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Link of smoking and alcohol consumption to osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the condition in which the bone strength of an individual slowly deteriorates over time making them fragile and susceptible to fracture. A cell mechanism which causes a cell type in the immune system to change into osteoclasts has been found. The osteoclast is a cell which tends to dissolve or resorb bones. It gets initiated when factors including alcohol consumption and smoking are involved and thus raises the risk of osteoporosis. When under stress, the powerhouse of a cell “mitochondria” sends out signals that initiate this process. When this takes place in the mitochondria of macrophages (prolific immune cells that remove cell waste and foreign objects by swallowing and digesting them), the cells are converted into osteoclasts. " We show in this paper that when mitochondrial function is affected, it not only affects energy production but also triggers a type of stress signaling that induces the overproduction of osteoclasts," says senior study author Narayan G. Avadhani. Alongside, factors such as smoking, drinking, etc. increase the risk of osteoporosis. In the study, researchers found out a stress signaling pathway and that by triggering the pathway, it can lead macrophages to differentiate into osteoclasts that resorb bone.