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New Compound Holds Promise For Osteoporosis Treatment

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A new compound called picolinic acid has shown strong potential for treating osteoporosis, creating a promising opportunity for the development of an entirely new type of medication for the disease.

Following over four years of experiments, a research team from the Ageing Bone Research Programme at Sydney Medical School has discovered that the odourless compound, which is derived from the amino acid tryptophan and can be dissolved in water, delivers positive outcomes in animal tests.

The potential of picolinic acid for treating osteoporosis lies in its ability to stimulate bone formation rather than stop bone destruction, lead researcher Professor Gustavo Duque explained. The compound boasts a high level of absorption, and no side effects in the treated mice were detected.

The researchers administered the medication in the water of normal and menopausal mice, discovering that it increased bone mass in normal mice in a strong and safe manner. In menopausal mice, the acid saved bone from osteoporosis related to menopause, Duque said.

The team believes that the development of osteoporosis is a result of the reduction in bone formation as part of the ageing process. As such, they decided to try to tackle the real problem by stimulating the cells responsible for bone formation, making them produce more bone, expanding bone mass and reducing the possibility of new fractures.

The medication is now patented and trials involving humans will be carried out in the near future.