‘Substance derived from squash effective in treating osteoporosis’

Lee Han-soo  Published 2018.06.08  18:28  Updated 2018.06.08 18:31


Viromed said Thursday that it has published research regarding dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol’s (DHCA) effect on osteoporosis. DHCA is a substance derived from squash roots.

According to the company, the research has allowed them to understand the substances treatment mechanism. The company started developing the treatment to cure osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

The decrease in estrogen is known to be a significant factor for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Although drugs such as denosumab, ibandronate, and raloxifene treat osteoporosis, they have limited therapeutic effects, while having many side effects.

The company’s studies have shown that DHCA acts on estrogen receptor signaling pathways. Also, by regulating the activity of various signaling factors such as AMPK, NF-kB, and MAPK, involved in osteoporosis progression, the treatment promoted differentiation in osteoblasts, a type of bone cell that promotes bone growth, as well as suppressing osteoclasts, a type of bone cell that breaks down bone tissue.

Since osteoporosis is a state where the equilibrium between the process of osteoblasts and osteoclasts becomes unbalanced, the company believes that these dual effects of DHCA will allow the substance to become an ideal for treatment for osteoporosis.

“The Viromed Natural Products Headquarters is discovering various kinds of bioactivities in plants,” said Son Mi-won, head of research at Viromed. “The results were obtained from experiments that chemically synthesized a component found in squash roots.”

This is significant as the company can develop DHCA into a natural (semi) synthetic drug, such as aspirin, Son added.

The results of the research were published in two distinguished journals -- Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (BBRC) and Journal of Natural Product.

<© KBR , All rights reserved.>