Research reveals topical nitroglycerin may prevent osteoporosis

According to the results of a two-year trial presented at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2010 Annual Meeting, nitroglycerin applied topically could increase bone formation and reduce bone loss in women with osteopenia. It may also prove to be an effective and inexpensive treatment to prevent osteoporosis, MedScape Today reports.

Dr Sophie Jamal, director of the Osteoporosis Clinic at Women's College Hospital at the University of Toronto in Ontario, decided to study the effectiveness of nitroglycerin after noticing that women who were taking nitroglycerin for angina had particularly strong bones, despite having cardiovascular disease and more risk factors for osteoporosis.

In the study, all women were postmenopausal, age 50 or older, had low BMD T scores and were taking at least 1200 milligrams (mg) of elemental calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D3 daily.

Compared with women in the placebo group, those who were given nitroglycerin had significant increases in BMD at the spine, neck and hip at 24 months.

Approximately 8 million women and 2 million men have osteoporosis in the U.S., according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
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