Nitroglycerin may build bone mass in osteoporosis patients

According to research from Canada, a drug commonly used to ease chest pain in millions of people with heart disease may prevent bone loss in osteoporosis patients. News channel CTV reports that researchers from Toronto's Women's College Hospital found that nitroglycerin - which is prescribed as a pill, patch or spray to relax blood vessels in the heart - may also build bones.

Researchers studied more than 240 women for the report, who were given either nitroglycerin cream or a placebo. The results revealed that those who were given nitroglycerin experienced an increase in their bone thickness and size.

"What we found is that the bone density improved by about 7 percent at the spine and at the hip over two years, which is pretty phenomenal and equivalent to a lot of the medications that are on the market for osteoporosis," said Dr. Sophie Jamal, quoted by the news source.

However, Dr. Robert Josse of the Osteoporosis Centre at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital told the media outlet that he would be very cautious of self-medicating with an agent until there is more information from additional studies that it actually decreases fracture risk.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, one in three women and one in five men over 50 will experience fractures due to osteoporosis.