Red sage compound may prevent bone loss experts discover
Red sage, a herb widely used in traditional Chinese medicine, may hold the key to a new osteoporosis therapy that could prevent bone loss without causing side effects, says research in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
Using the compound, a team has found a way to selectively block an enzyme called Cathepsin K (CatK), which plays a major role in the breakdown of collagen in bones during osteoporosis.
The researchers tested the compound and found that it prevented bone loss and increased bone mineral density of mice treated by 35%, when compared with a control group.
“The development of osteoporosis drugs by pharmaceutical companies has focused heavily on blocking CatK in recent years,” explains Prof Dieter Brömme, who is involved in the work. “All clinical trials to date have failed due to side effects ranging from stroke, skin fibrosis and cardiovascular issues. We’ve found a way to block CatK only in bone tissue that we think will prevent these other negative effects.”
The treatment could potentially be used to treat some other bone and cartilage diseases such as arthritis.
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