjusted female hip fracture incidence has been noted to be higher in industrialized countries than in nonindustrialized countries. A possible explanation that has received little attention is that elevated metabolic acid production associated with a high animal protein diet might lead to chronic bone buffering and bone dissolution. In an attempt to examine this hypothesis, cross-cultural variations in animal protein consumption and hip fracture incidence were examined. When female fracture rates derived from 34 published studies in 16 countries were regressed against estimates of dietary animal protein, a strong, positive association was found. This association could not plausibly be explained by either dietary calcium or total caloric intake. Recent studies suggest that the animal protein-hip fracture association could have a biologically tenable basis. We conclude that further study of the metabolic acid-osteoporosis hypothesis is warranted.

Abelow BJ, Holford TR, Insogna KL
Calcif. Tissue Int. Jan 1992
PMID: 1739864

This study from 1992 was one of the earlier proposals that animal protein may cause osteoporosis. The hypothesis has since been discredited.

Hypothesis: Berberine Potential in Diabetic Osteopathy


Possible therapeutic potential of berberine in diabetic osteopathy.

Diabetic osteopathy is a complication that leads to decreased bone mineral density, bone formation and having high risk of fractures that heals slowly. Diabetic osteopathy is a result of increase in osteoclastogenesis and decrease in osteoblastogenesis. Various factors viz., oxidative stress, increased inflammatory markers, PPAR-γ activation in osteoblast, activation of apoptotic pathway, increased glucose levels and inhibitory effect on parathyroid hormone etc. are mainly responsible for decreased bone mineral density. Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid widely used in Asian countries as a traditional medicine. Berberine is extensively reported to be an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and having potential to treat diabetic complications and glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis. The osteoclastogenesis decreasing property of berberine can be hypothesized for inhibiting diabetic osteopathy. In addition, chronic treatment of berberine will be helpful for increasing the osteoblastic activity and expression of the modulators that affect osteoblastic differentiation. The apoptotic pathways stimulated due to increased inflammatory markers and nucleic acid damages could be reduced due to berberine. Another important consideration that berberine is having stimulatory effect on glucagon like peptide release and insulin sensitization that will be helpful for decreasing glucose levels and therefore, may exerts osteogenesis. Thiazolidinediones show bone loss due to activation of PPAR-γ in osteoblasts, whereas berberine stimulates PPAR-γ only in adipocytes and not in osteoblasts, and therefore the decreased bone loss due to use of thiazolidinediones may not be observed in berberine treatment conditions. Berberine decreases the advanced glycation end-products (AGE) formation in diabetic condition which will be ultimately helpful to decrease the stiffness of collagen fibers due to AGE-induced cross linking. Lastly, it is also reported that berberine has inhibitory effect on parathyroid hormone and enhances marker genes like osteocalcin, which are responsible for the osteoblastic activity. From these evidences, we hypothesized that berberine may have potential in the treatment of diabetic osteopathy.

Rahigude AB, Kaulaskar SV, Bhutada PS
Med. Hypotheses Oct 2012
PMID: 22840327