Like action heroes for your bones!
In the 1960s, Dr. Marshall Urist, MD was an orthopedic surgeon studying how bones heal and grow after fractures. Through his work, he discovered Bone Morphogenic Proteins (BMPs) and with this, the “osteoinductive” nature of bones (meaning how bones can regenerate themselves).
BMPs are a family of over 20 proteins that induce our bones to regenerate and grow, which assists with the healing process in fractures. Not only that, but BMPs can have a big impact on maintaining and preserving bone health as we age, including for osteoporosis and osteopenia. In addition, BMPs support healthy cartilage – so for osteo-related joint problems, BMPs are supportive on multiple levels.
So how do these little guys work?
The BMPs bind to specific receptors on cells in your body. When they bind to cells with regenerative capacity, the BMPs cause a series of reactions to occur within these cells. This ultimately stimulates them differentiate into two types of cells: osteoblasts, which build bone, and chondrocytes, which build cartilage.
Along with this, BMPs have anti-inflammatory activity. Because inflammation can be increased in conditions with bone and cartilage loss, it is important overall to decrease that inflammation. By decreasing inflammation, the BMPs also allow bone to regenerate in a more sustainable environment.
What about calcium?
Calcium, along with several minerals and other co-factors, is still important for bone health. We know this. However, many people continue to struggle with bone loss after taking calcium and other bone-supportive products. By understanding where deficiencies may lie that contribute to bone loss, we can better manage things to prevent any further loss.
BMPs allow us to address problems with bone loss at a deeper level, in a sense. By combining BMPs with the appropriate and relevant minerals, hormones and other micronutrients, we can have a powerful approach to bone health.
Of course, it’s still important to factor in nutrition, diet, lifestyle, activity, medical history and more. All of this helps us to understand each individual’s unique needs and how to best support them.
May you be well!
The information provided here is not intended to replace medical advice or to treat or diagnose any medical condition. Please consult your doctor with specific questions and prior to beginning any significant diet or lifestyle changes.