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Author Topic: How can bone strength be increased?  (Read 12004 times)

Offline Bill.D.Katt.

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How can bone strength be increased?
« on: 26/12/2010 05:32:37 »
It is widely accepted that regular exercise and consumption of calcium increases bone strength. Are there any other ways to increase bone strength? Human bones are stronger that concrete, and are incredibly light for their strength, what could we do to make them stronger, yet still function as a normal body part (heal, hold marrow etc.)?
« Last Edit: 26/12/2010 11:21:58 by chris »


 

Offline RD

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Re: How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #1 on: 26/12/2010 06:37:58 »
... what could we do to make them stronger

After billions of years of trial and error, (a.k.a. evolution), Mother nature has usually arrived at the optimum design.

Which we can then rip-off ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomimicry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_Computation
 

SteveFish

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #2 on: 26/12/2010 17:53:40 »
Bone is remodeled throughout life. I think it takes something over a year to completely turn over all the bone in your body. The remodeling process consists of remaking new haversian systems (osteons) over and over. A haversian system is a structure reminiscent of high tech carbon composite material structure.

Bone has to be turned over because micro cracks from stress degrade bone strength. During the process of remodeling the cell assemblies that do this recognize stress points that need building up and make this region of bone a little stronger.

The picture below is a drawing I made to illustrate the organization of haversian systems. This is a cross section of a portion of the outer wall of a small long bone. Each of the circular structures is a cross section of a haversian system. Notice that some of the circles are complete, while others are only pieces between the complete ones. The complete ones are the most recent haversian systems that were drilled into and refilled by the modeling process. This leaves parts of the older systems, but they will eventually get remodeled out, but this will leave more pieces.



The next image is a photograph of the head of the femur that is sawed to show the medullary cavity. On the ends of long bones the medulla is filled with an interwoven bracing structure of bony braces called trabeculae. These are also remodeled so that they grow in a way that resists stress. I had to reduce the resolution of the picture to fit in the forum, but you can see that the braces run at several distinct angles because of stress in the past.



So this explains how use, and heavy use during exercise causes bone to strengthen. In order to cause strengthening without exercise could theoretically be done hormonally to force new bone deposition, or by applying stress to individual bones with some sort of mechanical device, but there is a problem with this because you would also have to somehow strengthen joint cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles as well to get the full benefit of stronger bones. It is best to stick to exercise, besides it has many other beneficial effects. Steve
« Last Edit: 26/12/2010 17:59:28 by SteveFish »
 

Offline RD

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #3 on: 26/12/2010 21:08:12 »
I had to reduce the resolution of the picture to fit in the forum

You can get essentially the same resolution using half the Kbs by using jpeg instead of gif format …



A free program for resizing images for posting on the web … http://luci.criosweb.ro/riot/
« Last Edit: 26/12/2010 21:13:29 by RD »
 

SteveFish

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #4 on: 27/12/2010 03:01:29 »
RD, the original image was a 600 meg jpg that I resized dimensions and file size with Adobe Illustrator to fit the forum with a web preferred format (Gif). I downloaded the program you suggest and it looks promising, but I will have to do some trials to see what happens. I also have to find out how to make it change format during output because jpg is just not very good for some of my projects. Thanks, Steve
 

Offline Bill.D.Katt.

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #5 on: 27/12/2010 04:48:57 »
Thanks, I have read about bone healing with electromagnatismm and I guess that would stimulate the same healing effect. The newly discovered compound graphene is superlight and super strong. Would it be feasible to have this compound in human bones to increase the strength? If it was in bones, how would these bones heal, if it healed with calcium deposits wouldn't that place be eternally weaker than the rest of the graphene "bone?"
 

Offline CliffordK

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #6 on: 27/12/2010 05:38:50 »
GIFs vs JPEGs...  I usually find that GIFs are best for very small images or thumbnails.  GIFs are also efficient for things like screenshots, text, & etc.  The Compuserve/Unisys patent is now expired.

JPEGs are often more efficient for photos.
600 MB?
Also consider the PNG format.

---------------

As far as bone....
If you are asymptomatic...  it isn't a bad idea to take calcium supplements. 
I believe that estrogen is also related to bone density in women...  and menopausal women with a risk of osteoporosis may consider estrogen replacement therapy, although estrogen supplements could have a slight increase in cancer risk.

