Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Oranges and Bones
09 February 2013

Oranges and Bones

Today the citizens of Ivrea in Italy will be armed with oranges, ready to face off in Italy’s largest food fight – the Battle of the Oranges. Being hit by a flying orange may be bad for your health, but stored up in these citrus bombs is the vital supplement vitamin C, long known to help maintain healthy bones and teeth. Extreme deficiency leads to scurvy and a more subtle lack of vitamin C is linked to brittle bones. This may be particularly important to those who have osteoporosis; a condition often seen in women after the menopause that results in fragile bones. Research in a mouse model for osteoporosis used micro computerised tomography of the spine to capture the bone loss seen in this condition (left). Adding vitamin C to the diets of these mice stimulated bone formation (right), illustrating its potential therapeutic benefits.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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