Bone: the skeleton of life
As late as he 1960’s the human skeleton was thought to be a structure that supported the body mechanically, but work by Dr. Harold Frost proved that the bone was in fact ‘living’ and interacting with the rest of the body.
Bone diseases are becoming a major public health concern – combination of lifestyle changes (including diet and activity), hormone changes and old age mean that bone diseases such as osteoporosis, osteomalacia and rickets are unfortunately becoming more common.
The effect of hormones on bone density and thus strength became apparent after Frost suggested that bone was itself an endocrine organ. Secreting hormones, bone can exert an influence over other tissues in the body. Specifically, the bone is involved in modulation of body phosphate levels and insulin. This connection with insulin is particularly important, with the growing global diabetes epidemic. The research around that will feature highly at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 21st Annual Conference & Clinical Congress. Bone was seen in a new light after 1964 thanks to Frost’s work, and more recently bone marrow has presented therapeutic possibilities for this tissue. The potential with regard to diabetes is sure to catch the imagination of many researchers and lead to a lot more work in the area, with the hope of finding a diabetes therapy.