Sesame seeds and sesame oil help to strengthen bones and stimulate healing in case of fractures, even in the presence of osteoporosis. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the journal Nutrients (Yang et al, Nutrients, 2022).
What is osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is one of the most important disorders that can affect the skeleton. Osteoporosis is caused by an imbalance in bone metabolism, in which the two processes of bone resorption and the generation of new tissue are no longer the same, but the first takes over. As a consequence, there is a decrease in bone density and the risk of falls and fractures increases, with a deterioration in the quality of life. The risk of osteoporosis increases with advancing age, especially in postmenopausal women where the decrease in estrogen accelerates the progression of osteoporosis. At present, science is looking for possible treatments against osteoporosis that do not have the side effects that oral estrogen has shown. Attention is therefore turning to natural substances that can promote bone well-being and facilitate healing in the event of a fracture.
Sesame and osteoporosis, the study
The study we are talking about today focused attention on the properties of sesamine, a substance contained in sesame seeds and sesame oil. Sesamine is a phytoestrogen and therefore capable of mimicking the action of estrogen without causing an increased risk of cancer. Indeed, as indicated in the study, sesamine has a strong repressive action against diseased cells. The scientists then simulated at computer and tested in the laboratory the action of sesamine in the event of a bone fracture. What emerged is that sesamine promotes bone healing since it stimulates the processes involved in the formation of the callus, which is the structure that forms around the fractured bone stumps during the healing processes. In particular, sesamine promotes healing by activating angiogenesis, that is, the formation of new blood vessels that occurs in the first part of the healing process, and chondrogenesis, which determines the formation of callus. Moreover, sesamine not only acts to stimulate fracture healing but also has a preventive action. In particular, sesamine has been shown to favor the formation of new bone tissue while reducing its absorption, thus counteracting the imbalance in bone metabolism that is created in the case of osteoporosis.