White Onion: The Smelly Remedy for Bone Loss & Osteoporosis
April 30, 2005
Some 44 million Americans, mostly older women, are at risk of osteoporosis,
a condition that can lead to fragility, low bone mass, structural
deterioration of bone tissue and increased susceptibility to fractures.
And while the number of people at risk is projected to sky-rocket
to more than 61 million by 2020, researchers may have dug up a ray
of hope: Besides causing bad breath and adding flavor to food, white
onions may help prevent osteoporosis, as
a chemical found within the vegetable appeared to decrease bone
loss in rat bone cells.
Onion's Influence on Rat Bone Cells
In analyzing the active chemical components of white onions, researchers
found the most likely compound accountable for the decreased bone
loss was glutamyl peptides, GPCS. (Peptides are the family of molecules
formed from the linking, in a defined order, of various amino acids.)
In the study, researchers exposed isolated bone cells from newborn
rats to parathyroid hormone -- a parathyroid gland secretion, which
regulates calcium and phosphorous levels in the body -- to promote
bone loss. They then exposed some of the treated cells to GPCS.
It was discovered that rats treated with
GPCS from white onions were significantly less likely to lose bone
minerals than those not exposed to the chemical.
Though the findings appear promising, additional studies are needed
to determine if GPCS will have a similar effect in humans.
of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
March 30, 2005
April 8, 2005
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