Fosamax (Alendronate) is a medication that may help increase bone density.  Perhaps there are other similar meds too.

Fluoride may also help, but I think there were questions whether it helped make stronger bone, rather than just more dense bone.
 

Offline RD

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #7 on: 27/12/2010 13:31:28 »
... I also have to find out how to make it change format during output because jpg is just not very good for some of my projects.

JPG is a lossy compression format: some image information is lost, but the compression ratio can be high, (smallest file size, ideal for posting in forum).

PNG is a lossless compression format: all the original image information is retained, but the reduction in file size is only about half, (better for images with text than JPG: no blocky compression artifacts).

The RIOT software offers conversion to/from PNG JPG GIF formats and compresss an image to a particular file size.
(I suspect your Adobe illustrator will also offer these options).
« Last Edit: 27/12/2010 13:37:50 by RD »
 

SteveFish

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #8 on: 27/12/2010 18:22:45 »
The bone remodeling process can be thought of as a balance between bone making (osteoblast) and bone removing (osteoclast) cells. To remodel bone some has to be removed and replaced. The balance during growth is in favor of the osteoblasts, while increasingly throughout live the osteoclasts are winning in both men and women. Women naturally have less bone mass and are more subject to osteoporosis when bone density is low enough for breakage to be a risk. Men usually don't get enough loss until they are much older. Medical science is working on medications that can bias this balance, hopefully without bad side effects. Also, exercise can greatly slow down bone loss at any age.

RD and Clifford. I do use PNG almost exclusively for rendering drawings and quality of the image and a transparent background are important. I only run into problems in places like here with, understandable, file size limitations. This is an interesting sub thread, but a bit off topic. Steve
 

Offline The Scientist

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #9 on: 29/12/2010 00:18:30 »
Hmm, consume milk? Calcium?
 

SteveFish

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #10 on: 29/12/2010 01:55:31 »
Most people get enough calcium for bone maintenance. Osteoporosis has to do with how one's body uses it. There is also the problem that we all are living beyond our evolutionary design age.
 

Offline Don_1

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #11 on: 31/12/2010 10:45:00 »
This brings to mind a question which, perhaps, someone can resolve.

Calcium is an essential for bone development in all animals (well, except those which don't have a skeleton).

My tortoises have a great need for calcium. It is required for bone and shell development. Accordingly, they get calcium rich rich food, such as dandelion and sow thistle, as well as a calcium supplement and, to utilise that calcium, they require exposure to UVA & UVB light.

There are some green leaves which they do not get due to the fact that they are high in oxalic acid (mainly these are the brassicas and spinach), which prevents the absorption of calcium.

Is it possible that these vegetables could have the same, or a similar, effect on humans? If this is the case, should those at risk of osteoporosis avoid these foods?
 

Offline Geezer

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #12 on: 31/12/2010 23:27:38 »
There is also the problem that we all are living beyond our evolutionary design age.

Oh yeah? You'll be telling us next it was Mother Nature that did the designing.  ;D
 

Offline CliffordK

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #13 on: 01/01/2011 02:58:20 »
There is also the problem that we all are living beyond our evolutionary design age.

Oh yeah? You'll be telling us next it was Mother Nature that did the designing.  ;D
Yep,

And, for example, osteoporosis in post-menopausal elderly women would have had little impact on the child rearing ability of young women.

In fact, evolution favors rapid genetic turnover.

As we learn more about genetics, we could potentially breed certain characteristics such as longevity & resistance to osteoporosis into our gene-pool, but doing so would be difficult to say the least (it might make some centenarian men happy though  8)).
 

SteveFish

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #14 on: 01/01/2011 03:00:07 »
Geezer, the term "design" has been altered by evolutionary scholars to describe how an organism is adapted to its environment and the mechanisms that help accomplish this. This new definition defines the evolutionary process as the designer, not any mythical personage. So, in evolutionary theory "design age" is the amount of time it takes to produce and raise young. This is extended a little in species, like us, in which knowledge important to survival, that the elderly can pass on, is useful to others in a group that share some genes with the oldster. Because our most recent important evolution occurred in small hunter gatherer groups, the requirement of elders as a knowledge repository, is reduced by the fact that the group only needs a few of these folks and by the amount of actual shared genes with the members of the group. It appears that the occasional adult that lives past 60 years of age accomplishes this imperative quite nicely. In these evolutionarily important groups there were just a few of us oldsters and the rest of us died because, from an evolutionary point of view, we aren't important. Steve
« Last Edit: 01/01/2011 03:05:42 by SteveFish »
 

