Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Osteoporosis, characterized by a low bone mineral density, is a silent disease that ultimately results in fragility fractures. Fragility fractures can lead to significant morbidity and mortality among North Americans. With the rapidly aging population, it is estimated that 1 in 2 adults will be at risk for osteoporosis-related fractures by the year 2020, and bone health will continue to worsen as the population ages. The overwhelming statistics that identify unacceptable morbidity and mortality due to poor bone health emphasize the urgent need to develop interventions to combat osteoporosis. Prevention rather than treatment strategies may be more promising and effective at reducing the risk of fragility fracture during aging.
The overall goal of this research program is to investigate the role of food components in the regulation of bone metabolism with the long-term goal of developing nutritional strategies that prevent bone loss, preserve bone structure, and ultimately reduce the risk of fragility fractures (i.e. osteoporosis). This research program and related infrastructure is funded by NSERC, CIHR, CFI, MRI and Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Current projects include investigating:
i) how early life exposure to soy isoflavones and vitamin D favourably programs bone metabolism;
ii) the effects of inflammation during early life on later bone health; and
iii) the mechanisms of dietary estrogens (i.e. flaxseed lignans, soy isoflavones), fatty acids and drugs, alone and in combination, on bone metabolism in states of estrogen withdrawal.