Beneficial Impact of Mushroom-Derived Compounds on Age-Related Bone Loss

Greg Howard
3rd May, 2024

Beneficial Impact of Mushroom-Derived Compounds on Age-Related Bone Loss

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • A study in Fujian explored a new osteoporosis treatment using a mushroom-derived calcium chelate
  • The chelate improved bone health markers and reduced bone damage in a mouse model of aging
  • It worked by affecting pathways crucial for bone repair and growth, showing potential for human use
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects millions worldwide, characterized by weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures. Senile osteoporosis (SOP), specifically, is a form of osteoporosis that occurs due to aging and often leads to a significant decline in quality of life among the elderly. Traditional treatments for osteoporosis include calcium supplementation, which has proven effective in slowing the disease's progression and reducing fracture risks. A recent study from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University[1] has introduced a novel approach to calcium supplementation that could potentially offer a new avenue for treating SOP. The study focuses on the development and testing of a calcium chelate synthesized from Grifola frondosa (GF) peptides and calcium chloride (CaCl2). GF, commonly known as maitake, is an edible mushroom with a history of use in traditional medicine. The researchers were interested in whether these peptides, when bound to calcium, could offer a more effective treatment for SOP. Chelation is a process where ions and molecules bind to metal ions. In this case, the amino and carboxyl groups in the GF peptides bind with calcium ions. This process was confirmed using various sophisticated techniques like scanning electron microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and ultraviolet spectrophotometry. These methods allowed researchers to visualize and understand the interaction at a molecular level, confirming the successful creation of the chelate. To test the efficacy of the newly synthesized GF peptide-calcium chelate, the team used a mouse model of SOP induced by d-galactose. This model simulates the human condition of bone density loss associated with aging. The mice were administered low dosages of the chelate, and the results were encouraging. There was a significant improvement in serum indices, which are blood markers related to bone metabolism, and the pathological features of the bone tissue showed reduced bone injury in the treated mice. The study went further to understand how the chelate worked at the molecular level. The researchers found that the treatment with GF peptide-calcium chelate modulated several disrupted metabolic pathways that are crucial for bone health, including focal adhesion, extracellular matrix-receptor interaction, and PI3K-Akt signaling pathway. These pathways play a role in bone growth and repair, indicating that the chelate could be promoting bone health by improving the body's natural bone maintenance mechanisms. Western blot analysis, a method used to detect specific proteins within a tissue sample, confirmed the presence of differentially expressed proteins, providing additional evidence of the biochemical changes induced by the chelate treatment. This research ties in with previous studies that have explored various aspects of bone health. For example, a study[2] identified specific protein biomarkers associated with low bone mineral density, a characteristic of osteoporosis. These biomarkers included proteins involved in inflammatory signaling pathways, which are also implicated in the SOP study. Understanding these biomarkers can help in diagnosing and monitoring the progression of osteoporosis. Another previous study[3] looked at the impact of exercise and diet on bone health in rats. It showed that while exercise could partially compensate for bone volume loss caused by unbalanced diets, it could not completely prevent the decrease in bone mass. This finding emphasizes the importance of nutritional interventions, such as the GF peptide-calcium chelate, as a complement to lifestyle modifications in managing bone health. Lastly, a study[4] evaluating the effects of teriparatide, a treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis, highlighted the complex relationship between bone health treatments and other physiological processes, such as glucose metabolism and inflammation. This complexity underscores the need for treatments that can safely and effectively improve bone health without adverse effects on other bodily functions. The GF peptide-calcium chelate represents a promising new functional calcium agent that could be used to alleviate SOP. Its ability to modulate disrupted metabolic pathways and improve bone tissue pathology could make it a valuable addition to the current treatment options for osteoporosis. Further research is necessary to confirm these findings in human trials, but the potential for a new, more effective calcium supplement is an exciting development in the fight against this debilitating condition.



Main Study

1) Positive effect of peptide-calcium chelates from Grifola frondosa on a mouse model of senile osteoporosis.

Published 30th April, 2024

Related Studies

2) Proteomics Profiling of Osteoporosis and Osteopenia Patients and Associated Network Analysis.

3) Effects of high-phosphorus and/or low-calcium diets on bone tissue in trained male rats.

4) Effect of teriparatide treatment on endothelial function, glucose metabolism and inflammation markers in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis.

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