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Called bonebalance, it has just launched on the UK market following European regulatory classification as a Food For Special Medical Purpose for the management of bone thinning and osteoporosis. This follows trials in which it was found daily intake of the 5g powdered sachet increased bone mineral density in the spine by as much as six percent over the course of 12 months.
The once-a-day supplement is made of tiny bovine collagen fibres which are hydrolysed so they fit and are absorbed into human bone.
It is believed that collagen allows bones to become stronger and more flexible, and therefore less likely to break.
Available without prescription, the treatment is thought to work by stimulating bone-building cells and reducing bone-breakdown cells.
Sunday Express writer and GP Dr Rosemary Leonard MBE, who sits on the board of the Royal Osteoporosis Society, said: “This is a fantastic product and the science behind it is good and promising.
“I’m taking it myself as I have osteopenia [thinning bones].
“It could be a good thing to consider for those at risk, such as people with very small frames, those with osteoporosis, or a history of it, as well as menopausal women.”
Current treatments ‑ including a drug family called bisphosphonates ‑ bind to the surface of bones.
But the research, paradoxically, suggested that this could actually make them less flexible and more likely to break.
Study co-author Dr Ulrich Hansen, of Imperial’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, said: “If bones are too hard they are less able to absorb impact and more likely to break. Our study suggests flexibility could be just as important as density in preventing fractures.”
Osteoporosis is a slow developing condition that weakens bones.
More than 500,000 UK people receive hospital treatment for fractures every year as a result of it.
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