Offline CliffordK

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #15 on: 01/01/2011 03:32:21 »
So, in evolutionary theory "design age" is the amount of time it takes to produce and raise young. This is extended a little in species, like us, in which knowledge important to survival, that the elderly can pass on, is useful to others in a group that share some genes with the oldster.
...
The requirement of elders as a knowledge repository, is reduced by the fact that the group only needs a few of these folks and by the amount of actual shared genes with the members of the group. It appears that the occasional adult that lives past 60 years of age accomplishes this imperative quite nicely. In these evolutionarily important groups there were just a few of us oldsters and the rest of us died because, from an evolutionary point of view, we aren't important. Steve

Perhaps the inverse is true...
As we are now learning from Social Security.
There may be an evolutionary advantage to the "tribe" if most of the Oldsters & other "freeloaders" die off. [xx(]  Sorry, no offense intended, but if the centenarians can't outrun a buffalo, they may not be of benefit to the tribe.
 

SteveFish

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #16 on: 01/01/2011 03:51:20 »
Clifford, the point is-- if the centenarian can tell the whole tribe how to outrun the buffalo, because this happened when they were a stripling, they pay their way and evolutionary processes favor them. Steve 
 

Offline Airthumbs

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #17 on: 01/01/2011 04:35:04 »
Low gravity seems to weaken the structure of bones, in fact NASA states that bones atrophy at a rate of 1% per month culminating in a modelled 40-60% total loss. (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast02aug_1/

Maybe a way of increasing bone strength would be to subject yourself to increased levels of gravity above 1G, or exercise with weights. Adding Calcium and vitamin D to your diet whilst doing this can only help further.

Apparently for an astronaut to recover bone loss after a 3-6 month flight can take up to three years!
 

Offline Geezer

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #18 on: 01/01/2011 06:13:52 »
Geezer, the term "design" has been altered by evolutionary scholars to describe how an organism is adapted to its environment and the mechanisms that help accomplish this. This new definition defines the evolutionary process as the designer, not any mythical personage. So, in evolutionary theory "design age" is the amount of time it takes to produce and raise young. This is extended a little in species, like us, in which knowledge important to survival, that the elderly can pass on, is useful to others in a group that share some genes with the oldster. Because our most recent important evolution occurred in small hunter gatherer groups, the requirement of elders as a knowledge repository, is reduced by the fact that the group only needs a few of these folks and by the amount of actual shared genes with the members of the group. It appears that the occasional adult that lives past 60 years of age accomplishes this imperative quite nicely. In these evolutionarily important groups there were just a few of us oldsters and the rest of us died because, from an evolutionary point of view, we aren't important. Steve

Steve,

It might be an idea to break your post down a bit so that other members will take the time to understand what your point is.

Anyway, I was merely trying to point out, in a humorous fashion, that we cannot rebuke other members for using "design" in this context, while using it ourselves.

I'm sorry if you didn't get my poor humour.

 
 
 
 

Offline CliffordK

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #19 on: 01/01/2011 06:58:51 »
Low gravity seems to weaken the structure of bones, in fact NASA states that bones atrophy at a rate of 1% per month culminating in a modelled 40-60% total loss.

Some of the worst osteoporosis occurs in Paraplegics. 

If you don't use it, you loose it.

The same would be true with astronauts. 

A flight to Jupiter might help, but unfortunately it would take too many years to arrive!!!  And, you'd have to figure out how (or where) to land.  Orbiting Jupiter wouldn't help.
 

Offline CliffordK

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #20 on: 01/01/2011 07:06:56 »
Clifford, the point is-- if the centenarian can tell the whole tribe how to outrun the buffalo, because this happened when they were a stripling, they pay their way and evolutionary processes favor them. Steve 

The problem is if there was a tribe with only Centenarians...  then there would be no buffalo to eat!!!

Although, perhaps they would figure out a better way than chasing them down on foot like a teenager!!!
 

SteveFish

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How can bone strength be increased?
« Reply #21 on: 01/01/2011 18:56:41 »
Geezer, I took your comment seriously and gave a thoughtful and, hopefully, informational answer. This is another of those frame of reference questions. To some a design requires a designer that is an entity, not a mechanism.
 

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How can bone strength be increased?
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