Gut microbes are well-known to affect metabolism and immune function. Involvement is far-reaching, we learn from research, linked to diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, allergies, autism, anxiety disorders as well as the familiar gut disorders including irritable bowel and Crohn’s and much more.
More surprising is recent research showing that gut microbiota (GM)may be regulators in bone mass.
Know this: Our skeletons are not inert. Instead they are constantly being remodeled through complex systems of bone metabolism.
Bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts are the major players. Imbalances can lead to osteoporosis.
The immune system seems to be the crucial link between microbes and bone.
In a study appearing in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research named “The gut microbiota regulates bone mass in mice”, Swedish researchers demonstrated the following:
- Germ-free mice showed increased bone mass with reduced number of osteoclasts.
- Colonizing germ-free mice with normal gut microbes normalized bone mass.
- Germ-free mice showed reduced inflammatory cytokines.
The findings were also reviewed in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. The authors Claes Ohlsson and Klara Sjögren at University of Gothenburg in Sweden stated:
“…the possible role for the GM in the regulation of bone metabolism and propose that the GM might be a novel therapeutic target for osteoporosis and fracture prevention.”