Osteoporosis and other age-related skeletal disorders lead to bone fragility and increased incidence of fractures. When young, broken bones are merely a nuisance. The older we get, however, the more serious fractures become. Rates of healing decrease as we age, particularly for bone, and associated morbidity and mortality increase dramatically. The ability to counteract fractures by strengthening bone has been a research focus for decades, but only one bone-growth enhancer has been developed. Ipamorelin and other short anabolic peptides may offer an alternative treatment to boost bone strength in a cost effective manner.
Scope of the Problem
Recent research data indicate that osteoporotic fractures are more common than most other diseases that receive substantially more attention. Worldwide, more than 30% of women and 20% of men over age 50 suffer from osteoporosis, a disease that causes nearly 9 million fractures each year. That is a fracture rate of one every three seconds. Disability due to these fractures is higher than disability secondary to cancer and heart disease, with osteoporosis accounting for more days spent in the hospital for women over 45 than diseases like diabetes, breast cancer, and heart attack. Of the 1.6 million people worldwide who suffer from a hip fracture each year, fully 25% die of complications of their fracture within 12 months1.
Clearly, fractures are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Any therapy that can reduce risk of fracture, particularly by combatting bone-wasting diseases like osteoporosis, could significantly improve quality of life and extend lifespan. Such therapy could also drastically reduce medical costs. Learn detailed updates at http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2016/05/04/peptides-mlb–investigation-performance-enhancing-drugs-biogenesis/83915662/
How Ipamorelin Might Help
Most treatments for osteoporosis do not generate new bone, they simply counteract the disease process and slow bone loss. This limits the options for improving bone health and regaining lost bone. Once a diagnosis of osteoporosis is made, it is too late to reverse the disease. Ipamorelin and other short peptides, which have been tested in animal models of osteoporosis, may offer a solution to bone loss by actually increasing bone deposition. Previous research has found that ipamorelin can counteract the bone loss that is a well-documented side effect of using glucocorticoids (e.g. prednisone). Studies in rats indicate that ipamorelin can increase bone formation rates by four fold in the setting of glucocorticoid use2.
What makes ipamorelin so interesting is that it actually increases bone deposition. To date, most drugs simply prevent bone resorption by decreasing the activity of the cells that normally degrade bone. Unfortunately, the cells that are responsible for adding new bone are not activated by current therapies. Ipamorelin fixes this problem and it does so in a cost-effective manner3. Studies in animals show that ipamorelin can increase bone mineral content in adult female rats4. This all suggests that ipamorelin and its counterparts may form a basis for understanding how to treat osteoporosis and other causes of bone loss. This peptide is still under research and is not yet approved for human use by the FDA.
- Facts and Statistics | International Osteoporosis Foundation. Available at: https://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics. (Accessed: 7th July 2016)
- Andersen, N. B. et al. The growth hormone secretagogue ipamorelin counteracts glucocorticoid-induced decrease in bone formation of adult rats. Growth Horm. IGF Res. Off. J. Growth Horm. Res. Soc. Int. IGF Res. Soc. 11, 266–272 (2001).
- Amso, Z., Cornish, J. & Brimble, M. A. Short Anabolic Peptides for Bone Growth. Med. Res. Rev. 36, 579–640 (2016).
4. Svensson, J. et al. The GH secretagogues ipamorelin and GH-releasing peptide-6 increase bone mineral content in adult female rats. J. Endocrinol. 165, 569–577 (2000).