Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Use of nitrates may increase bone strength

Date:
February 23, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Preliminary research indicates that use of nitroglycerin ointment among postmenopausal women for 2 years was associated with a modest increase in bone mineral density and decrease in bone resorption (loss), according to a new study.

Preliminary research indicates that use of nitroglycerin ointment among postmenopausal women for 2 years was associated with a modest increase in bone mineral density and decrease in bone resorption (loss), according to a study in the February 23 issue of JAMA.

"The number of osteoporotic fractures is increasing worldwide as populations age. An inexpensive and widely available treatment may help limit this increase," the authors write. "Nitroglycerin stimulates bone formation and inhibits bone resorption, is inexpensive, and is widely available. Its effects on bone density, bone structure, and bone strength are unknown." Nitroglycerin is used medically as a vasodilator (a drug that causes dilation of blood vessels) to treat heart conditions, such as angina and chronic heart failure.

Sophie A. Jamal, M.D., Ph.D., of the Women's College Research Institute and University of Toronto, Canada, and colleagues tested the efficacy of once-daily nitroglycerin ointment to increase bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine, femoral (bone in the leg that extends from the hip to the knee) neck and hip. The placebo-controlled randomized trial was conducted from November 2005 to March 2010 and included 243 postmenopausal women. The participants were randomized to nitroglycerin ointment (15 mg/d; n = 126) or placebo (n = 117), applied at bedtime to the upper arm for 2 years.

The researchers found that compared with placebo, women randomized to the nitroglycerin group had significant increases in areal (an area) BMD at the lumbar spine (6.7 percent), total hip (6.2 percent), and femoral neck (7.0 percent) at 24 months. Nitroglycerin users also had increases in certain measures of BMD and bone strength of the radius and tibia. Additionally, compared with placebo, treatment with nitroglycerin was significantly associated with an increase in bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, a marker of bone formation; and a decrease in urine N-telopeptide, a marker of bone resorption.

Incidence of serious adverse events did not differ between the 2 groups. Among those women who continued treatment for 24 months, headaches were reported by 40 (35 percent) in nitroglycerin and 6 (5.4 percent) in placebo groups during the first month, decreasing substantially after 12 months.

"In conclusion, daily administration of nitroglycerin ointment increases bone formation and decreases bone resorption; thereby, substantially improving BMD, bone structure, and indices of bone strength at least as much as existing treatments. Together, these findings suggest that daily nitroglycerin may reduce the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures. Furthermore, nitrates have a potential advantage of easy administration as an ointment, patch, or pill and wide availability of generic preparations. The efficacy of nitrates for reducing risk of fracture should be tested in a larger randomized controlled trial," the authors conclude.

Editorial: Is Nitroglycerin a Novel and Inexpensive Treatment for Osteoporosis?

Sundeep Khosla, M.D., of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., writes in an accompanying editorial that although this study was underpowered to assess fracture risk, it should set the stage for an adequately powered, larger study using nitroglycerin ointment with fracture as an outcome.

"If such a study demonstrates efficacy for reducing fractures, clinicians would have a novel and inexpensive therapy for osteoporosis. The findings of the current study also should prompt development of additional nitric oxide donors with greater skeletal efficacy and a better adverse effect profile, particularly with regard to headaches."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Sophie A. Jamal, Celeste J. Hamilton, Richard Eastell, Steven R. Cummings. Effect of Nitroglycerin Ointment on Bone Density and Strength in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Trial. JAMA, 2011; 305 (8): 800-807 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.176
  2. Sundeep Khosla. Is Nitroglycerin a Novel and Inexpensive Treatment for Osteoporosis? JAMA, 2011; 305 (8): 826-827 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.191

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Use of nitrates may increase bone strength." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222162310.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, February 23). Use of nitrates may increase bone strength. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222162310.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Use of nitrates may increase bone strength." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222162310.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins