Plant a bone
Plant-based treatment of osteoporosis is gaining ground. The Central Drug Research Institute is adding new dimensions to ancient remedies
Scan break you, literally. OME DISEASES Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue. In India, about 50 million people, both men and women, were either osteoporotic or had low bone mass, estimated the International Osteoporosis Foundation (iof ) in 2013. Current treatment procedure uses hormone therapy with human parathyroid hormone (pth).But it is expensive,and comes with potential side effects such as bone cancer.
Plant-based therapies are offering alternatives to pth. The Central Drug Research Institute (cdri), under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (csir),has obtained a compound, dalbergiphenol, from sheesham ( Dalbergia sissoo), a timber tree,and is working to market it as a nutraceutical, which is a blend of nutrition and pharmaceu- tical elements. Investigations conducted on mice, whose ovaries were removed to mimic conditions of menopause,showed an increase in their bone biomechanical strength.The scientists found that the fracture healing period reduced from 21 days to seven days.The findings were published online in the journal, Menopause, in April this year.
cdri also found that the extract from the leaves of Himalayan elm ( Ulmus wallichiana) has the potential to treat bone loss, and can increase bone mineral density in women after menopause. The research was able to establish (in the rat model) that both these plants can promote the generation of bone-forming cells called osteoblast. “Our research was inspired by these plants, found in the Kumaon region, which have been
PRASOON PANDEY Extracts from sheesham leaves can be used as a rapid fracture-healing agent, says Ritu Trivedi, senior scientist at CDRI