People with type two diabetes are more likely to suffer broken bones than non-diabetic persons. As the number of people with diabetes rises, the skeletal brittleness in persons with type two diabetes is also increasing, and much is not known about the reasons responsible for this reality. The bone’s fragility is usually attributed to its density, but that is not the case with type two diabetes patients since they have normal bones. The puzzle is that they still suffer from fractures at a very high rate. However, researchers are on the verge of establishing the cause of these high fragilities in bones.
Are bones alive?
Like other living organs, bones are also alive. Bones are responsible for the structural integrity and protection of the body. Furthermore, red blood cells are produced within bones. The red blood cells are responsible for the production of valuable minerals such as phosphorus and calcium. When broken, bones can heal on their own or through medical interventions. However, bones are always in the state of constant repair through a process known as remodeling.
Wear and tear on bones happens daily due to the physical activities that people undertake. However, they are constantly repaired since this happens in micro-structures. The repairing process involves a breakdown in the minerals and proteins in the affected areas and replacing them with new and healthy proteins.
Crosslinking of Proteins
There are new proteins containing amino acids that are in natural reactions with sugar in the body. The result known as the non-enzymatic glycation occurs in tissues of the whole body, including bones. Non-enzymatic glycation creates a browning effect in proteins, creating small chemical links called crosslinks. It is developed in everyone’s body because everyone has some sugar levels in the body.
Though non-enzymatic crosslinks are naturally formed in the body, they are not good for your health. They harden the proteins they are attached to, inhibiting them from flexing as you take your daily activities. Bones require some forms of flexibility to prevent them from small fractures. However, non-enzymatic crosslinks weaken the bones and make them more fragile.
From research, it has been determined that people with type 2 diabetes have two worrying factors. One problem is that they have higher sugar levels in their body. The sugar level is catalyzed by the chemical reactions forming crosslinks. Therefore, a diabetic bone will have more crosslinks, which could explain why their bones are more brittle.
Another factor is that people with type 2 diabetes have a low bone remodeling process. With this, the cleaning ability of the crosslinks is reduced. It contributes a bigger number of crosslinks in the people with diabetes hence making their bones prone to breakage. Furthermore, crosslinks have added to other complications such as kidney damage, poor eyesight, and vascular damage in people with diabetes.
Reports from research
It has been found out that the hard and outer shell of bones had more crosslinks and weaker mechanical properties in people with diabetes than the normal persons. Research also reveals that when bones are subjected to more sugary environments, they produce more crosslinks, hence developing micro-fractures. However, the researchers are working on mechanisms that can break the crosslinks or prevent them from forming. They are hoping that it will work as a better medical remedy for diabetic patients. Analysts predict that entities like Genprex Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX) are hoping that this results in a remedy to the brittle bones of diabetics as the health of everyone matters to all biomedical companies.
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