News of the WeekBiomedicine

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs May Boost Bones

Science  03 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5446, pp. 1825-1826
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5446.1825a

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On page 1946, a team of endocrinologists shows that the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins trigger bone growth in tissue culture and in rats and mice. If they have the same effect in humans, statins could be the first drugs able to increase bone growth in patients with osteoporosis, the bone-weakening condition that often afflicts postmenopausal women. Although the doses currently used to lower cholesterol levels may be too low to have much effect on bone density, researchers may be able to find similar compounds with the ability to target bone.