Research, Technology

Our bones become brittle - the air is to blame

Osteoporosis is a dangerous disease in which 50%patients become disabled, and 20% die. As we discussed in the article on the unknown facts about human bones, 75 million European citizens suffer from this disease, and the number of cases is constantly growing. The causes of this disease are called very different - chronic diseases, taking certain medications, lifestyle, etc. But, it is quite possible that they are not the main factor in the growth in the number of diseases in the world. A recent study showed that osteoporosis develops due to poor ecology, that is, polluted air.

Polluted air can cause a dangerous disease - osteoporosis

Does bad air cause a risk of bone fracture?

On the risks associated with polluted airbone fracture has been known for a long time. Some previous studies have shown that the dirtier the air, the more fractures people experience, and the greater the loss of bone mass with age.

Polluted air leads to a decrease in bone mass and, as a result, bone fragility

The current study is the nextconfirmation. Scientists have found that air pollution accelerates bone loss in older people. We are talking about menopausal women, who are the most vulnerable category in terms of osteoporosis.

Bone fragility can be associated not only withosteoporosis, but also malnutrition. In particular, vegetarians have a 43% increased risk of fractures. Therefore, keep in mind that the food should be varied.

Researchers analyzed air quality inplaces where women who have gone through menopause live. Nearly 10,000 women took part in the study. The scientists evaluated the content of nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, as well as the content of particulate matter PM10. As a result, it turned out that the stronger the air pollution, the lower was the bone density in the body, including the neck and spine. This trend is observed all over the world. Moreover, it did not depend on socio-economic or demographic factors.

Comparison between healthy bone and osteoporotic bone

The study covered a wide range of ethnicgroups, lifestyle, place of residence and socio-economic status. This greatly improves the accuracy of the results obtained. It follows that polluted air can indeed cause the development of osteoporosis and affect the course of the disease. But how exactly does air pollution affect bone health?

Why Polluted Air Affects Bones

In their work, the researchers highlighted the relationship betweennitrogen in the air and the condition of the spine. An increase in its content of only 10 percent led to a loss in bone mineral density of the lumbar spine by 1.22% over 3 years. This is twice as much as should occur during normal aging. The researchers report this in the journal eClinicalMedicine.

According to the researchers themselves, their workis the first evidence that nitric oxide leads to bone damage. The lumbar spine is likely to be the most susceptible to the effects of nitrogen. In their opinion, bone loss is associated with the death of bone cells as a result of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when toxic molecules from the surrounding air enter the body.

Exhaust gases are the most dangerous for bones

However, it should be borne in mind that one study is not enough to establish
causal relationship.The only conclusion that is not in doubt is that dirty air really negatively affects the condition of the bones. Therefore, scientists want to draw public attention to the problem of polluted air.

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The main source of nitric oxide in the airis transport, since a large amount of it is contained in the exhaust gases. Accordingly, people who live in large mountains along streets with heavy traffic are most at risk of fractures. In addition, do not forget that exhaust gases negatively affect the functioning of the brain, as we discussed in detail earlier.