Health

Why Steroids Weaken Bones

For years, doctors have known that steroids, such as cortisone, can leave bones weaker than they found them. Now they know why. The America Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) reports that scientists have long suspected that steroids interfere with the process of
bone remodeling, in which cells called osteoclasts continuously break
down old bone while other cells called osteoblasts build new bone. (Old
bone must be broken down first, otherwise the new bone that is added
will be of inferior quality.) Things got confusing, however, when studies with bone-building osteoblasts produced conflicting results. In animal models,
scientists found that cortisone dismantles osteoblasts, suppressing
bone formation. But studies in cell culture showed that the drug fuels
bone growth. According to the AAAS report, Steven Teitelbaum, a bone cell biologist at Washington University
School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, developed a line of
transgenic mice with modified osteoclasts: The cells still functioned
normally, but they lacked steroid receptors. When the researchers gave
high doses of cortisone to these mice, the mice built typically strong
and healthy bones. Mice with normal osteoclasts, however, produced
inferior bones when given high doses of cortisone. Read the entire study here.

7 Comments

  1. Uw alumnus

    I am Karin, very interesting article that contained the information I was searching for in Google, thanks.

  2. Nice, this was useful…kids, don’t take steroids.

  3. I think doctors especially pain doctors should be more aware of this. I have been given injections pills and creams for severe pain for the last for years and now I have osteopenia. thanks doc

  4. Steroids weaken your tendons and damage your bones and they also make your balls+penis smaller for boys. DO NOT TAKE STEROIDS. DO NOT LISTEN TO IDIOTS!

  5. Thanks for the information.. I totally agree with you that there are so many side effects of steroids on body and one should not use it.. Bones are very much effected..

  6. DAmn i was hoping steroids won’t damage the bones… As creatine does and i have personally felt it…

  7. R.C.Kehar

    I suffer from CLL which was diagonsed in 2009 while conducting a routine blood test.My TLC was elevated,which went upto 1,50,000.The Hb and platelet was OK,and therfore I was adviced to “Wait and watch”.In early 2011 I developed skin lessions,primarily on the exposed portion of the body,and dermetologist suggested topical skin creams.Use of these did not have much effect,and the Oncologist gave me Chlorubusil( Lukeran)25 mg on day one orally followed by 80 mg Prednisolone on day to day six(5 days),and next 9 days nothing this was one cycle of 15 days.After a couple of cycles the lessions came down.The treatment aws given for 16 cycles.The TLC came down to about 25,000. After two months of stopping the cycles the skin lessions again started coming over.My dermetologist gave me 20 mg Prednosolone daily for 15 days to tapered down gradually to 5 mg daily.I have been having Prednisolone from April 2012 till now i.e March 2013,in doses from 15 mg to 5 mg daily. What effect would this have on bones.What do I need to do, to avoid the detrimental effect on the bones.

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