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Dec. 15, 2020

Using probiotics to treat bone loss

Laura McCabe has a better solution than drinking milk to get strong bones.

McCabe, a professor in the Department of Physiology at Michigan State University, studies the effects of probiotics in patients with osteoporosis, or bone loss. Probiotics are live microorganisms administered to a patient in a specific amount to benefit overall health.

Recently, with the help of the MSU Innovation Center, BioGaia — a Swedish healthcare company — McCabe, and Robert Britton, former associate professor in MSU’s  Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, patented the use of a probiotic as a preventative measure against the development of osteoporosis.

BioGaia sells the probiotic as part of its lineup of dietary supplements, and it’s now purchased by people around the world.

Fifty-four million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. About one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. The disease causes an estimated two million broken bones every year.

This first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on bone health and osteoporosis illustrates the large burden that bone disease places on our nation.

“Osteoporosis, fractures and other chronic diseases no longer should be thought of as an inevitable part of growing old. By focusing on prevention and lifestyle changes, including physical activity and nutrition, as well as early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, Americans can avoid much of the damaging impact of bone disease and other chronic diseases,” the report states.

This is all still very relevant information and understanding the nutritional element of probiotics supporting healthy bones is key, McCabe added.

Read the full story on the Innovation Center website.

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