Michigan Technological University researchers set out to find why bear bones are stronger than ever even though they hibernate throughout winter.
Seth Donahue found that hibernating black bears produce parathyroid hormone that may maintain bone formation while they snooze away the winter.
AdvertisementSo serum hormones and bone remodelling markers in hibernating bears could help create a model for preventing disuse osteoporosis in people.
In human beings, bones degenerate as they grow older and when they are out of use for a long time - for instance in bed ridden people or astronauts in the low- or no-gravity conditions of outer space.
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