July 12, 2008

Aspirin a Day Could Beat Bone Disease

By Lachlan Mackinnon

A DAILY dose of aspirin could help fight the bone disease osteoporosis, a study has found.

Tests on mice found the pain-killing drug prevented the premature death of bone forming cells called osteoblasts.

It also blocked the effects of osteoclasts - destructive cells.

If the findings are replicated in humans, aspirin could become a cheap and effective way to treat the bone-wasting disease which affects three million people in the UK, mostly women.

The disease sets in when bone cells die at a faster rate than new ones can be produced.

One key finding of the study at the University of Southern California was that regular low doses of aspirin, equivalent to what many people take to ward off heart disease, were more effective than a large single dose.

Professor Songtao Shi said: "When we gave a large amount by injection, it did not work. But when we gave a low dose in their water for a long time, bone mineral density increased."

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